ON the domestic scene it was again trainer Aidan O’Brien who held sway as he had care of the five highest-rated flat horses in Ireland over the course of 2019.

While no Irish-trained horse appeared among the top 18 in the world, there were still a number of meritorious efforts from various individuals. Japan’s defeat of the joint world champion Crystal Ocean at York in August was a standout display and there could be a good deal more to come from this 122-rated colt in 2020.