Racing Victoria senior handicapper Greg Carpenter has defended the number of Australian races ranked in the world’s top 100.
European commentators have questioned Australia’s 31 races compared to the United Kingdom’s 19 while also querying Winx being rated equal highest with Cracksman for 2018 honours.
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English commentator Matt Chapman caused a stir at last year’s Cox Plate carnival when he questioned the strength of the opposition the champion had beaten.
More recently, Chapman has labelled the seven-year-old a pensioner, something her trainer Chris Waller uses as a positive to underline the mare’s longevity.
“The last memory I have of Matt Chapman was when he got down and kissed my feet after the Cox Plate. He likes to stir things up but that’s his job,” Waller said after the mare’s barrier trial in Sydney on Tuesday.
Carpenter is Australia’s representative on the World Thoroughbred Rankings committee which promoted the number of Australian races in the top 100 from 22 in 2017.
“That may be a reflection of the standard of races internationally,” Carpenter told RSN927.
The race rankings are determined by the ratings of the first four placegetters and Carpenter said the nine European horses to come to Australia during the year ran up to marks of 115 or higher.
“(Caulfield Cup winner) Best Solution, a multiple Group One winner in Europe, came out with a figure of 121, which was agreed on by all the handicappers of the world,” Carpenter said.
“There were nine horses from Europe that came out to Australia and competed in our (Group One) races and finished top four and their ratings are used to underpin the ratings of Australian races.
“We are getting quality horses coming from Europe and running in our races.
“Some are winning, some are finishing top four, and that reflects the strength of the Australian races run this year.”