Hong Kong-trained horses reached a new benchmark in 2016 with 26 horses included in the year-end LONGINES World��s Best Racehorse Rankings. That figure bettered Hong Kong��s previous peak tally of 23, achieved in 2014 and 2015.
nternational Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) announced the rankings yesterday (24 January), during a ceremony at Claridge��s Hotel, London. A panel of international handicappers determined the rankings.
ong Kong��s Horse of the Year Werther achieved the jurisdiction��s top position for 2016 at equal eighth on the list.
er��s rating of 124 was achieved for a brilliant wide-margin victory in last April��s G1 AP QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin. That effort ensured the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner was the joint fifth highest-rated turf horse in the world in 2016.
ist ranked Aerovelocity as the world��s joint-fourth best sprinter, with a mark of 120 for December��s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) victory.
Hong Kong horses made it into the world��s top 50, three more than last year.
total of 40 individual performances achieved in Hong Kong were rated highly enough to make the elite list, six by horses not trained in Hong Kong. The best of those was Japanese star Maurice��s triumph in December��s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), which merited a rating of 127 - equal fifth overall and joint third best among turf performers.
er Japanese hero, Satono Crown, earned a rating of 123 for his win over fellow 123-rated Highland Reel in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m), a performance that saw him rated the world��s equal second-best turf horse in the long distance category.
r. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club��s Chief Executive Officer, said: ��Achieving 23 horses in the World��s Best Rankings in 2014 and 2015 was an outstanding feat but Hong Kong racing never rests on its laurels. To have 26 horses in the elite rankings this time is a great achievement and illustrates the continuing progress the sport in Hong Kong is making within a framework of informed strategies.
trategies reward quality and I must thank our loyal owners for continuing to source premium bloodstock from all parts of the world. With the talent in our current four-year-old crop, there is plenty of optimism going forward that some of those rising talents will feature in next year��s rankings as we relentlessly seek to improve to higher levels.��
nthony Kelly, the Hong Kong Jockey Club��s Executive Director, Racing Business and Operations, said: ��It is less than 20 years since a Hong Kong-trained horse first ranked highly enough to make the world list and now we have 26 in the LONGINES World��s Best Racehorse Rankings. Since 2011, Hong Kong has been consistent in achieving more than 20 horses in the year-end rankings and the excellent 2016 tally is an indicator that things are continuing in the right direction.
articularly noteworthy that, from a race horse population of about 1200, eight Hong Kong horses are ranked in the top 50, which is more than France and Australia achieved and compares favourably to Ireland and Japan��s 11. Hong Kong continues to cement its position as a world leader in horse racing.��
LONGINES World��s Best Racehorse Rankings 2016
U>Hong Kong Trained Horses in World Rankings since 1998