01/15/2008 12:00AM

Manduro named champion of 2007


Manduro was declared the world Thoroughbred champion of 2007 on Tuesday as he was awarded a highweight rating of 131 in the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings by a global panel of handicappers.

Breeders' Cup Classic winner Curlin and Epsom Derby winner Authorized tied for the world 3-year-old title at 129, and the undefeated New Approach was named European juvenile champ with a rating of 126.

Trained in France by Andre Fabre for his German breeder and owner, Baron Georg von Ullman, Manduro earned the title with a perfect 5-for-5 season as a 5-year-old in 2007, scoring Group 1 victories in the 1 1/8-mile, 55-yard Prix d'Ispahan, the one-mile Prix Jacques le Marois, and, most important, the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales’s Stakes, in which he defeated Dylan Thomas by 1 1/4 lengths.

In preparing for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, he suffered a cannon bone fracture while winning the 1 1/2-mile Group 2 Prix Foy and was retired to stud. Manduro, a son of Monsun, also won WTRR honors as leading older horse. His 126 rating as a miler makes him the world champ in that division as well.

Manduro's rating of 131 was two pounds higher than those awarded to Dylan Thomas and Invasor in the older horse division. Winner of both the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Dylan Thomas is the highest-rated horse in the long-distance division, while Invasor, who earned his rating for his victory in the Dubai World Cup, retained his title as the world’s best horse on dirt, although he shared that distinction with Curlin.

Invasor’s 129 is five pounds better than the next-best older horse rating on dirt, Lawyer Ron’s 124. Breeders' Cup Turf winner English Channel rates the best turf horse in North America at 125.

Admire Moon, winner of the Japan Cup and the Dubai Duty Free, was named the best horse in Japan at 125. Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute is champion sprinter at 121, but that title may have to be asterisked as the year-end WTRR does not include such jurisdictions as Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Hong Kong, where they race on a July-to-June schedule. If those locations were included, Sacred Kingdom would be the sprint champion as he received a 123 for his Hong Kong Sprint victory. Australia’s Miss Andretti is the highest rated older filly or mare at 120 by dint of her win against males in Royal Ascot’s five-furlong Group 2 King's Stand Stakes.

Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Ginger Punch is the best older filly or mare on dirt at 118, a mark she shares with Mandesha, who failed to win a Group 1 race but who finished second to Manduro in the Prix Foy. Trainer Aidan O’Brien scored a coup in the stayers division as Septimus (122), Yeats (121), and Scorpion (120) finished one-two-three.

The panel, which included Ben Huffman and Tom Robbins from the United States and was chaired by Hong Kong’s Nigel Gray and Ireland’s Garry O’Gorman, couldn’t separate the Steve Asmussen-trained Curlin and the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Authorized in the 3-year-old division. Any Given Saturday was rated the world’s top 3-year-old miler at 124 pounds, one better than European turfers Darjina and Excellent Art. Four-time Grade 1 winner and Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches took the 3-year-old filly championship by a pound over Darjina and Peeping Fawn, each of whom won three Group 1 races. Hard Spun on dirt and Sakhee’s Secret on turf shared the 3-year-old sprint crown at 120.

Trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger, New Approach won the European 2-year-old title with Group 1 victories in the National Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes. The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Zarkava, winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac, nipped the Pascal Bary-trained winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes, Natagora, 119-118, for the European juvenile filly crown.

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