Knicks Go Tops International Rankings


Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Knicks Go sits atop the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. (Photo credit: Bill Denver /Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM).

After a dominant performance in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Knicks Go (USA) [128] stands alone at the top of the ninth edition of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings for 2021.

From the start, Knicks Go sprinted clear of his rivals in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, eventually pulling away to a 2 ¾-length victory over Medina Spirit (USA) [123]. Essential Quality (USA) [122] was three-quarters of a length behind in third, while Hot Rod Charlie (USA) [121] finished fourth.

With his win in the Classic, Knicks Go improved his rating to 128 from 124. His other victories throughout the year include the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1), Whitney Stakes (G1), Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3), and Lukas Classic Stakes (G3).

Another horse who improved his rating during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships is Life Is Good (USA) [123]. His rating rose to 123 from 120 following his 5 ¾-length score in the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Furthermore, Yibir (GB) [120] is newly ranked following his win in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

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Knicks Go Wins Breeders’ Cup Classic

British Champions Day also played host to a number of memorable performances. Baaeed (GB) [124] is now co-seventh in the rankings following his performance in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1). The undefeated colt bested Palace Pier (GB) [125] by a neck to get the victory and raise his rating to 124 from 121. Additionally, Sealiway (FR) [123] finds himself ranked following his win in the Qipco Champion Stakes (G1). In that contest, he defeated Dubai Honour (IRE) [121], who is also now ranked, by three-quarters of a length.

In Japan, Efforia (JPN) [123] improved his rating to 123 from 120 by taking the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1) by a length over Contrail (JPN) [121]. Finishing a neck back in third was Gran Alegria (JPN) [121].

Meanwhile, several horses also put in impressive efforts this past month in Australia. Verry Elleegant (NZ) [122] is ranked following her four-length victory over Incentivise (AUS) [122] in the Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1), while State of Rest (IRE) [120] is ranked off of his win in the Ladbrokes Cox Plate (G1). Additionally, Masked Crusader (AUS) [122] is ranked following his game second to Nature Strip (AUS) [124] in the Tab Everest.

Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings


Rank Horse Rating Trained
7 BAAEED (GB) 124 GB


The Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings is horseracing’s equivalent to World Rankings by other major sporting organizations such as ATP Tennis Rankings, World Golf Rankings, FIFA World Rankings for soccer and IRB Rugby World Rankings. The Longines Rankings are based on the ratings earned by horses running worldwide from North and South America, Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Asia through to Australia and New Zealand.

The ratings are compiled under the auspices of The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) by racing officials & handicappers representing the five continents who compile the ranking order by agreeing on the rating for each horse. The ratings are based on the performance of horses in elite races held during the designated period which takes in account the quality of opposition and achievements of each horse. Throughout the year the Longines Rankings are published at regular intervals and the consolidated annual rankings are released in January. The annual rankings denote the champions in the various distance categories for example sprint or mile, surface either turf or dirt/artificial and also the fillies & mares category.

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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