Group 1 winners Lankan Rupee and Terravista were rated the equal top sprinters in the world in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (WBRR) for 2014 when they were released by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) overnight in London.
Lankan Rupee and Terravista recorded Group 1 wins over the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival and were both rated at 123 with the promising Chautauqua hot on their heels with a rating of 122 following his second to Terravista in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington.
Lankan Rupee’s only Group 1 success in the Spring was his narrow win in the $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley but that was on the back a Group 1 winning hat trick during the 2014 Autumn Carnival.
The Mick Price trained super sprinter took out the $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, the $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and the $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Australia’s WBRR representative, Greg Carpenter, said that the rankings were a correct assessment of the standard of Australian sprinters and their position among the rest of the world.
“To have three Australian sprinters ranked so highly in the same year is quite rare and it underlines the strength and respect that our sprinters have on the world stage,” Carpenter told Racing Victoria News.
“2014 was a breakout year for Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Chautauqua and their high rankings underscore the exciting year ahead for Australian racing fans.”
Super Japanese galloper Just A Way headed the overall rankings as the best racehorse in the world with a rating of 130.
Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Chautauqua are likely to clash at some stage during the rich Autumn Carnivals in Melbourne and Sydney.
Price has earmarked the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 21 as Lankan Rupee’s first Autumn appearance while trainer Joe Pride is aiming Terravista for a first up win in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
Lankan Rupee and the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua are also being aimed at the Newmarket Handicap down the Flemington straight.
And all three sprinters could clash again in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 4, the first day of ‘The Championship.’
Price has been happy with the progress of Lankan Rupee and expects the bold striding sprinter to perform well again at the highest level over the Autumn Carnival.
“He is very well,” Price said.
“The horse is very fit, fresh and well in himself.
“He has plenty of great condition on him and his feet are great.
“It would be difficult for me to say that the horse has physically improved to the point that he has an advantage on Chautauqua, Deep Field or Terravista, but he is obviously one of them.
“He needs things run the right way.”
All three sprinters are at the top of the market order for the T J Smith Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au placing Terravista on top at $4.60 just ahead of stablemates Chautauqua at $5 and Deep Field at $6 while Lankan Rupee is marked as an $8 chance.