Category Archives: PRWC 2017

The Pattern Racing World Championships 2017

The 2018 pattern racing season is about to go into full flow.

Before we get too immersed in it we are taking this opportunity to look back on last year and announce the winners of the Pattern Racing World Championships 2017, now in their fifth year.

How the Pattern Racing World Championships Work

These championships are created by allocating points for a placing in a Group 1 or Grade 1 race. It’s simple, in a Group or Grade 1, a win earns 10 points, second 7 points and third 5 points. Points for participants are accumulated over all G1 races in the calender year.

In 2017 306 races were included from the pattern race programme. Each race offers 22 points so there’s a total pot of 6,732 points available to win in the year. The races included all the G 1’s from Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, UAE, France, Italy, England, Germany, Ireland, USA and Canada.

Tables are created for each category based on accumulated points won  establishing a championship position.

Pattern Racing World Championship Categories

There are six categories 1. Horse, 2. Trainer, 3. Jockey, 4. Sire, 5. Owner 6. Breeder. Each category compete for the same number of points.

Pattern Racing World Championship Tables

This year we have a dynamic tables for each category that you allow you to drill down into

1. each participants achievements during the year.

2. see which races they were placed in, the date of the race and the points won, all with dynamic headers.

3. you can then drill into the individual race.

4. and view more details of the participants championship position, details on the race and how it panned out for the participant.

Why Have The Pattern Racing World Championships?

Racing is an extremely competitive sport. The championships categorise racing’s participants comparing their performances globally with their peers. G1 status provides the benchmark. Achievement is recognised, consistency rewarded, standing is established.

As ever the cream rises to the top.

A Summary of the Pattern Racing World Championships 2017

Overall 2017 was a year where the Coolmore powerhouse asserted it’s dominance winning four of the six categories, prehaps a taster of what is to come over the next decade. Owner, Trainer, Jockey and Sire all went the way of the Coolmore operation. The Breeders category and Horse category went to others.

Below is the top three for each category.

Click on the header or below on the right of the  to reveal the full table and find out more.

PRWC 2017 – Horse

Championship Finishing Position Horse  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Winx 60 6
2 Abel Tasman 51 6
3 Enable 50 5

  Click here for the Horse Championships of 2017

Winx came out on top in 2017. Her six runs at G1 level yielded six wins, a feat she also achieved in 2016. Her finest moment saw her capture a third consecutive Cox Plate. Unfortunately we won’t get to see Winx in Europe this year instead her trainer Chris Waller will target a fourth Cox Plate as her ultimate aim.

Abel Tasman the Kentucky Oaks winner filled second spot winning three G1’s and running second in another three.

Enable filled third spot. The Epsom Oaks winner had five G1’s wins capping off a fine season culminating in her Arc win, something she’ll try to emulate this year.

PRWC 2017 – Trainer

Championship Finishing Position Trainer  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 A P O’Brien 553 73
2 Chad C Brown 299 40
3 Bob Baffert 287 36

 Click here for the Trainer Championships of 2017

It was a stunning performance from Aidan O’Brien who retains the title won in 2016  (477 points, 2016). A world record twenty-eight G1’s was accompanied by twenty-four runner-up spots and twenty-one third place finishes.

Chad Brown retains second place (301, 2016). He had fifteen G1 winners and filled the runners-up spot on twelve occasions and registered thirteen third place finishes.

Bob Baffert improved a place from fourth in 2016 (194 points, 2016) to third. He also had fifteen G1 winners and filled the runner-up spot sixteen times and registered five third place finishes.

PRWC 2017 – Jockey

Championship Finishing Position Jockey  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Ryan Moore 359 45
2 Mike E Smith 250 31
3 Jose L Ortiz 247 32

 Click here for the Jockey Championships of 2017

Ryan Moore also takes the jockey’s title, for the third year in succession. He once again improved his total (347, 2016) (270. 2015) in a year which brought twenty-two G1’s wins, twelve seconds and thirteen third place finishes. Of those wins all but one was for Aidan O’Brien. Winter, Highland Reel and Roly Poly were the triple givers.  The other G1, out east, was for Osamu Hirata when he rode Gold Dream to win the Champions Cup, formerly the Japan Cup (Dirt).

Mike Smith improved from fifth last year (171, 2016) to second this year with fifteen G1’s wins. He was runner-up on ten occasions and third six times. His association with Bob Baffert yielded nine of those wins, three on Abel Tasman and two on Arrogate.

Jose Ortiz, the younger of the Ortiz brothers was the big mover going from twentieth last year (97, 2016) to third in 2017. He rode thirteen G1 winners, ran second eleven times and filled the third spot eight times. Chad Brown provided five of his G1 wins.

PRWC 2017 – Sire

Championship Finishing Position Sire  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Galileo (IRE) 451 59
2 Dubawi (IRE) 200 28
3 Medaglia d’Oro (USA) 151 19

 Click here for the Sire Championships of 2017

Galileo was just short of last years total (454, 2016) but he remains the engine for the Coolmore operation. In 2013 his score was 160, in 2014 it was 261 and in 2015 it was 257. The last two years have been stunning. He matched the twenty-four G1 win’s he had in 2016 again in 2017 with eighteen seconds and seventeen third place finishes to remain a distance clear of the field.

