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World’s Best in 2013?

Cirrus Des Aigles (FR)Cirrus Des Aigles (FR)

Here is a look at the candidates for the worlds best racehorse in 2013.  When superstar Frankel (Galileo) retired to stud this year, it left the title of the world’s number one racehorse up for grabs. Since the rankings were last published, no fewer than five of the top 12 horses have been retired to stud and another, Monterosso (Dubawi), has failed to capture his best form in subsequent outings. 

Currently the world’s highest rated performer is the French gelding Cirrus Des Aigles (Even Top), one of just 3 horses to get within two lengths of the imperious Frankel. Rated 131, he is one pound clear of unbeaten Black Caviar, who recently took her tally to 24 wins from as many starts.

But who will reign supreme as the world’s premier racehorse in 2013? North American Horse of the Year, Wise Dan (Wisemans Ferry), stays in training, and has definite strong claims to the spot, as do Japanese superstars Orfevre (Stay Gold) and Gentildonna (Deep Impact) – the latter having defeated Orfevre in last year’s Japan Cup. There are also a large number of promising 3yos coming through all round the world.

Galileo sons Kingsbarns, Mars, Telescope, Battle of Marengo and The United States are all in the betting for the 2013 Investec Derby, and anyone of them could train on to become the latest champion by the world’s best stallion. Champion Dawn Approach, who is unbeaten in six starts, currently heads the market for 2000 Guineas.

He has done nothing wrong in his career, and is clearly an exceptional colt in his own right. The well bred 3yo Verrazano (More Than Ready) is unbeaten in three starts in the USA, having won his races by an aggregate of 27 lengths, including the Gr3 Tampa Bay Derby.

A close relation of former SA sire Waldoboro, Verrazano is favourite for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

Broodmare extraordinaire Helsinge is not just the dam of Australia’s number one racehorse, but is also the dam of the exceptionally promising All Too Hard, who could conceivably make his dam one of a very few Australian bred mares to have been represented at Royal Ascot by two different runners (by two different sires!).

Ocean Park (Thorn Park), winner of Australia’s premier WFA race the G1 Cox Plate, and eight of his 14 starts, is a world-class performer, who competes in Saturday’s Gr1 Dubai Duty Free against some of the world’s top performers.


World Cup Pedigrees

Side GlanceSide Glance

The 13 declared runners for Saturday night’s $10 000 000 Dubai World Cup have pedigrees reflecting the remarkable variation in horse racing. Five are by Mr Prospector line stallions, six by Northern Dance line descendants, one (Animal Kingdom) is a Blushing Groom line horse, and the other traces back to the great Hyperion.

One of the runners, Side Glance, is by a stallion, Passing Glance, who currently stands for just 2,000 pounds, while, in contrast, Treasure Beach, is a son of the world’s most coveted stallion, Galileo.

Another cheaply bred purchase competing on the night is former Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden. The sole stakes winner for his sire Nicobar, Dunaden is the only black type horse in six generations on his female side. However, he is not only a former Melbourne Cup winner – to date, Dunaden has won over 4,600,000 pounds, and has captured both a Hong Kong Vase and a Caulfield Cup. So much for breeding!

Dubawi, a son of former World Cup winner Dubai Millennium, has two runners in Dubai’s showpiece race. This is further confirmation that Dubawi is one of the world’s very top sires, and it is quite possible that he could repeat his success of last year (when son Monterosso won the World Cup).  The horse also has runners in the Dubai Gold Cup, and Dubai Sheema Classic.

One mare whose influence continues to grow is Allegretta. The German bred legend truly makes her presence felt on World Cup night through her outstanding descendants Urban Sea and King’s Best. The latter has two strong chances on the night with Sajjhaa (Dubai Duty Free) and Royal Diamond (Sheema Classic). The uber dominant Galileo, a son of Urban Sea, has four runners on the night – Treasure Beach (World Cup), Igugu (Duty Free) Imperial Monarch (Gold Cup) and Averroes (Gold Cup). Another mare with more than one descendant competing on Saturday’s big night is Zahra (Habitat). Her son, Time Prisoner (Elusive Quality) is a runner in the Gr2 Godolphin Mile, while another descendant, SA’s Horse of the Year Igugu, lines up in the $5 000 000 Dubai Duty Free.

Saddler’s Rock, a runner in the Gr3 Dubai Gold Cup, is another runner with an interesting side note regarding his pedigree. Saddler’s Rock is the only stakes winner produced from the last crop of Sadler’s Wells, Europe’s dominant sire of the past 20 years.


Sadler’s Wells inbreeding on the rise?

Sadler's WellsSadler’s Wells

Rehn’s Nest, who gave her sire Authorized his first Group winner when winning the G3 Park Express Stakes, is intensely inbred to Sadler’s Wells.

This legendary stallion, whose sons Galileo and Montjeu have thoroughly dominated European classics over the past few seasons, is the grandsire of Authorized (Montjeu), while Galileo is the broodmare sire of this smart filly. But what significant results has the pattern produced thus far?  Up to the time of writing, the best horses in bred to Sadler’s Wells has been the G1 winners Kamsin (Grosser Preis von Baden) and Parish Hall (Dewhurst Stakes).

To date, the pattern has been produced in 458 foals – and thus far just eight have won stakes races. Five of these are group/graded winners, two of which won stakes races in Chile and Peru. While this pattern may well yet to go on to bigger and better things, inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells has certainly not been the overwhelming success one may have expected!

Only time will tell who is crowned the worlds best racehorse in 2013.