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Emotional Debate Over 2006 World Rankings

Thursday, 18th January 2007

The announcement that US Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Invasor, as well as Bernardini & Discreet Cat, all head Japanese superstar Deep Impact in the 2006 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings (compiled by international handicappers & published by the International Federation Of Horse Racing Authorities) has triggered an emotion-charged debate in the Northern Hemisphere. Invasor (129) heads Bernardini (128) & Discreet Cat (128) & then Deep Impact (127). The UK Racing Post devoted 16 pages to the ensuing debate, summing up bluntly: "Deep Impact's fan club may be stunned that their hero has been beaten by ex-Uruguayan-trained Invasor for top honours, but the international handicappers are adamant." That is in sharp contrast to Racing Post's own handicappers, who assessed Deep Impact at a much higher (& clear world-leading) figure of 133. Among the IFHRA committee Ireland's senior handicapper Garry O'Gorman commented: "The concensus was that we couldn't make him (Deep Impact) any better. . . . . Invasor comes out so highly, for beating a very good field in the Breeders' Cup." And Britain's head of handicapping Nigel Gray added: "Deep Impact carried all before him in Japan & it's a shame there won't be another chance for him to be tested outside his own country. He was majestic in Japan, but then he didn't come across the quality of horses that he ran against in the Arc. We wished we could get him higher in the ratings, because he was undoubtedly a star, but throughout the season the international handicappers were saying they couldn't do that, even though he is still the highest-rated stayer we've had in the ratings for many years. We're certain a rating of 127 is appropriate for what Deep Impact has done, given that it fits in with horses that ran in the Melbourne Cup. We've given him as much credit for that last run (winning Japan's Gr1 Arima Kinen) as we felt we could."

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