At a ceremony held at Claridge’s Hotel in London on Tuesday, 20 January 2015, Longines and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities announced their rankings for the World’s Best Racehorses for 2014.
Topping the board with a rating of 130 was the Japanese-bred Just A Way (Heart’s Cry – Sibyl). The six-year-old, whose track victories include the Dubai Duty Free and the Gr1 Yasuda Kinen, has recently joined his sire Heart’s Cry at the Shadai Stallion Station’s Hokkaido farm. Owner Mr Akatsuki Yamatoya expressed his delight at receiving his award in London, relating that the first time he had been to the UK was as part of the ownership syndicate of Heart’s Cry. Along with his partners, he’d been to Ascot and watched his horse finish 3rd in the Gr1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in 2006. The experience made him determined to be an owner in his own right and he was thrilled that his second visit to the British Isles should be to receive the award for the 2014 World’s Best Racehorse. “I’m starting to really like England,” he quipped.
In second position was another Japanese bred in Epiphaneia (Symboli Kris S – Cesario). Naosuke Sugai’s charge racked up wins in the Gr1 Japan Cup, the Gr1 Yasuda Kinen and the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free to earn his rating of 129.
Third position with a ranking of 127, saw a staggering 5-way tie between South Africa’s Gr1 Champions Mile winner Variety Club, Gr1 Hong Kong Mile winner Able Friend, Gr1 Qipco Irish Champions Stakes winner The Grey Gatsby, European Champion Miler and European Horse of the Year, Kingman and dual Derby hero Australia.
The connections of each horse were presented with a Longines timepiece, commemorative framed photographs and the top ranked horse was also presented with a replica of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse vase.