Native River tops Anglo-Irish Classifications
2018 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River has been announced as the highest rated Jumps horse of the 2017/18 season at the annual Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications press conference today, hosted in London by the British Horseracing Authortiy (BHA) and Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.
The Colin Tizzard-trained chaser achieved a rating of 176 for his thrilling four-and-a-half length defeat of Might Bite (172) in what was one of the great racing duels in this year’s Gold Cup in March.
His rating of 176 puts him ahead of the likes of three-time winner of the race Best Mate (175) as well as Kicking King (175) and War of Attrition (173), but marginally behind recent winners Don Cossack (177) and Bobs Worth (180).
Champion Chase hero Altior (175) gained top honours in the two-mile division after his third successive unbeaten campaign over obstacles, whilst Waiting Patiently’s win in the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase in February (170) was sufficient for him to end the season as the top-rated chaser over two-and-a-half miles.
Footpad (166) and Presenting Percy (165), the two Irish-trained novices who have lit up the two-mile and staying novice chase divisions this season unsurprisingly gained top honours in their respective categories. Al Boum Photo, who was last seen making a dramatic last-fence exit at Punchestown, ended the season with the highest rating of any novice chaser over intermediate distances (159) following his win in the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse in April.
Over hurdles, it was Faugheen’s authoritative 13-length victory in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown which guaranteed him the honour of highest-rated hurdler of the season, ending with a rating of 169.
Despite an unbeaten campaign which saw him claim his second successive victory in the Unibet Champion Hurdle, Buveur D’air ended the 2017/18 campaign rated 166, 3 lb lower than the peak rating of 169 he achieved last season for his victory in the Grade 1 Betway Aintree Hurdle.
Amongst the novices it was the exciting Samcro who dominated with ratings of 158 over shorter distances and 160 over longer trips. The latter rating was the highest posted by a novice over extended distances since The New One in 2012/13 and follows Samcro’s impressive victory in the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.