WORLD CLASS: Golden Horn eclipses last two world champions   Leave a comment

Golden Horn (Frankie Dettori)

Golden Horn draws clear of The Grey Gatsby in the Coral-Eclipse

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (

Golden Horn eclipses last two world champions

WORLD CLASS: an analysis of the international scene according to Racing Post Ratings

GOLDEN HORN moved to the top of the global RPR rankings after breaking the heart of Britain’s leading older horse in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes on Saturday.

The unbeaten colt already held a huge advantage over his generation after twice dominating the runaway Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs, but at the weekend he showed that same superiority over his elders.

It seems like nothing can touch John Gosden’s colt in Europe and with an RPR of 132 for his three-and-a-half length success over The Grey Gatsby (125) he stands out as a likely world champion.

In a good year, two or three horses break into the 130-club on RPRs, but standards have slipped in the last couple of years and Gosden’s colt already ranks above the last two world champions Just A Way (130) and Treve (131).

In fact, no horse has earned an RPR higher than 132 since all-time legends Frankel (143) and Black Caviar (133).

After just two Group 1 wins it may seem early to be lauding a potential world champion but it’s increasingly hard to make a case against him as he continues to beat the best horses around by clear daylight.

Another interesting angle on Golden Horn is the Sea The Stars comparison, as John Oxx’s colt was considered one of the best of all time after landing the Guineas-Derby-Eclipse treble, but after becoming the first ever Dante-Derby-Eclipse winner the world hasn’t latched on to Golden Horn in quite the same way.

Handicapping is all about superiority and hierarchy and while Gosden’s colt is still some way off the exploits of Black Caviar, who was markedly better than another superstar in Hay List, and Frankel, who was around six-lengths better than a host of multiple Group 1 winners, he’s already established an awful lot in just five career starts.

Frankie Dettori said he was the best three-year-old he had ever ridden, which would put him above huge names like Dubai Millennium, Treve, Raven’s Pass, Dubawi, Mark Of Esteem and Lammtarra. He’s not quite the best of those on RPRs yet but he’s certainly in the ballpark.

On Saturday he achieved what most three-year-olds need to gain a foothold in history by beating his elders. And he didn’t just beat The Grey Gatsby, he exposed him.

The Grey Gatsby is well known for his strong late finish. He got up late to defeat Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes and just failed to nail Free Eagle in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes last month after meeting trouble in running.

But after eye-balling Golden Horn for two furlongs up the long Sandown straight the four-year-old was unable to kick-on in typical fashion and instead curled up in the final furlong as he watched the relentless youngster dash clear to the line.

The form and ratings are well supported by Western Hymn and Cougar Mountain, who came within three-lengths and two-lengths of winning Group 1s at Royal Ascot on their previous starts, but couldn’t get within eight lengths of Saturday’s winner.

Put simply, Golden Horn looks head, shoulders, hooves and tail (and a bit more) the best horse in Europe over 1m2f to 1m4f and if he turns up for the King George in the same shape he should win by a good few lengths.

The potential negatives over his latest win are that Frankie is a genius at front-running tactics (although this was not a tactical race) and that The Grey Gatsby prefers to be held-up off a stronger pace. But in the end the superiority was clear and however the race was run Golden Horn would have won comfortably.

Connections are treading carefully regarding running plans and they will take time to decide whether he will take in the King George in three weeks time, for which he is an even-money favourite.

As mentioned in World Class last week he also remains a possible for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October depending on the state of the ground. Any runs further afield seem unlikely.

On Saturday night Belmont Park hosted the Belmont Derby Invitational. It was worth almost double the prize-money of the Coral-Eclipse, but the field was nowhere near as talented as those that lined-up at Sandown.

It was run at a sedate pace typical of American turf racing (75.38s to the 6f) and the handily-placed Force The Pass (111) burst clear early in the straight to win the valuable feature with nothing else getting involved.

Irish raider Postulation (99+) was held-up and ran just below his best in sixth, although he still picked up a purse similar to the one he received for winning a Listed race at the Curragh on his previous start.

Belmont Park’s million dollar race attracted Toast Of New York, Adelaide and Gailo Chop last year and it should continue to draw its fair share of international interest, while the Coral-Eclipse should continue to attract its fair share of superstars. Prize-money only counts for so much.

TOP OF THE CLASS Golden Horn 132 John Gosden (GB) (Coral-Eclipse, Sandown, 1m2f7y, July 4)


Name (country trained) Race Rating
1 Golden Horn (GB) Coral-Eclipse 132T
2 Shared Belief (US) San Antonio 128D
3 American Pharoah (US) Preakness Stakes 127D
Golden Horn (GB) Derby 127T
5 Lankan Rupee (Aus) Black Caviar Lightning 126T
6 California Chrome (US) San Antonio 125D
Solow (Fr) Dubai Turf 125T
The Grey Gatsby (GB) Prince Of Wales’s 125T
9 Able Friend (HK) Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup 124T
Brazen Beau (Aus) Newmarket Handicap 124T
Flintshire (Fr) Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud 124T
Free Eagle (Ire) Prince Of Wales’s 124T
Prince Bishop (UAE) Dubai World Cup 124D


Name (country trained) Race Rating
1 Golden Horn (GB) Coral-Eclipse 132
2 Lankan Rupee (Aus) Black Caviar Lightning 126
3 Solow (Fr) Dubai Turf 125
The Grey Gatsby (GB) Prince Of Wales’s 125
5 Able Friend (HK) Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup 124
Brazen Beau (Aus) Newmarket Handicap 124
Flintshire (Fr) Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud 124
Free Eagle (Ire) Prince Of Wales’s 124
Gleneagles (Ire) 2,000 Guineas 124
10 Designs On Rome (HK) Centenary Vase 123
Duramente (Jpn) Satsuki Sho 123
Muhaarar (GB) Commonwealth Cup 123
Snow Sky (GB) Hardwicke Stakes 123
Treve (Fr) Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud 123
Undrafted (US) Diamond Jubilee 123


Name (country trained) Race Rating
1 Shared Belief (US) San Antonio 128
2 American Pharoah (US) Preakness Stakes 127
3 California Chrome (US) San Antonio 125
4 Prince Bishop (UAE) Dubai World Cup 124
5 Honor Code (US) Met Mile 123
6 Private Zone (US) Churchill Downs Stakes 122
Firing Line (US) Kentucky Derby 122
8 Salutos Amigos (US) Tom Fool Handicap 120
9 African Story (UAE) Al Maktoum Challenge R3 119
Copano Rickey (Jpn) Hai Tokai Stakes 119
Private Zone (US) Gulfstream Park Handicap 119
Rock Fall (US) True North 119
Secret Circle (US) Dubai Golden Shaheen 119
Tonalist (US) Met Mile

Posted July 8, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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