Dubawi moves back up the podium to second having got the bronze the previous year (146, 2016), a position he last held in 2015 when he scored 220 points.

Medaglia d’Oro is the new kid on the block, eighth the previous year (103, 2016) when he had seven G1 wins. He added another three to make it ten in 2017.

PRWC 2017 – Owner

Championship Finishing Position Owner Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Name
1 Coolmore Syndicate 564 74
2 Godolphin 451 63
3 Khalid Abdullah 138 16

Click here for the Owner Championships of 2017

Coolmore is unquestionably the most powerful operation on the planet. The upward curve continues (494, 2016).  Coolmore owned horses won thirty G1’s on the track last year (23, 2016), sixteen in England, seven in Ireland, three in France, three in the States and Highland Reel bowed out with the final one in Hong Kong.

Godolphin had a year of change with the departure of John Ferguson. His replacement Joe Osborne saw an improved position on 2016 (379, 2016) with the year producing eighteen G1 wins, six more than 2016. No doubt he’ll try to build on that in 2018.

Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte operation moved from eighth last year (66, 2016) to third in 2017. Arrogate set the world alight at the beginning of the year those with wins in the Pegasus World Cup and then that incredible performance in the Dubai World Cup, then came Enable. What a season for the Prince.

PRWC 2017 – Breeder

Championship Finishing Position Breeder Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Darley 261 36
2 Northern Racing 160 20
3 Juddmonte 120 16

 Click here for the Breeder Championships of 2017

Darley retained their number one position for the third year in a row (268, 2016). This year they had eleven G1 individual winners (eight for Godolphin) with thirteen runner-up placings and twelve third place finishes.

Northern Racing are second as they were last year (156,2016) with ten G1 wins from eight individuals.

Juddmonte filled third spot up with six G1 wins, five coming from Enable.


Aidan O’Brien and the Bobby Frankel World Record (G1)

Aidan O’Brien in the ring at Leopardstown

The bookmakers are offering 5/2 about Aidan O’Brien breaking Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group 1/Grade 1 victories in one year which was set in 2003.

Across the world there’s been 183 G1’s run so far this year.

Aidan has won 14 of them giving him an overall strike rate of 8%.

There’s 125 G1’s left to be run this year, 40% of the overall total, so to do it he’ll have to up his strike rate to 10% to break the record.

In that context you’d say 5/2 is probably a skinny price but maybe it’s not too far off the mark either when you consider the brilliance of the man himself and the team behind him. When you consider the power of the Ballydoyle operation, the depth in quantity and more importantly the quality of the horses at his disposal, just the sheer size of the operation means it’s possible.

It’s not probable.

Let’s examine the chances in the context of the G1 contests left that he can challenge for.

Ireland will sign off it’s Group 1 season running the last 5 of it’s 12 G1’s over this Champions Weekend. England have 12 G1’s left, France another 12 with Germany providing a further 2 opportunities and Italy 1 more. That’s 32 G1’s left in Europe.

So if he were to do it running in Europe then the required strike rate would be 38%. Now that’s looking a lot tougher especially when you consider he’ll unlikely have runners in all the remaining races.

Ballydoyle had a team of 14 engaged at Chantilly this Sunday but have decided not to declare anything for either the Prix Vermeille or Prix Du Moulin, the two G1’s which are the centrepiece of a terrific card in France so maybe a third of these European opportunities can be ruled out. This pushes the required strike rate to 54%.

There are other opportunities across the globe.

In America there’s 43 G1’s to be run, 28 on dirt and 15 on turf including 6 at the Breeders Cup at Del Mar in November. In Australia there’s 29 and in Japan there’s 12. Canada has 5 and Hong Kong offer’s another 4 opportunities.

Realistically in the States it is only the Breeders Cup that will provide chances and conceivably Aidan could contest all 6 turf races plus the Breeders Cup Classic on Dirt. In Australia there’s a possibility of 3 if you include the The Cox Plate, The Melbourne Cup and Mackinnon Stakes. In Canada he could contest 4 and in Hong Kong in December chances are they would be no more than 2 opportunities.

When you add up the opportunities, you’re talking about 44/46 range that Aidan could possibly contest. 12 wins then will require a strike rate of 26%. 5/2 doesn’t look so attractive now.

It’s more likely now Bobby Frankel’s record will never now be broken.

To do so requires a level of dominance in a sport which at the top-level is ultra competitive. Aidan O’Brien is best placed to do it but even with the depth of Ballydoyle resources it’s still more impossible than possible.

It’s conceivable he could capture all 5 of the domestic G1’s on offer this weekend as he’ll likely have a favourites chance in all of them. If he did win them all it would bring his tally to 19 sending the bookmakers into overdrive to slash him to odds on to achieve the feat but he’s never done that before, won the last 5 G1’s in Ireland, that in itself is an outlandish feat.

So it can’t be done. Unless.

