Ad The 2023 Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap was rated the world's best sprint. (Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Flemington crowned home of the world’s best sprint race

24 January 2024

Flemington has once again been featured among the prestigious Longines World Racing Awards. The 2023 Group 1 Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap won by In Secret has claimed the mantle as the world’s best sprint race with six other feature Flemington Group 1 races appearing in the world’s top 100.

The horse racing world gathered in London on Tuesday to celebrate the 2023 Longines World Racing Awards hosted by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities where the World’s Top Thoroughbred Racehorse and Longines World’s Best Horse Race was announced

Japan were the toast of the racing world with the recently retired Japanese champion, Equinox crowned the 2023 Longines World’s Best Racehorse and the 2023 Japan Cup recognised as the Longines World’s Best Horse Race. Equinox achieved his rating of 135 in his dominant Japan Cup win to become the highest mark a Japanese horse has received under the current system, beating the 134 that El Condor Pasa earned in 1999.

Flemington featured strongly among the top 100 races, with seven Group 1 races featuring on the list. Leading the way was the Kennedy Champions Mile with a ranking of 119.75 making it the equal highest ranked Australian race alongside the WS Cox Plate held at Moonee Valley.

Proving to be home to the world’s fastest horses, the Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap ran at Flemington rocketed up the rankings in 2023 and was ranked the world’s highest rated sprint race.

The Longines World’s Best Horse Race Award recognises the best-rated race of the highest-rated Group/Grade 1 international races as established by a panel of international handicappers. The ratings of the top four finishers in each race serve as basis for the assessment.

The 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup winner, Without A Fight (IRE) was rated 24th in the world with a rating of 121. Following his Cup triumph, he became the first horse to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double since Ethereal in 2001. Eighteen Australian-trained horses featured inside the top 100 ranked racehorses including Flemington Group 1 winners Without A Fight (IRE) – 121, Gold Trip (FR) – 120, Mr Brightside (NZ) – 120, Imperatriz (NZ) – 118, Cascadian (GB) – 117 and In Secret (AUS) – 117.

World's Best: Equinox rated the best in the world after his win in the world's highest-rated race, the 2023 Japan Cup. (Lo Chun Kit/Getty Images)

2023 Top 100 Group/Grade 1 Races Announced

The 2023 Japan Cup in association with Longines (G1) has been honoured as the highest rated race in the world. This is the first time a race hosted in Asia has achieved this status. The race received a rating of 126.75 after Grade 1 winners Equinox (JPN), Liberty Island (JPN), Stars On Earth (JPN), and Do Deuce (JPN) were the first four across the finish line.

The remaining Top 10 rated races are the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (126.50), Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (124.75), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (124.50), Takarazuka Kinen (124.25), Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (123.50), Tenno Sho (Autumn) (123.50), Arima Kinen (123.00), Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard - Jacques Le Marois (122.75), and Juddmonte International Stakes (122.25).

Pride Of Jenni wins the Kennedy Champions Mile, the equal highest-rated race in Australia. (Morgan Hancock/Racing Photos)

Flemington was home to the highest-rated Sprint race in the world once again with the Group 1 Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap (119.50), won by Godolphin filly In Secret. Other categories awarded were:

MILE Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard - Jacques Le Marois 122.75
INTERMEDIATE Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes 123.50
LONG Japan Cup (in association with Longines) 126.75
EXTENDED Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) 117.50

Eleven countries comprise this year's list, representing the foremost racing events throughout the world across 39 different racecourses. Australia led the way with 24 total races featured in the Top 100, followed by Great Britain (17), United States (17), Japan (15), Hong Kong SAR, China (12), France (6), Ireland (3), United Arab Emirates (3), New Zealand (2), South Africa (2), and Saudi Arabia (1).

Flemington accounted for seven races in the Top 100 with the highest being the Group 1 Kennedy Champions Mile (119.75), won by Pride Of Jenni. The race was the equalled highest-rated race in Australia alongside the Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m).







Kennedy Champions Mile





Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap





Black Caviar Lightning





Darley Champions Sprint





PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes





TAB Turnbull Stakes





TAB Champions Stakes





The Top 100 Group 1 and Grade 1 races also serve as the base of an annual competition to recognize top jockeys throughout the world. The jockey who outperforms his or her peers in these races is honoured with the Longines World's Best Jockey Award, and Ryan Moore won the title in 2023. He also won in 2021, 2016, and was the inaugural winner in 2014. Frankie Dettori has also won four times, with his victories coming in 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2015. Hugh Bowman won the title in 2017, while James McDonald was named the Longines World’s Best Jockey in 2022.

About IFHA

The IFHA is the global leader for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing, seeking to promote all facets of the worldwide sport; protect the welfare of the equine and human athlete; and protect and grow its global social and economic significance for current and future generations.