Home' Breeding and Racing : Issue 115 March-April Contents 18 FOR DAILY INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES VISIT WWW.BREEDINGRACING.COM
uring the 2012/2013 season, the
resulting dominance of three-year-
olds at the cream of Gr1 racing in
Australia created much discussion
amongst racing commentators about the
superiority of that sophomore crop compared
to that of past halcyon years.
Specifically, comparisons were made with
the famous quartet comprising Octagonal,
Saintly, Nothin’ Leica Dane and Filante.
At this point in the season last year, the finish
of the Gr1 VRC Australian Cup was fought out
by the only two three-year-olds in the field, in
Super Cool and Fiveandahalfstar, with a four-
length margin to the next older horse. The 2014
edition again had representation by two three-
year-olds, with WS Cox Plate and Australian
Guineas hero Shamus Award leading until the
final furlong before succumbing to sixth, and
Thunder Fantasy managing eighth position.
It may only be one race and one example but
could this be clear evidence that last season’s
three-year-olds really were that special?
At the end of the last racing season, the
highest Timeform rating allocated to a three-
year-old in Australia was 129 – awarded to
All Too Hard. After a three-year-old season
that saw four G1 victories – in the Caulfield
Guineas, CF Orr Stakes, Futurity Stakes and
the All Aged Stakes – combined with a runner-
up effort in the WS Cox Plate, such a high
rating for the half-brother to Black Caviar
could not be denied. In comparison, with
four months of the 2013/2014 racing season
remaining, the current highest rated three-
year-old is Shamus Award with 124.
All Too Hard’s rating of 129 in 2012/2013
is the equal highest end of season Timeform
rating for a three-year-old in the last five years,
matching the rating given to Sepoy who won
the Gr1 Manikato Stakes and Coolmore Stud
Stakes as a dominant Spring three-year-old.
Timeform ratings for three-year-olds are
traditionally dominated by the boys. Of the
top 40 rated three-year-olds in the last five
years only five, or 12.5%, have been fillies.
It is no surprise that Atlantic Jewel has the
honour of being the highest rated three-year-
old filly over this time, achieving a rating of
128 following the extraordinary feat for a filly
of winning the Gr1 Thousand Guineas and
All Aged Stakes as a three-year-old.
In the 13 representatives from this year’s and
last year’s crop in the top 40 Timeform rated
three-year-olds, there is not one single filly. The
highest rated filly in the current crop is Gr1
Thousand Guineas and Flight Stakes winner
Guelph, with a rating of 120.
It is worth noting that Coolmore’s champion
sire Fastnet Rock is represented with an
astonishing eight (20 percent) of the top 40
Timeform rated three-year-olds over the last
Headlined by All Too Hard and making
up a total of eight of the top 40 rated horses
by Timeform over the five-year period, the
racetrack statistics for the three-year-old crop
of 2012/2013 are nothing less than significant.
These eight horses comprise four individual
classic winners with a combined 18 Gr1 victories
as three-year-olds and a winning distance range
of 1000m-2500m. More telling, is that nine of
these 18 Gr1 wins came at open sex weight-for-
age, fundamentally what the industry universally
classes as the best racing there is.
Only two of the eight three-year-olds from
the 2012/2013 crop failed to win in an open
weight-for-age contest at Gr1 level, however
they still produced outstanding performances
against older horses. It’s A Dundeel ran second
in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes to Reliable
Man, whilst Sacred Falls won, arguably, the
country’s greatest handicap over a mile at three
– the Doncaster Handicap.
In anyone’s calculation, the fact that last
year’s three-year-olds dominated the older
horses at Gr1 weight-for-age and triumphed
in an honour roll of the Australian racing
calendar – the All Aged Stakes, CF Orr
Stakes, Futurity Stakes, George Ryder Stakes,
Canterbury Stakes, Doomben 10,000, the
BMW, Australian Cup and BTC Cup – is an
almost impossibly tough act to follow.
With just over four months left in the racing
season for the three-year-old class of 2013/2014,
this crop is represented by five horses in the
Top 40 Timeform rated three-year-olds for the
past five years. These five horses include three
individual classic winners with seven three-
year-old Gr1 victories between them and a
winning distance range from 1100m-2500m.
Although only one of these Gr1 wins has
come at open sex weight-for-age, with Shamus
Award’s maiden success in the 2013 WS
Cox Plate, it is perhaps the most important
achievement possible for a three-year-old.
A feat restricted to virtual champions, past
three-year-old victors of the Cox Plate include
So You Think, Savabeel, Octagonal, Taj Rossi,
Red Anchor and Surround.
In terms of further racetrack comparison of
three-year-old crops for the last two years, let’s
now take a look at these five Timeform rated
horses within the top 40, and attempt to crystal
ball what could be in store for the remainder of
their season with the Sydney Autumn Carnival
on our doorstep.
Shamus Award – current
Timeform rating: 124
After failing to back up in the Australian Cup
a week after his brilliant Australian Guineas
performance, Shamus Award’s next assignment
is likely to be back to his own age in the Gr1
Rosehill Guineas (2000m). A following aim
could be the $4 million Queen Elizabeth
Stakes, where a win would catapult his rating
close to the likes of Sepoy and All Too Hard.
Polanski – current Timeform rating: 123
Tragically last year’s exciting VRC Derby
winner has run his last race and has been
retired after suffering a career-ending pastern
injury in the Futurity Stakes.
Complacent – current
Timeform rating: 122
The Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes winner and
VRC Derby runner up is also on the sidelines
until next Spring after going amiss early this
preparation. Don’t be surprised to see Darley
transfer Complacent to the Godolphin blue in
Long John – current
Timeform rating: 122
Since finishing down the track in the Cox Plate
following his victory in the time honoured
Caulfield Guineas, Sheikh Mohammed sent
the son of Street Cry to the care of Godolphin’s
Newmarket based trainer Charlie Appleby.
At his only international start, Long John
thrashed his rivals by 3.5 lengths in the Gr3
UAE 2,000 Guineas at Meydan last month.
All going well, a tilt at the $2 million Gr1 UAE
Derby is next on the cards.
THE MID SEASON
By Cassandra Simmonds
“In anyone’s calculation
[last season’s 3YO
performance] is an
almost impossibly tough
act to follow.”
p18-19_The Big Three Oh.indd 18
13/03/14 9:15 AM
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