Australian sprint superstar Black Caviar tops the charts
Australian sprinter Black Caviar has smashed the glass ceiling for sprinters in the latest world rankings released over the weekend, but the 'job vacant' sign for world-class stars in Hong Kong racing is still up.
Only three Hong Kong-trained horses made the world's top 55 for the period from October 1 to March 27 - the classification period when they might be expected to be most numerous as it takes in international day performances and most of the domestic Group One events.
For the same period a year ago, six Hong Kong horses were on the list - Egyptian Ra, Good Ba Ba, Collection, Sacred Kingdom, Viva Pataca and Happy Zero.
The list took in performances in that period that were credited with an international rating of 119 or above, with Sacred Kingdom (121) and Able One (120) joined by list newcomer Irian on 119 as the local representatives. The Peter Moody-trained Black Caviar (rated 130) became the first sprinter to be rated above 125 and her Newmarket Handicap win was listed as the world's superior performance by a horse over any surface or distance.
Second-ranked was the Breeders' Cup Classic winner Blame (129), ahead of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe quinella, Workforce (128) and Nakayama Festa (127) and Australia's other super horse, So You Think (126), who is now in training with Aidan O'Brien in Ireland. Black Caviar equalled Goldikova's 2009 mark as the highest-rated female since the classifications began regular publication in 2002, and she became both the first sprinter and the first Australian-based horse to the head the world rankings.
Black Caviar makes her first appearance outside Melbourne this Saturday when she goes right-handed for the first time in the Group One T J Smith Stakes at Randwick in Sydney.