Unless they targeted Japan. Highland Reel, Seventh Heaven or both could take in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), The Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Cup, The Mile Championship and The Japan Cup, all on turf spaced over 4 weeks beginning the end of October. That’s makes the required strike rate 24%, still highly unlikely but wouldn’t it be something if Aidan was to release his genius out east.

He mightn’t break the record but it would be some achievement to win a Breeders Cup race and a Japan Cup this autumn.

Recommendation: Lay Aidan O’Brien to break Bobby Frankel’s Record.

PS. Paddy Power have just quoted 2/7 for AOB not to break the record.






Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Group 1)


It’s interesting that Ryan Moore has elected to ride Peace Envoy in preference to Orderofthegarter today in the French 2000 Guineas. Orderofthegarter is a 5/1  shot and will be ridden by Seamie Heffernan while Peace Envoy can be backed at 12/1 with the leading stable jockey on his back.

Orderofthegarther has been a winner in both his runs this season while Peace Envoy was beaten of his seasonal debut at Naas two weeks ago in The Tetrarach Stakes.

Ryan had come up the inside and at the two furlong pole he found himself trapped on the rail with two horses in front of him with another pair on his outside. He’d nowhere to go and could only sit and wait. As they entered the final furlong and they stretched no gap came. To make matters worse, of the two in front of him, the one on the outside began to roll in on the one on the inside causing Pat Smullen to snatch up further impeding any chance Peace Envoy had.

It was just one of those things nowhere to go however they appeared to be plenty to hide. At the moment of the snatch up Moore was about to unleash Peace Envoy and his demeanor in the saddle suggested he had every confidence that his horse could pick up and win. It never happened because of the scrummaging but today the pair remain loyal to each other.

It’s worth noting the colt had a good two year old season and that Moore won the race last year on The Gurkha who went there with a similar profile. Peace Envoy looks over priced, had he won at Naas he’d be less than 5/1.

Recommendation : Peace Envoy 12/1 ew


1000 Guineas Stakes (G1)

Embed from Getty Images Talaayeb winning at Newmarket last September. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.


Churchill did the business as expected in the 2000 Guineas and here in the 1000 Guineas Ballydoyle hold a strong hand again.

Rhododendron one of a trio from Fethard is the choice of Ryan Moore and heads the market at 6/4. Like Churchill she was beaten first time out. Rehana got the better of her in a maiden in last June at the Curragh then Aidan sent her to Goodwood to win her maiden. In mid August she contested the Debutante Stakes (G2) where she was a winning favourite by a head from Hydrangea with Intricately a further 1 1/4 L behind in third. Next time out in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) Intricately had a short head over Hydrangea with Rhododendron 1 3/4 L behind in third.

She was asked to turn that defeat around in the Fillies Mile in September (G1) at Ascot which she duly did with a 2 1/4L win over Hydrangea on good to firm ground. She travelled sweetly relishing the conditions and the step up in trip. Both brought out the best in her and it’s no surprise to see her such a short price for this.

Fair Eva trained by Roger Charlton is a daughter of Frankel and will race in the same colours as her father. She is the second choice of the market at 6/1. She was a winner first time out at Haydock following up in the Princess Margret Stakes (G3) at Ascot. She was then sent off an odds on favourite in the Lowther (G2) in August where she was beaten by Queen Kindly and Roly Poly. In her last run she was again sent off favourite for the Rockfel Stakes (G2) where Spain Burg got the better of her by 1 1/4 L.

Closely followed in the market is Daban at 7/1. She’s only had two runs. A winter winner of her maiden at Kempton John Gosden’s filly came back in the spring to win the Nell Gwyn Stakes (G3) here at Newmarket when an unfancied 12/1 shot with Unforgettable Filly 3/4 L back in second and Poet’s Vanity 1 1/4L further back in third.

Talaayeb is a 12/1 shot. Sheik Hamden’s filly trained by Owen Burrows has only had the one run. In September at Newmarket she beat another Sheik Hamden filly who was favourite for the race in impressive style showing a nice turn of foot to win cosily. She could be anything.

Hydrangea has franked the Irish two year old form at Leopardstown in the 1000 Guineas Trial. She beat Winter a head with Intricately fourth beaten 1 1/2L. The form of the race is working out well.

On Monday at Naas Rehana (beat Rhododendron on her racecourse debut) boosted the Leopardstown form when she was an impressive winner of the Athasi Stakes (G3). Drumfad Bay eighth in the Leopardstown race also contributed to the form boost when she ran second to Doctor Geoff in the Tetrarch Stakes. This might explain why the money has come for Winter. She was available at 33/1 on Monday, since then a steady flow of cash has seen her price contract into 8/1.

There’s seems more depth to the Irish form than there is to the English. Hyendgea Leopardstown win stands up with the money suggesting that Winter has progressed best from the race however Rhododendron stands above the Leopardstown form for that Fillies mile performance and that puts her on top of the Irish team.

The home horse who could spoil the Ballydoyle party could be Talaayeb. She lacks experience but the bit she has came here at Newmarket. That day she relished the track and the ground was good to firm. Much like today.

Recommendation: Talaayeb 12/1 ew

Rhododendron and Talaayeb. (Reverse forecast)