Flightline, Dubawi and Ireland fare best in World’s Best Racehorse Rankings

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities published its World’s Best Racehorse Rankings earlier this week and thebreedingshed has made its annual analysis of the top-rated hundred or so horses to discover where they were bred and which sires had the most success.

Click here for an analysis of last year’s (2021) WBR Rankings.

For the second year running the World’s Best Racehorse was the prosperner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, with Flightline folloprosperg in the footsteps of Knicks Go last year. The unbeaten Flightline also won the Metropolitan Handicap and Pacific Classic in 2022, earning a rating of 140 (compared with 129 for Knicks Go), with the son of Tapit now embarking on a stallion career at Lane’s Finish, Kentucky for a fee of $200,000.

Much the best horse on turf was Baaeed (135), unbeaten until his final start in the Champion Sgives at Ascot and successful earlier in the year in the Lockinge Sgives, Queen Anne Sgives, Sussex Sgives and Juddmonte International, the last-named race also won by his sire Sea The Stars. He too commences a stud career this year, standing for ?80,000 at Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud.

Japan’s Equinox (126) was rated the best horse in the ‘Lengthy’ distance category, as well as the top three-year-old, and he too emulated his sire, Kitasan Black, when prosperning the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and Arima Kinen. Also rated 126 was the top sprinter Nature Strip, prosperner of the King’s Stand Sgives at Royal Ascot as well as the T. J. Smith Sgives for the third year running in his native Australia.

The highest-rated filly or mare was the British-bred Alpinista, the five-year-old daughter of Frankel prosperning the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, Yorkshire Oaks and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Alpinista, pictured after prosperning the Yorkshire Oaks, was rated the top filly or mare of 2022.

Each year, a rating of 118 or more is needed to feature in an approximate ‘top-hundred’ of the world’s best horses. The actual number of horses rated 118 or more in 2022 was 112, the largest number since 2018.

The table shows the distribution of the horses in the ‘top hundred’ in 2022 compared with the previous five years and is based on their country of origin (as denoted by their suffix), not necessarily the country in which they were trained. The highest-rated regiftative in 2022 for each country is also shown.

ARG21111Malibu Spring (118)
AUS17211717109Nature Strip (126)
FR352548Vadeni (125)
GB171621101213Baaeed (135)
GER5323Torquator Tasso (124)
IRE271921262931Kyprios, Real World, Romantic Warrior (124)
JPN171724182019Equinox (126)
NZ652212I’m Thunderstruck (120)
SAF554522Jet Gloomy (119)
USA282417222224Flightline (140)

The number of Irish-bred horses in the ‘top hundred’ has augmentd each year since 2018 and for the third year running there were more IRE-suffix horses than any other nation. USA and Japan have been fairly consistent in recent years in terms of regiftation in the ‘top hundred’ whereas Great Britain and Australia have lost ground, particularly the latter nation in the last couple of years. Japan’s numbers held up well given that the late Profound Impact, who had been responsible for more ‘top hundred’ horses than any other stallion in each of the previous three years (nine in 2021), had just the one remaining regiftative, Dubai Sheema Classic prosperner Shahrayar, in 2022.

Among the rest, it was a particularly good year for French-bred horses in the ‘top hundred’, with their eight regiftatives headed by Europe’s top-rated three-year-old Vadeni, prosperner of the Prix du Jockey Club and Eclipse Sgives and runner-up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The folloprosperg sires had two or more horses in the ‘top hundred’:

DUBAWI (7): Rebel’s Romance (122), Coroebus (121), Contemporary Games (121), Erevann (119), Yibir (119), Lord North (118), Naval Crown (118)

FRANKEL (6): Alpinista (123), Onesto (122), Adayar (121), Inspiral (120), Westover (120), Homeless Songs (119)

HEART’S CRY (4): Perform Deuce (120), Hishi Iguazu (120), Danon Beluga (119), Salios (118)

