As we put it the Racehorses of 2019 annual, out now, "The days when [Battaash] 'turns up' have now, after four seasons' racing, occurred often enough to allow him his place in the pantheon of the greats of the modern era." The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August was among those days and saw Battaash put up the best performance, in terms of ratings, seen on a racecourse anywhere in 2019. He is clearly among the best five furlong performers of the recent era.
What Battaash isn't, apart from consistent, is Timeform's Horse of the Year for 2019. That award went to the two-year-old Pinatubo, who won all six of his starts including an extraordinary performance in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, in which he drubbed two of the best two-year-olds we had seen by that point in the season. At 134, Pinatubo is the highest-rated two-year-old since Celtic Swing in 1994.
Pinatubo is joined in the top 10 by two stablemates. Blue Point, another son of Shamardal, was unbeaten in five starts in 2019 including a defeat of Battaash in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, while Ghaiyyath had a characteristic Godolphin campaign, trained in Britain but raced only in France and Germany, earning his rating by routing the field for the Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden.
The highest-rated mare was Enable, better at five than four and with a huge following wherever she appears. It seemingly continues to offend those who choose not to learn even the rudiments of handicapping that she is rated behind Crystal Ocean, a horse she beat by a neck while in receipt of 3 lb in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot in July. Behind them in third was Waldgeist, who finally got the better of Enable at the fourth attempt when beating her by a length and three-quarters in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October. All three should be considered top-class performers and, though Crystal Ocean's career has been ended by injury and Waldgeist is also now at stud, we will hopefully get the chance to see Enable again as she stays in training for 2020.
Winx was another whose rating, the critics claim, was a poor reflection of her achievements on the track. There are different ways available of assessing the merits of racehorses and even if Winx couldn't be judged among the very best in terms of ratings that takes nothing away from her remarkable sequence of 33 unbeaten races in a row with which she ended her career, a feat that will live on longer than the debate about her Timeform rating.
Another hugely popular mare was Almond Eye, who had won the fillies' triple crown in Japan in 2018 and arrived on the world stage with victory in the Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World at Meydan in March, a race in which Japanese-trained runners finished first, second and fourth. Almond Eye's best performance came later in the year, in the Tenno Sho in Tokyo in October.
As in 2018, one of North America's top performers was seen only once in 2019, City of Light going out with a win, and a career best, in the Pegasus World Cup. That performance was matched at the other end of the season when Vino Rosso produced a top-class display in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic.
In all nine countries are represented in the top 40. You can view the No 1s for these and other nations here.
|1||Battaash||Charles Hills, GB||136|
|2||Pinatubo||Charlie Appleby, GB||134|
|3||Crystal Ocean||Sir Michael Stoute, GB||133|
|4||Waldgeist||Andre Fabre, France||132|
|5=||Blue Point||Charlie Appleby, GB||131|
|5=||Enable (f)||John Gosden, GB||131|
|7=||Beauty Generation||John Moore, Hong Kong||130|
|7=||City of Light||Michael McCarthy, USA||130|
|7=||Vino Rosso||Todd Pletcher, USA||130|
|10=||Almond Eye (f)||Sakae Kunieda, Japan||129|
|10=||Ghaiyyath||Charlie Appleby, GB||129|
|10=||Happy Clapper||Patrick Webster, Australia||129|
|10=||Mitole||Steve Asmussen, USA||129|
|10=||Winx (f)||Chris Waller, Australia||129|
|15=||Lys Gracieux (f)||Yoshito Yahagi, Japan||128|
|15=||Maximum Security||Jason Servis, USA||128|
|15=||McKinzie||Bob Baffert, USA||128|
|15=||Nature Strip||Chris Waller, USA||128|
|15=||Santa Ana Lane||Anthony Freedman, Australia||128|
|15=||Thunder Snow||Saeed Bin Suroor, GB||128|
|21=||Glory Vase||Tomohito Ozeki, Japan||127|
|21=||Gronkowski||Salem bin Ghadayer, UAE||127|
|21=||Hartnell||James Cummings, Australia||127|
|21=||Kew Gardens||Aidan O'Brien, Ireland||127|
|21=||Omaha Beach||Richard Mandella, USA||127|
|21=||Roy H||Peter Miller, USA||127|
|21=||Shancelot||Jorge Navarro, USA||127|
|21=||Sottsass||Jean-Claude Rouget, France||127|
|21=||Stradivarius||John Gosden, GB||127|
|21=||Too Darn Hot||John Gosden, GB||127|
|31||Logician||John Gosden, GB||126p|
|32||Benbatl||Saeed Bin Suroor, GB||126+|
|33=||Admire Mars||Yasuo Tomomichi, Japan||126|
|33=||Bricks And Mortar||Chad Brown, USA||126|
|33=||Defoe||Roger Varian, GB||126|
|33=||Exultant||Tony Cruz, Hong Kong||126|
|33=||Imperial Hint||Luis Carvajal, USA||126|
|33=||Japan||Aidan O'Brien, Ireland||126|
|33=||King of Change||Richard Hannon, GB||126|
|33=||Midnight Bisou (f)||Steve Asmussen, USA||126|
|33=||Pierata||Greg Hickman, Australia||126|
|33=||Redzel||Peter & Paul Snowden, Australia||126|
|33=||Te Akau Shark||Jamie Richards, New Zealand||126|
|33=||Ten Sovereigns||Aidan O'Brien, Ireland||126|