American Pharoah has been crowned the 2015 LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse, making him the first United States –based runner since Curlin in 2008 to be rated the highest in the world. AMERICAN PHAROAH (USA)  was the first horse to sweep the American Triple Crown in 37 years, and he ran the highest rated race of his career in his final start, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
|LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings|
|1||AMERICAN PHAROAH (USA)||134||USA|
|2||GOLDEN HORN (GB)||130||GB|
|3||SHARED BELIEF (USA)||126||USA|
|5||ABLE FRIEND (AUS)||125||HK|
Making the then 3-year-old colt’s 6 ½ length victory in the Classic even more impressive is the fact all seven of his opponents won at least one Grade/Group 1 race in 2015.
American Pharoah, who was named America’s Horse of the Year, won seven of his eight starts in 2015, six of them coming in Grade 1 races. In addition to the Classic, his Grade 1 scores included the Triple Crown races—the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes presented by DraftKings—as well as the Arkansas Derby and William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes.
The only United States-based horse to be rated higher than American Pharoah in the last 20 years is Cigar, who finished 1996 at 135. In 2008, Curlin topped the rankings when he was rated at 130. Furthermore only two other American horses, Skip Away (1996) and Point Given (2001), reached a 130 rating as 3-year-olds.
American Pharoah was not the only impressive 3-year-old of 2015. Second in the rankings is GOLDEN HORN (GB) , who was named European Horse of the Year for his efforts. He won Group 1 races in three different countries, including the Investec Derby, Coral-Eclipse, QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, and Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Golden Horn’s 130 rating is equal to the highest rated horses in the world for the prior two years. In 2014, Just A Way (JPN) became the first Japan-based runner to take the title when he was rated at 130. For 2013, Black Caviar (AUS) and Treve (FR) shared the title at that rating.
TREVE (FR)  was highly-rated again during her 5-year-old season and finishes 2015 as the co-third highest rated horse in the world. Her two biggest victories of the year came in the Grand Prix Saint-Cloud (G1) and Qatar Prix Vermeille (G1). She finished fourth behind Golden Horn in the Arc, which she was attempting to win for a record third consecutive year.
Joining Treve in the third spot is SHARED BELIEF (USA) , who notched two victories during a season that was abbreviated by injury. The gelding started 2015 with an impressive victory in the San Antonio Invitational Stakes (G2), most notably defeating CALIFORNIA CHROME (USA) , America’s 2014 Horse of the Year who went on to finish second in the 2015 Dubai World Cup (G1) behind PRINCE BISHOP (IRE) .
Shared Belief followed the San Antonio with a sharp score in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) at the beginning of March. That performance led to his year-end rating of 126.
Injured during his next start, the Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2), Shared Belief was later diagnosed with a non-displaced hip fracture. He was put back in training late in 2015 before tragically succumbing to colic in early December.
Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year ABLE FRIEND (AUS)  once again finds himself near the top of the rankings. Victories in such top class races as the Stewards’ Cup (G1), Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (G1), and Champions Mile (G1) make him the fifth highest rated horse in the world. In 2014, the gelding was the co-third highest rated horse in the world.
Ranked co-fifth is France’s sensational miler SOLOW (FR) , who won all six of his starts in 2015 and is currently in the midst of a nine race winning-streak. He raced around the world, and his top victories of the year came in the Dubai Turf Sponsored by DP World (G1), Prix d’Ispahan (G1), Queen Anne Stakes (G1), Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1), and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by QIPCO (G1).
Sitting in seventh place is ORDER OF ST GEORGE (IRE) , whose most impressive victory of the year came in the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger (G1). He won that day by a stunning 11 lengths.
A multitude of horses from across the globe find themselves tied for the eighth spot in the 2015 LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. Among them are Australia’s sprinting sensations LANKAN RUPEE (AUS)  and CHAUTAUQUA (AUS)  as well as Europe’s crack sprinter MUHAARAR (GB) . Japan’s highest rated horse of the year, A SHIN HIKARI (JPN) , also lands in this spot after taking the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (G1).
The highest rated female runners in the world behind Treve are also co-rated at 123. Australia’s WINX (AUS)  beat the boys when she powered home 4 3/4 lengths in front of CRITERION (NZ)  in the William Hill Cox Plate (G1), while BEHOLDER (USA)  became the first filly or mare to ever to take the TVG Pacific Classic (G1). She did so in devastating style, winning by 8 ¼ lengths.
France’s DOLNIYA (FR)  impressed in the Dubai Sheema Classic Presented by LONGINES (G1), FOUND (IRE)  defeated Golden Horn in the LONGINES Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), MECCA’S ANGEL (IRE)  took the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1), and TEPIN (USA)  won the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to round female runners to achieve a rating of 120 or higher.
KEEN ICE (USA)  holds the distinction of being the only horse to ever beat American Pharoah in graded stakes company. He earned his ranking when he defeated the champion by three-quarters of a length in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
DURAMENTE (JPN)  garnered attention for his victories in the Satsuki Sho (G1) and Tokyo Yushun (G1) before injury put him on the sidelines, while MAURICE (JPN)  came on strong in the latter half of the year with wins in the Yasuda Kinen (G1), Mile Championship (G1) and LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (G1) for Japan.
CAPTAIN OF ALL (SAF)  won both the Tsogo Sun Sprint (G1) and Mercury Sprint (G1) in 2015 and represents South Africa, while Argentine sensation HI HAPPY (ARG)  finds himself in the rankings after winning the prestigious Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini (G1).
The full list and further information on the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are available on the IFHA website http://www.ifhaonline.org.
Notes to Editors
1. The full LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings can be found here. Also, a BOX link containing relevant media files, video clips etc can be found here.
2. The LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are compiled by the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee and published by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).
For further details on the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, please contact:
Nigel Gray, co-chairman, LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee
Head of Handicapping and Race Planning, Hong Kong Jockey Club
Telephone +852 2966 8337
Email [email protected]
Phillip Smith, co-chairman, LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee
Head of Handicapping, British Horseracing Authority
Telephone +44 1386 834004
Email [email protected]
3. For further details, please contact:
Secretary General, International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)
Telephone +1 859 224 2741
Email [email protected]
4. About IFHA
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing. Its members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage Thoroughbred races.
Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:
- Making and amending the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (the IABRW)
- Policy development relating to welfare and safety of horses and riders
- International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
- World Rankings
- Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
- Harmonization of Race Day Rules
- Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally
The IFHA is a foundation member with Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) of the International Horse Sports Confederation and is affiliated to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).