Britain’s studs and strength in depth of racing in spotlight at Longines Awards

The strength of the British breeding industry was highlighted at the Longines World’s Best Horse Race & Racehorse Awards on Wednesday afternoon, with 128-rated co-winners WALDGEIST (GB), ENABLE (GB) and CRYSTAL OCEAN (GB) all flying the flag for Britain’s studs.

WALDGEIST (GB) became a four-time Group 1 winner when storming to success in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last October – announced at the awards ceremony as the 2019 World’s Best Horse Race – for co-breeders Newsells Park Stud.

The chestnut was bred at the Hertfordshire operation in association with Coolmore and co-owners Gestut Ammerland under the banner of ‘The Waldlerche Partnership’.

The 2019 Arc result was a landmark one for Newsells Park, given that the stud also bred fourth-placed JAPAN (GB), who was awarded second best three-year-old by Longines and the IFHA, and stand stallion NATHANIEL, sire of runner-up and two-time race winner ENABLE (GB).

ENABLE (GB), who is the only one of the top-rated horses to remain in training for 2020, was bred at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket by Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms operation.

In securing a trio of Group 1 titles in 2019, including both the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot Racecourse and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park Racecourse, ENABLE (GB) became the first European mare to exceed career earnings of £10million.

CRYSTAL OCEAN (GB), who was bred by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild at his Southcourt Stud in Bedfordshire, progressed from a Group 2 winner to a Group 1 winning five-year-old in 2019 when securing the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Amanda Prior, General Manager of GBRI, commented: ‘Enable, Crystal Ocean and Waldgeist have been stalwarts of the global Flat season over the past few years, scooping a total of 15 Group 1 wins between them.

‘Their owners’ British-based breeding operations are renowned for producing world-class racehorses year in, year out, so it is wonderful to see these three representatives recognised by Longines and the IFHA as the joint world’s best racehorses in 2019.’

The quality of Britain’s racing was also recognised at the awards ceremony, as four of the country’s contests made it into the top ten most highly rated races worldwide in 2019.

Ascot Racecourse was doubly represented in the top ten, with the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes faring the best of its exceptional repertoire of races with a rating of 125.75, which put it half a point behind the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the top spot.

The 2019 renewal of the late-July contest delivered a memorable tussle between ENABLE (GB) and CRYSTAL OCEAN (GB), with WALDGEIST (GB) picking up third place honours.

Meanwhile, the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes retained its third-place spot in the World’s Best Horse Race rankings with a rating of 124.25. Victory for CRYSTAL OCEAN (GB) in this most recent renewal of the race secured an 80th Royal Ascot win for trainer Sir Michael Stoute.

Sandown Park Racecourse’s Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, which represented a first of three top-level successes of the year for ENABLE (GB), secured the fourth highest rating of 123.00.

Meanwhile, York Racecourse’s Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes, which was the world’s top-rated race from 2012 until 2014, achieved a rating of 122.00. This put it in joint eighth spot along with the Group 1 Arima Kinen and the Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Prior commented: ‘Once again, the Longines World’s Best Horse Race rankings have shown that Britain’s races boast unparalleled strength in depth.

‘To have four races in the world’s top ten – twice as many as any other country, as was the case in the 2017 rankings – is a wonderful testament to Britain’s racecourses, whose teams work tirelessly to attract world-class fields to contest their most coveted prizes.’