Australia’s top-rating horse racing winners for 2023

Sprint form reins at the top of Australia’s top-rating winners for 2023 with the four standout performances coming in races of 1400 metres of shorter.

Sydney’s autumn sprint crown, the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes, produced the premier race for the year under the Racing And Sports Rating model with I Wish I Win winning that 1200-metre race in 127.

Think About It went 126 to win The Everest (1200m), the same mark that Giga Kick ran to win the All Aged Stakes (1400m), while Imperatriz posted the highest figure recorded in Melbourne when the Kiwi sprinter ran 126 to win the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m).

Four horses won races in 125, including Cox Plate winner Romantic Warrior and the horse he defeated, Mr Brightside, while Without A Fight ran 124 to win the two big Cups.

2023 Highest-Rating Races (R&S Ratings)

127 – I WISH I WIN (T J Smith Stakes): Rounded up a star-studded field on a Heavy track at Randwick in April to post the highest figure recorded on an Australian racetrack this year.

126 – GIGA KICK (All Aged Stakes): Beat home all bar I Wish I Win in the T J Smith but the 2022 The Everest winner got his Group 1 the following start when he defeated Zaaki and Cascadian in the 1400-metre All Aged Stakes.

126 – THINK ABOUT IT (The Everest): When the Joe Pride-trained gelding won a midweek BM72 at Warwick Farm on January 11 at his first start for the year, it seemed fanciful he would end the year one of our equal second highest-rated horses of the year, but that’s where he end up after his gutsy win in The Everest.

126 – IMPERATRIZ (Manikato Stakes): A notable absentee from the Sydney spring, the Kiwi star racked up wins in Melbourne, the highest-rating of which was her 3-1/4-length romp in the 1200m Group 1 at The Valley on Cox Plate. Also went 124 to win the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (2000m) in March.

125 – DUBAI HONOUR (Ranvet Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes): The only horse to post two winning figures of at least 125, the mark he ran in his 4-1/2-length Ranvet romp at his Aussie debut and his dominant 2-1/2-length win in one of Australia’s top WFA races, the 2000m Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

125 – MR BRIGHTSIDE (Makybe Diva Stakes): Was one of our busiest WFA stars for the year, contesting 10 races for five wins, the best of which was his dominant win over Alligator Blood in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

125 – FANGIRL (King Charles III Stakes): Mr Brightside finishing 2-3/4 lengths in her wake played no small part in the inaugural October edition of the race formerly known as the George Main Stakes (1600m) rating so highly, the second-highest rating returned by a mare for the year.

125 – ROMANTIC WARRIOR (Cox Plate): Added some international stardom to the Melbourne spring and delivered in the country’s most prestigious WFA race when he edged out Mr Brightside in the 2040m feature.

124 – WITHOUT A FIGHT (Caulfield Cup & Melbourne Cup): Became the first horse in 22 years to win the Melbourne spring’s two feature handicaps, doing so with 55.5kg and 56.5kg respectively, to join Imperatriz and Dubai Honour as the only horses to win multiple races in at least 124.

124 – GOLD TRIP (Turnbull Stakes): Posted what was visually one of the most impressive wins of the year when he demolished his rivals in the 2000m set-weights-and-penalties event, which turned out one of the form races of the spring with the Caulfield Cup runner-up (West Wind Blows), Melbourne Cup runner-up (Soulcombe) and Cox Plate winner (Romantic Warrior) the next three over the line.

124 – ALLIGATOR BLOOD (Futurity Stakes): Like Mr Brightside, didn’t miss too many dances in 2024 with the $4m All-Star Mile the only non-Group 1 he contested with his Futurity Stakes (1400m) win over Mr Brightside and I’m Thunderstruck the best of his three wins.

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