Aussie sprinters dominate World Rankings

Australian sprinters have again been recognised as the world’s best in 2014.

The latest world rankings were issued by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) on Tuesday.  To merit inclusion, a horse must have been rated at 115 or above in the period between January 1 and November 9.

The Mick Price-trained Lankan Rupee (123) and Joe Pride’s star five-year-old Terravista (123) shared the title of Champion Sprinter in the World ahead of Chautauqua (122).

Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice) was unbeatable in a summer-autumn campaign that saw him claim the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Hcp and T.J. Smith Stakes treble.  He returned to win the G1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in October and was crowned Australian Racehorse of the Year.

Lankan Rupee received his mark of 123 in the Newmarket Handicap, where he carried 56.5kg to victory, beating crack Queensland sprinter Spirit Of Boom (115) by more than two lengths.

He again achieved a rating of 123 in his dominant victory in the T.J. Smith Stakes where his rider, Craig Newitt, controlled the race from the front and won comfortably from Rebel Dane (116) and Buffering (117).

After a series of stakes wins in Sydney, Terravista (Captain Rio) ventured to Melbourne during the spring carnival where he was an emphatic winner of the G1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington, relegating Lankan Rupee into third place and running to a career high mark of 123.

Splitting the pair in the Darley Classic was the Team Hawkes trained gelding Chautauqua who, after dominant wins in the G2 Gilgai Stakes and G3 Bobbie Lewis Quality, received a WBRR ranking of 122 for his long-head defeat in the Darley Classic.

“To have three Australian sprinters ranked so highly in the same year is quite rare and it underlines the strength and respect that our sprinters have on the world stage,” Australia’s WBRR representative Greg Carpenter said.  “It was a breakout year for Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Chautauqua and their high rankings underscore the exciting year ahead for Australian racing fans.”

The other Australian-trained horses to achieve ratings in the elite level of 120 or higher were the Peter Moody-trained Dissident (121) and star miler Sacred Falls (120).

Dissident won three Group 1 races in 2014 but achieved his high mark when runner-up to Trust In A Gust (116) in the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m) at Caulfield, where he gave the winner 6kg in weight and was narrowly beaten in a driving finish.

Sacred Falls led a remarkable first-four finish for trainer Chris Waller when winning his second G1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick in April.  He achieved a career high rating of 120 in that race and again ran to the same mark when second to It’s A Dundeel in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at his next start.