Galopin Des Champs lauded as top jumps performer of 2022-23 National Hunt season
Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs has been crowned the leading jumps horse of the 2022-23 National Hunt season in the Anglo-Irish Jumps Classifications.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old won the John Durkan at Punchestown, the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown and the headline event in the Cotswolds to crown a tremendous campaign, with his rating of 179 leaving him 4lb clear of his nearest rivals at the top of the standings.
His stablemate Energumene and Nicky Henderson's Constitution Hill share the runner-up spot on a mark of 175, with the latter becoming the highest-rated British-trained hurdler since the Classifications were first published in 1999-2000.
The latter is unsurprisingly out on his own in the hurdling division, with State Man, who chased him home in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, best of the rest on 165.
The unbeaten Constitution Hill successfully stepped up to two and a half miles to add the Aintree Hurdle to his collection and is rated just 1lb behind three-time Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq (176). Whether he remains over hurdles or pursues a career over fences later this year remains to be seen.
Energumene earned his mark of 176 after a dominant 10-length success when defending his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown at Cheltenham in March, while the leading British horse over fences was Henderson's Shishkin (173) thanks to a 16-length win in February's Ascot Chase.
El Fabiolo (Mullins) tops the novice chase ranks on a perch of 170, while his owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede are also responsible for the highest-rated novice hurdler in Impaire Et Passe (160).
Martin Greenwood, the British Horseracing Authority's steeplechase handicap team leader, said: "Ireland is responsible for two of the top three chase horses in the 2022-23 Anglo-Irish Classifications. Galopin des Champs and Energumene head the staying and short distance divisions respectively after dominant displays at the Cheltenham Festival.
"The GB team bagged the middle-distance division with Shishkin who was upped in trip and secured big-race success at Ascot and Aintree. The home contingent can also look to the likes of Bravemansgame (172), L'Homme Presse (170) and Ahoy Senor (169) as part of a decent season in the staying ranks, while Edwardstone (169) and Greaneteen (168) feature high up in the two-mile arena."
Andrew Mealor, BHA hurdle handicap team leader, said: "Constitution Hill topped the hurdle rankings for the second season running as he added another four Grade One races to his burgeoning CV.
"His top performance of 175 came when beating State Man by nine lengths in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, a rating which puts him behind only triple Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq and Faugheen, both 176, among the top two-milers since Classifications were first published."
Andrew Shaw, senior National Hunt handicapper for the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, said: "Galopin Des Champs followed up his two Grade One victories at Punchestown and Leopardstown with the best performance by a staying chaser this season in the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup. Although beaten for the first time over fences by Fastorslow at Punchestown the following month, at only seven years of age he has the potential to go on and win at least one more Gold Cup.
"Energumene consolidated his position as the leading two-mile chaser with an emphatic 10-length victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
"However, his chances of becoming the first horse since Badsworth Boy to win the race on three consecutive occasions will be seriously tested by stable companion El Fabiolo, the highest rated novice chaser in training and who joins Altior as the only two-mile novice to have achieved a figure of 170 since the Classifications began."