Wednesday 21 March 2018

Another honour for Aidan O'Brien as US Navy Flag scoops top award

US Navy Flag ridden by Ryan Moore
US Navy Flag ridden by Ryan Moore

Graham Clark

US Navy Flag has been crowned the leading juvenile of 2017 following the publication of the Longines World's Best Racehorse rankings.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt won both the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in the autumn and earned a rating of 122, despite finishing down the field in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on his final start of the year.

His mark puts him on a par with O'Brien's Churchill, who was the leading two-year-old 12 months ago and went on to win both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas.

US Navy Flag is also the 10th champion juvenile O'Brien has been responsible for and he dominates the two-year-old standings, with 15 horses featuring in the top 45.

He also has the next-best performer in Racing Post Trophy victor Saxon Warrior, the current favourite for this year's Guineas and Derby and who is on 119, 1lb ahead of the John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion, who was beaten just a neck at Doncaster.

Michael Stoute's Dewhurst disappointment Expert Eye and Jim Bolger's Verbal Dexterity share fourth place with a rating of 117.

O'Brien - who broke the world record for Group/Grade One winners in a calendar year in 2017 - has the leading juvenile filly as Clemmie was allotted a mark of 115 following a season that concluded with Cheveley Park Stakes victory at Newmarket.

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