For a few minutes on Breeders’ Cup Saturday at Keeneland in October American Pharoah and Golden Horn, the two finest middle-distance three-year-olds of 2015, were within a few dozen yards of each other. Golden Horn, the Derby and Arc winner, had just finished a close second in the Turf, while American Pharoah, already the first Triple Crown winner for 37 years, was about to be saddled for the Classic.
That, however, was as close as they ever got on a racecourse and so it was left to racing’s international panel of handicappers to determine which of the two was the outstanding horse in a memorable year.
When their decision was published on Tuesday, it was emphatic. American Pharoah was rated the Longines International World’s Best Racehorse, with a final rating of 134, 4lb clear of Golden Horn, who was in turn another 4lb ahead of Treve, the Arc winner in 2013 and 2014.
Shared Belief, who died of colic in December, was a second US-trained horse in the top three, rated the equal of Treve on 126.
For South African racing fans, there was great news when Klawervlei sire Captain Of All was internationally acknowledged as the highest rated horse trained in South Africa in 2015.
The Longines World Best Racehorses Rankings for 2015 saw Captain Of All receive a rating of 121.
This places the Riverton Stud bred star equal to such outstanding racehorses as Al Kazeem (G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup), California Chrome (US Horse Of The Year), Highland Reel (G1 Secretariat Stakes, Hong Kong Vase), Make Believe (G1 French 2000 Guineas), Maurice (Japanese Horse Of The Year), Postponed (G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes), and G1 Dubai World Cup hero Prince Bishop.
Interestingly, Captain Of All’s rating of 121 is also equal to that of US champion Runhappy, an impressive winner of the 2015 Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Captain Of All is also rated above such notable international Gr1 winners as Criterion, Effinex, Erupt, Frosted, Prize Zone and Tonalist –to name but a few.
A son of Klawervlei’s great champion sire and dominant 2yo sire Captain Al, Captain Of All recently recognised local recognition for his brilliance when he was named Equus Champion Sprinter last season.
Now standing alongside his sire, Captain Of All’s seven wins, from just 12 outings, netted owners Markus and Ingrid Jooste more than R2.2 million in prize money.
A brilliant Gr1 winner at two, Captain Of All trained on superbly to win three more graded races, with his career culminating in a magnificent weight carrying display in the Gr1 Golden Horse Sprint, followed by a facile, four and a half length triumph over fellow Captain Al sired champion Carry On Alice in the Gr1 Mercury Sprint.
Thanks to www.theguardian.com – part report by SP Editorial staff