STAR stayer Kyprios was a shining light for Irish flat racing on what was a below par year in terms of depth of quality, according to senior Flat Handicapper Garry O’Gorman.
The full appraisal of the Aidan O’Brien-trained horse’s exploits are dealt with elsewhere but a rating of 124 was the best assessment for an Irish older horse in 10 years.
“Kyprios is the best older horse we have seen since Excelebration (130) in 2012,” O’Gorman said. “In overall terms, numerically the representation of Irish horses rated 110+ in 2022 would be the lowest figure (64) since 2013.
“On the plus side, the two European champion juveniles, the colt Little Big Bear and the filly Tahiyra would both be above average in the same time frame.”
State Of Rest (122) was clear next best of the older horses after another excellent international campaign which saw Joseph O’Brien’s colt enhance his reputation with a win in the Group 1 Prix Ganay in France and most notably in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes where he was too good for subsequent Champions Stakes winner Bay Bridge.
A Case Of You was rated the best Irish sprinter following his remarkable win for Ado McGuinness in the Al Quoz Sprint. His form tailed off after that but the quality of that performance on an international stage was well clear of any other performance from an Irish sprinter. He was the best three-year-old sprinter last year but second to Gustavus Weston overall.
Also on 118 is Paddy Twomey’s Pearls Galore who rated the best mare based in Ireland. She gained an impressive breakthrough at Group 1 level when running out an all-the-way winner of the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Broome and Order Of Australia are also on 118 off the back solid seasons while Supreme Novice Hurdle hope High Definition, off the mark over hurdles already, has a stealthy assessment of 117 from his achievements on the level last year.
As mentioned in the overall world rankings appraisal, Luxembourg (123) was our best three-year-old while the best three-year-old filly performance came from Homeless Songs (119), who was a seriously impressive winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas.
Oaks and Breeders’ Cup heroine Tuesday was given a rating of 118 after her fine classic season.
Others to note are New Energy, whose 113 rating was a fine return for Sheila Lavery and has him joint eight best in Ireland. Irish Oaks winner Magical Lagoon, now set to ply her trade in Australia, finished the year with a rating of 111.