Currently the recently retired Harbinger is ranked as the best thoroughbred racehorse in the world, this based on his devastating 11 length King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory. Canford Cliffs is ranked second - and Quality Road and Workforce equal third.
Last year So You Think was ranked equal 19th best racehorse in the world with the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities) after his Cox Plate victory - and Emirates Stakes second placing.
There are some exceptional horses still gracing the world racetracks at present, with Rip Van Winkle, Zenyatta, and Goldikova, being in their number. Their ranking based upon performance in Group pattern races around the globe.
I base my ranking of horses on the purely objective aspect of speed. How much faster can one horse run compared to another. Measure and assess.
And on speedfigures, So You Think would be very near the apex of equine racetrack performance anywhere in the world.
Speedfigures don’t lie. Although a speedfigure cannot be predictive, it does give a true assessment of the merit of a horse as a snapshot in time. As does a Timeform rating. As does the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities) World Thoroughbred Rankings. So You Think previously produced the best speedfigures I have encountered in the twenty-two years I have been using speedfigures for racehorse assessment in Australia. The champions Might And Power and Northerly went very close, but So You Think, at only his 6th racetrack appearance, produced the best speedfigures ever, in the best race in Australia. Conclusive. Fact.
The world has seen Australia’s best sprinters recently dominate in England. But Miss Andretti, Takeover Target, Choisir, Scenic Blast, and Starspangledbanner, could not get close to the speedfigures produced by the precocious High Chaparral 3 year old So You Think when he won the Group 1 (2040 metres) WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in 2009.
But what would follow for So You Think would be the aborted Autumn campaign and his wind (roaring) problem needing rectification through surgery. Could he return after 10 months away from racing - and on a rain affected track not conducive to his best - and still defeat a stellar field in the Memsie Stakes? A field comprising of Typhoon Tracy (5 wins at Group 1 in 2009 - and most likely to soon be crowned Racehorse of the Year); Shoot Out (AJC Derby winner who was undefeated in 2 Spring appearances); and Whobegotyou (last year’s Cox Plate favourite and dual Group 1 winner).
And he was never going to lose.
Blinkers were added to So You Think before the 2009 Caulfield Guineas to sharpen him up - but a slow beginning and bad luck in running made their use inconclusive. But at his following two starts the blinkers had him fired up and for the first time in his career racing forward. His all-the-way win in the Cox Plate was breathtaking (and not only to the eye - remember the speedfigures as well). And then the most valiant 2nd placing in the Group 1 Emirates when far too much use was made of him by Glen Boss, much to the chagrin of trainer Bart Cummings.
Come spell. Come operation to correct wind problem. Come nominations and subsequent non-acceptance trying to avoid wet tracks.
(finally) Come race day. Now without blinkers. Not needed now as the four year old stallion has his racing style - and that style is one of imposition and ultimate domination.
Typhoon Tracy led, but surprisingly being rated too conservatively, and So You Think was just cruising behind her off the moderate tempo. There was to be later in the race the seemingly irresistible challenge issued by Michael Rodd on Whobegotyou as they surged forward to the girth of So You Think on straightening. But even ‘Whobe’ could not get past him. And a late surge from Shoot Out (another of High Chaparral’s progeny) got him past the weakening Typhoon Tracy, although still a well-beaten third.
So You Think looks like a champion with his strength and size and demeanour. He is now quoted as favourite to win a consecutive WS Cox Plate prize at Moonee Valley in October.
Speedratings selected So You Think to win the feature race at Caulfield last Saturday. The top four speed horses filled the first four placings. Three other races on the eight race program were won by the top speed selections (these based on peak career speed performance and recent speed performance).