Don Cossack highest rated jumps horse for second year running

18 May 2016


Don Cossack
  • Don Cossack wins the 3 Mile Plus Chaser category for a second year running achieving a rating of 177
  • Sprinter Sacre’s almighty come back puts him at the top of the 2 mile Chasers
  • Thistlecrack tops 2 ½ mile plus hurdler making him equal to Big Buck’s


Don Cossack has again been announced the highest rated Jumps horse of the 2015/16 season at the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications press conference, hosted by the British Horseracing Authority and the Irish Turf Club.


The Gordon Elliott trained chaser was given a rating of 177 after his impressive performance in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. It is the second year Don Cossack has been top of the 3 mile plus chaser pile.


The rating of 177 puts him level with the likes of Best Mate, Kicking King and not far from 2012/13 winner Bobs Worth who was rated 180 in the list of the greatest chasers.


As well as the impressive performances from Don Cossack, the 2015/16 jumps season will also be remembered for the comeback king Sprinter Sacre. Trained by Nicky Henderson, Sprinter Sacre, played a starring role at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, returning to the winners enclosure after the Queen Mother Champion Chase to an almighty roar.


Another of this seasons eye catchers was Willie Mullins trained Vautour took the 2 ½ mile chaser title. Improving last year’s mark of 171 to an impressive 173 which leaves him just behind 2010/12 hero Master Minded.


There were yet more impressive performances in the Hurdling category with Thistlecrack well and truly earning his mark of 174 in the 2 ½ mile plus hurdler division after his visually stunning performance in the World Hurdle. The 8 Year old gelding trained by Colin Tizzard earned a rating equal to that of Big Buck’s and 5 pounds above the two previous category winners.


Phil Smith, Head of Handicapping for the BHA, said:


“The 2015-2016 season saw performances from two outstanding hurdlers. Faugheen (176) became the highest rated hurdler since Istabraq in 2001, while Thistlecrack (174) equalled the level of the great Big Buck’s. Annie Power (166) became the first mare since Dawn Run in 1984 to win the Champion Hurdle. Don Cossack (177) who was top 3 mile+ chaser in 2014-15 retained his title but with a 2lbs. higher rating.


Vautour (176) is the only horse to figure twice in the rankings by virtue of being champion on 173 in the two and a half mile chase category as well as getting his better rating at further distances. Astonishingly Sprinter Sacre (175) regained his title as top 2 mile chaser, 3 seasons after being top in 2012-13.”


Noel O’Brien, Senior Turf Club National Hunt Handicapper, said:

“The outstanding hurdling performance of the season was the mightily impressive Faugheen at Leopardstown in blitzing the previous year’s champion hurdle runner up, Arctic Fire and this year’s 3rd Nichols Canyon and his rating of 176 equals the highest ever achieved that by Istabraq.  Sadly we didn’t see him after this run but hopefully his injury will not curtail this sensational hurdler.”


Notes to editors:


1. The full Classifications data: Top Hurdlers 2015-16, Top Chasers 2015-16, Anglo-Irish Jumps Classifications Statistics 2015-16, Classification Champions 2015-16.

2. The list of category Champions is as follows:

Category Winner Rating
3-mile-plus Chaser Don Cossack (GER)* 177
2 ½-mile Chaser Vautour (FR)* 173
2-mile Chaser Sprinter Sacre (FR) 175
3-mile-plus Novice Chaser No More Heroes (IRE)* 159
Rule The World (GB)* 159
2 ½-mile Novice Chaser Arzal (FR) 159
Black Hercules (IRE)* 159
2-mile Novice Chaser Douvan (FR)* 169
2 ½-mile-plus Hurdler Thistlecrack (GB) 174
2-mile Hurdler Faugheen (IRE)* 176
2 ½-mile-plus Novice Hurdler Yorkhill (IRE)* 155
2-mile Novice Hurdler Altior (IRE) 160


3. About the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications:

This is the seventeenth full Anglo-Irish Jump Classification. It classifies the best Chasers and Hurdlers that were trained in either Britain or Ireland during the 2015-2016 season. It is not a handicap but a retrospective measurement of best sustainable performances during the recent season.

The Classifications are for all Chasers and Hurdlers down to a rating of 140. The Chasers are divided into distance categories of 2-miles, 2 ½-miles and 3-miles-plus and are included in the list in which the handicappers believe they have put up their best performance.

Champions may be included twice if they have put up their best performance in a different category.

The Hurdle categories are similar except that they are divided into two distances of 2-miles and 2 ½-miles-plus.

There is a separate classification identifying Novices rated above 140. Juvenile Hurdlers are included in the Novices section.

The ratings were agreed and compiled by;
Phillip Smith GB
Noel O’Brien IRE
David Dickinson GB
Martin Greenwood GB
Andrew Shaw IRE
Mark Olley GB
Chris Nash GB
Graeme Smith GB
Michael Harris GB

The Handicappers are grateful for the assistance provided by Eric Castela France Galop