In a decision guaranteed to spark passionate arguments around the world Australia’s champion mare and first ever to top the World Thoroughbred Rankings has been knocked off the number one spot.
That title has gone to English galloper Frankel after an undoubtedly impressive effort in winning the Group 1 2000 Guineas over 1600m at Newmarket.
Trained by Henry Cecil, the son of Galileo developed a lead as long as 15 lengths during the middle of the race and he never looked like being threatened as he cruised across the line with a final winning margin of five lengths.
The win saw him elevated to 142 on the Timeform ratings, easily surpassing the 135 achieved by Black Caviar when she won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap with a 58kg weight.
In fact so highly did the officials rate the run of Frankel that he now sits fourth all time ahead of the likes of See The Stars and Mill Reef.
Even more surprisingly is he’s only a few points off the highest rated runner in history, Sea Bird II on a rating of 145.
While Black Caviar remains second in the world, many are questioning the credibility of the ratings system when their race victories are compared.
Frankel is unbeaten from just six starts, with four runs as a two-year-old including one Group 1 and two as a three-year-old with another Group 1.
While the manner of his most recent victory was quite spectacular, his record is nothing when stacked up against the resume of Black Caviar.
She’s won 12 from 12 including five Group 1 victories, all by multiple lengths and added to that are a further four Group 2 triumphs.
While arguments will rage back and forth about which is better and why, there’s no doubt the obvious mismatch in statistics does cast doubt on the ratings system as a whole.
In the end the defining question should always be, which would you prefer to own right now?
It’s a question that for most leads to only one answer, Black Caviar, the best horse on the planet.