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Longines world rankings published

Too Darn HotToo Darn Hot has been announced the European Champion Two-Year-Old of 2018 with a rating of 126 as the 2018 European Two-Year-Old Classifications were published.

The son of Dubawi proved himself the best two-year-old in Europe since Frankel shared top honours with Dream Ahead on the same rating in 2010. There has been no juvenile rated higher since Xaar in 1997.

2018 was a strong year at the top of the two-year-old tree with no fewer than six horses rated at 118 or above. Those ratings came from strung-out finishes to the best three races; the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and the Juddmonte Middle Park.

It was a stellar year for Dubawi. The Darley stallion is responsible for the best two juveniles of 2018 in Too Darn Hot and Quorto, and the pair went into winter quarters as the unbeaten winners of seven races between them.

The BHA’s Lead two-year-old Handicapper Graeme Smith said:“Too Darn Hot confirmed himself an outstanding juvenile in the Dewhurst where he put some strong form lines firmly in the shade. The last three two-year-olds rated at his level went on to win 15 Group 1s between them, and in what promises to be an above-average classic crop he already sets a lofty standard with the potential of better still.”

John Gosden has enjoyed huge success with three-year-olds and upwards in recent years but Too Darn Hot is just his second champion juvenile, following on from Oasis Dream in 2002. This year Gosden has two juveniles in the top 10, with his Coventry-winner Calyx achieving a rating as high as 115 despite having his season limited to just two races within 11 days in June.

The leading juvenile filly of 2018 was also housed in Newmarket in the shape of Pretty Pollyanna. Michael Bell’s daughter of Oasis Dream came to prominence with a dominant performance in the town’s Duchess of Cambridge Stakes in July, and later backed that up with a harder-fought success in the Group 1 Prix Morny in Deauville. She failed to carry her form through to two autumn Group 1 targets but, nevertheless, her 116 performance remains the benchmark in the fillies’ division.

Mark Bird, Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Handicapper and delegate at the European two-year-old meeting, said: “Quorto put up the best performance by a juvenile in Ireland in 2018, following in the footsteps of his sire Dubawi in winning both the Bet365 Superlative Stakes and the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at two, and he rates just 1lb below his sire as a two-year-old on 121.

“The leading Irish-trained juvenile was Aidan O’Brien’s Ten Sovereigns, who completed an unbeaten season with a defeat of Jash in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes and who ends the year on a rating of 120, which is 1lb ahead of the figure achieved by his sire No Nay Never at two.”

Overall, 44 juveniles achieved a rating of 110 or above in 2018 which is slightly down historically, with the average since 2010 sitting at 47. There was an even split between British and Irish-trained horses at 20 each. That continues the trend of increasing depth in Ireland and this year’s total is bettered only by 21 Irish juveniles in 2011.

Three French-trained colts in the classification are headed by the exciting Persian King. Andre Fabre’s giant Kingman colt impressed on the sectionals when beating the subsequent Vertem Trophy winner Magna Grecia in the Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes. He could well take higher order in the three-year-old classification of 2019.

24 January 2019

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