Japan Cup Was 2020’s Best Race

TRC Algorhythm is totally objective

The Japan Cup last November was the best race in the world in 2020, according to the new TRC Computer Race Ratings.

That is one of many notable differences in the list, published below, compared with the equivalent rankings from the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities).

Almond Eye wins November’s Japan Cup from Triple Crown winners Contrail (second left) and Daring Tact (second right) (Pic – Japan Racing Association)

The mile-and-a-half Tokyo showpiece was won by the now-retired Almond Eye from Triple Crown winners Contrail and Daring Tact and ten other Graded-race winners, five of them successful in Gr1’s (including one in a top-flight race in France and another in one in Hong Kong).

Right behind it as the second-best race of the year is another Tokyo contest won by Almond Eye – the two-furlong-shorter Tenno Sho (Autumn) run just four weeks before the Japan Cup. The mare won that from three-time Gr1 winners Fierement and Chrono Genesis and four others with Gr1’s to their name.

No wonder the 9-time Gr1 winner ended the year as #1 in the TRC Global Horse Rankings, a position she is likely to hold for another few weeks until the 180-day rule kicks in (the computer drops individuals from published rankings if they have not competed in Group/Graded events for 180 days.

TRC’s 20 best races of 2020 worldwide – click to enlarge for reading

The inaugural running of the Gr1 Saudi Cup emerged as the third-best race of the year. It is not included in the IFHA list, which ranks only Gr1’s.

However, as is the case with a number of races, including The Everest at Randwick and the Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin, it is rated as a Gr1, based on the quality of the field.

The Japan Cup is third in the IFHA top 100, behind the Juddmonte International at York (won by Ghaiyyath) and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown (won by Magical, from Ghaiyyath).

TRC Computer Race Rankings has those two races at fourth and joint-seventh respectively.

The IFHA puts the Tenno Sho (Autumn) as joint 4th with the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which means it is rated a better race than the Breeders’ Cup Classic (joint 14th).

The TRC algorithm can place the BC Turf no higher than 28th, but have the BC Classic fifth.

IFHA’s top 20 races of 2020 – click to enlarge for reading

The IFHA race ratings are based on the Longines World’s Best Racehorses classification, taken from assessments by handicappers representing member jurisdictions.

TRC Computer Race Ratings are drawn from thousands and thousands of form lines connecting horses around the world.

You may not think there can be many if any links between, say, a mile race in Australia and a ten-furlong event in Ireland or a seven-furlong contest on dirt in North America, but there is invariably a spider’s web of connections that make comparisons relatively simple – to a computer.

You can use as many human experts as you can find, but there is no way they can remotely begin to trace so many links manually, and it is a tribute to the IFHA’s team that they produce such diligent work year-in, year-out.

The TRC algorithm is totally objective, totally devoid of bias. It takes zero consideration of the identity of the race or its prize fund. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Arc, the Kentucky Derby, the Melbourne Cup or a G3 at Baden Baden, each is just another horserace to the computer.

Read more on www.thoroughbredracing.com

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