A world class honour for York’s Juddmonte

Published in Sport York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

FRANKEL’S super display in the Juddmonte International at York Racecourse last August ensured the flagship contest was the second-highest rated race in the world in 2012.

The £725,000 mile and a quarter race, in which the Sir Henry Cecil-trained wonder horse trounced Farhh by seven lengths in his first crack at the distance, was awarded the honour after a conference in Spain to assess the international ratings for racehorses.

Only the QIPCO Champion Stakes, also won by Frankel and staged at Ascot on British Champions Day in October, was considered to be higher rated.

The Juddmonte International scored 128.75 – a score configured because assessments of participating horses make it possible to rank the race.

That figure placed the Juddmonte above famed contests across the globe such as the Breeders Cup Classic, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the Derby, the Melbourne Cup and the Dubai World Cup.

William Derby, York chief executive and clerk of the course, said: “It was an honour that connections of Frankel chose to run him in the richest race ever staged on Knavesmire and this ranking also shows just how good his opposition was that memorable afternoon. In a summer of sporting success for Britain these global rankings demonstrate the high quality of racing in this country.”

Other York races also featured prominently in last year’s list with the Darley Yorkshire Oaks confirmed as the highest rated race in Britain for fillies and mares.

York featured prominently in similar assessments in 2009 when Sea The Stars won the Juddmonte International.

Then, only the Breeders Cup Classic and the Arc were rated higher than the York jewel.

Derby added: “The record investment in prize money was supported by connections of the world’s best racehorses and so achieved top-ranked racing performances in 2012.

“This strong showing has only strengthened the resolve of the team to keep on improving in the season ahead which is why I am delighted that we have recently announced a further significant boost to prize money for the 2012 race programme.

“The Juddmonte International itself will offer a record purse of £750,000 to the participants on Wednesday, August 21 and I can’t wait to see the horses back in action on Wednesday, May 15.”

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