THREE cheers went up when the unbeaten Lammtarra was officially acknowledged as the best horse in Europe in 1995 when heading the International Classifications with a creditable rating of 130. The Dubai-owned-and-trained colt ended his racing days when winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in early October with a gritty performance to repel the French four-year-old Freedom Cry. Lammtarra, ridden by Frankie Dettori, was having only his fourth career start when winning in Paris, and on the face of it, he was ushered into premature retirement, still with something to prove. But when the dust had settled on a rather confusing season, it was generally felt that the impeccably-bred three-year-old, while scarcely a Ribot, Nijinsky or Dancing Brave, was still worthy of acclaim as the season's outstanding racehorse. 'I could wait another 20 years and not ride one so good,' declared Frankie Dettori, who took over the regular mount on the colt when Walter Swinburn was controversially jocked-off during the summer. 'He fully deserves to be voted the best for 1995 - he earned it,' Dettori added. Lammtarra, a son of Triple Crown hero Nijinksy, out of a promoted winner of the Epsom Oaks in Snow Bride, ran only four times in public, for an initial win in the Washington Singer Stakes at Newbury when prepared by the late Alex Scott, and then the three big ones of 1995. He reeled off victories in the Derby at Epsom, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and the Arc, when sent out by Saeed bin Suroor under the Godolphin banner. While Lammtarra tops the list on 130 - not an outstanding mark compared to other years - the ultra-consistent miler Bahri, trained by John Dunlop, was second in line on 129, one pound behind him. The Geoff Wragg-trained Pentire, who probably should have beaten Lammtarra in the King George at Ascot in July, was given a mark of 126, the same as the outstanding Irish miler Ridgewood Pearl, winner of Group/Grade One races in four different countries during 1995. But what of the would-be heroes, those hyped in the early part of the season? Celtic Swing, the winner of the Prix du Jockey-Club (the French Derby) at Chantilly in June, was given a rating of 124. He never raced again after being badly injured when beaten in the Irish Derby in July. Pennekamp, the Andre Fabre-trained colt who beat Celtic Swing in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, was rated 125. He, too, sustained a serious injury, his occurring on flint hard ground in the Derby at Epsom; he has not run since, but is reportedly being prepared for the Dubai World Cup in March. Freedom Cry, on a rating of 128, was considered the best 'older' horse in Europe, although in the transatlantic assessments, the all-conquering Cigar came out top, on 132. Every year, the juvenile category attracts great attention, especially as this year's Classic winners are almost certain to spring from one of the upper rungs of the International Classification. Sheik Hamdan Al-Maktoum's Alhaarth, trained at Lambourn by Major Dick Hern, came out clear top on 126 following a string of impressive wins, culminating in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October. Alhaarth was rated four pounds superior to the Barry Hills-trained Royal Applause, winner of the Middle Park Stakes, and by no means certain to stay the one-mile distance of the 2,000 Guineas. Danehill Dancer was rated 120, with Blue Duster best filly, on 119. It will seem a little odd when the field for this season's King George VI Chase faces the starter at Sandown Park tonight (HK time). Dublin Flyer has dropped by the wayside, but otherwise the race has much the same look as when it was first scheduled to be run on Boxing Day at Kempton. The brilliant One Man is 9-4 favourite, with Barton Bank the 7-2 second elect, ahead of Master Oats and Merry Gale, who are both 5-1 shots. It will be more of a test of stamina at Sandown, which may be in favour of Master Oats.