David Baxter – http://www.racingpost.com
GOLDEN HORN has become the first British-trained three-year-old since Frankel to earn an official mark of 130, as BHA head of handicapping Phil Smith placed John Gosden’s unbeaten colt on a par with Sir Henry Cecil’s legendary champion.
Smith raised Golden Horn by 4lbs following his victory in the Coral-Eclipse, with Frankel reaching the same mark after his 2,000 Guineas demolition job in 2013.
The pair are the only two three-year-olds to have achieved such a lofty rating since 1996, and should the international handicappers ratify Smith’s assessment on Thursday it would make Golden Horn the highest-rated horse in the world so far this year.
During his illustrious career which encompassed 14 unbeaten starts,Frankel improved to a mark of 140, making him the highest-rated horse since classifications began in 1977, with Dancing Brave downgraded 3lbs to 138.
Smith thinks Golden Horn should also improve, and said: “I would be disappointed if Golden Horn cannot go on and prove himself better than 130 as the season progresses as he is clearly a fast improving colt who on Saturday showed his versatility by making the running for the first time.
“Life will become harder for Golden Horn as the three-year-old weight for age allowance reduces by 2lbs per month across each distance as the season progresses but I have little doubt that he will be able to take that in his stride and continue to show that he is equally effective at ten furlongs and twelve furlongs.”