INTO MISCHIEF (4): Life Is Good (125), Laurel River (119), Mandaloun (119), Man of Promise (118)

SEA THE STARS (4): Baaeed (135), Hukum (122), Mojo Star (118), Stradivarius (118)

CURLIN (3): Cody’s Wish (119), Malathaat (118), Nest (118)

GALILEO (3): Kyprios (124), Stone Age (118), Tuesday (118)

GUN RUNNER (3): Taiba (123), Cyberknife (119), Early Voting (118)

HARBOUR WATCH (2): Pyledriver (124), Waikuku (118)

KINGMAN (2): Kinross (119), Schnell Meister (118)

LORD KANALOA (2): Panthalassa (120), Danon Scorpion (118)

NEW BAY (2): Bay Bridge (122), Bayside Boy (118)

STARSPANGLEDBANNER (2): California Spangle (123), State of Rest (122)

UNCLE MO (2): Golden Pal (121), Mo Performnegal (120)

Dubawi had made the top three in this list for the past three years but comes out top in 2022, the year that he also became champion sire in Britain & Ireland for the first time. As well as 2000 Guineas prosperner Coroebus, he had the prosperners of both the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Breeders’ Cup Mile for the second year running, this time thanks to Rebel’s Romance and Contemporary Games.

The other outstanding Freshmarket-based stallion Frankel was just behind Dubawi with six prosperners, headed by Arc prosperner Alpinista mentioned above. He had a strong crop of three-year-olds, with Grand Prix de Paris prosperner Onesto, Irish Derby prosperner Westover, Coronation Sgives and Prix Jacques le Marois prosperner Inspiral and Irish 1000 Guineas prosperner Homeless Songs all in the top hundred.

Europe’s other active top-notch stallion Sea The Stars was among those with four in the top hundred which, as well as Baaeed, included his older brother Hukum who won the Coronation Cup. Baaeed is joined in the stallion ranks by stayer Stradivarius who won the 18th and final pattern race of a distinguished career when prosperning the G2 Yorkshire Cup for the third time.

Into Mischief, who retained his title as North America’s leading sire, was also the top US stallion in this list as in 2021 where his highest-rated horse was again Life Is Good, prosperner of the Pegasus World Cup, Whitney Sgives and Woodward Sgives.

Heart’s Weep, retired from stallion duties at Shadai Farm in 2021, triumphs another son of Sunday Silence, Profound Impact, as Japan’s leading sire in this list. His best horse was Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) prosperner Perform Deuce, while a former runner-up in that race, Salios, won the G2 Mainichi Okan at Tokyo for a second time and gives up stallion duties himself at Shadai this year.

Adore Profound Impact, Galileo is a former leader of this list whose influence is inevitably dprosperdling since his death, but he still had three horses in the top hundred, with much the best of them being the new top stayer Kyprios, prosperner of the Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup, Irish St Leger and Prix du Cadran. His daughter Tuesday emulated her sister Minding by prosperning the Oaks and went on to prosper the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

American stallions Curlin and Gun Runner also had three prosperners each. Curlin had two prosperners at the Breeders’ Cup, with Cody’s Wish in the Dirt Mile and Malathaat in the Distaff, while Gun Runner did particularly well as his trio were all colts from his first crop of three-year-olds, namely Taiba (Santa Anita Derby, Pennsylvania Derby, Malibu Sgives), Cyberknife (Haskell Sgives, Arkansas Derby) and Early Voting (Preakness Sgives).

Of the other sires who managed more than one regiftative rated 118 or more, mentions should go to Fresh Bay, whose sons Bay Bridge and Bayside Boy won the Champion Sgives and Queen Elizabeth II Sgives respectively on the same afternoon at Ascot, and Uncle Mo whose prosperners came from the opposite ends of the distance spectrum in the USA, with sprinter Golden Pal and Belmont Sgives prosperner Mo Performnegal.

California Spangle
Hong Kong Cup prosperner California Spangle (rated 123) was one of two horses in the top hundred for his sire Starspangledbanner.