Hussler tops world rankings
Australia’s reigning Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler was rated the best three-year-old sprinter in the world for his win in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington last March.
The 2008 World Thoroughbred Rankings were released by the International Federation of Horse Authorities and to merit inclusion a horse must have been rated at 115 or above by the World Thoroughbred Rankings Conference.
The Ross McDonald-trained Weekend Hussler, winner of 12 of his 17 starts including seven Group Ones, was rated the highest three-year-old sprinter in the world on any surface, rating 122 for his Newmarket victory.
The joint top-rated horses at 130 for 2008 were America’s Curlin for his win in the Dubai World Cup in March and Ireland’s New Approach in winning the Champion Stakes at Newmarket in October.
Unbeaten French filly Zarkava was the highest-rated female in the world on 128 for her win in the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
Australian-bred horses dominated the rankings in the Turf Sprint category, providing 12 of the 24 horses.
Sacred Kingdom, by Encosta De Lago, was the highest-rated sprinter on turf at 123 for his win in the Chairman’s Prize at Sha Tin in Hong Kong in February.
Sacred Kingdom shared the honour of top ranked sprinter in the world on any surface with Midnight Lute (US) who won the Breeders Cup Sprint on dirt.
Of the 287 horses making the listings, 36 were Australian-trained.
That represented a record number of Australian-trained horses in any world rankings over a 12-month period, compared with 33 in 2007-08, 29 in 2006-07, 16 in 2005-06 and nine in the 2004-05 southern hemisphere racing season.
A further nine Australian-bred horses trained in other countries were also listed including Haradasun (120) who won the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot for Aidan O’Brien.