The Longines World’s Best Racehorse honor returned to the United States Jan. 25 when Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Knicks Go secured the award from the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities during a virtual ceremony.
Owned by Korea Racing Authority, Knicks Go is based in the US with trainer Brad Cox. Also expected to earn the Horse of the Year Eclipse Award, Knicks Go won five races in 2021, including the grade 1 trio of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Whitney Stakes, and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes.
The most recent American-based horse to earn the award before Knicks Go was Arrogate, who won in 2017 and 2016.
From England’s National Horse Racing Museum Tuesday in Newmarket, presenter Francesca Cumani revealed that the title of 2021 Longines World’s Best Racehorse belonged to Knicks Go, while the 2021 Longines World’s Best Horse Race was the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) in France. During the ceremony, Ryan Moore was celebrated as the 2021 Longines World’s Best Jockey.
Knicks Go finished 2021 with a rating of 129, which was the highest in the world. He earned that rating in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), his final start of the year. Besides his three grade 1 wins, Knicks Go added scores in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) and Lukas Classic Stakes (G3).
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There was a three-way tie for second between Europe’s Adayar , Mishrif and St Mark’s Basilica who all finished 2021 on a rating of 127. Adayar earned his rating in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1), Mishriff achieved that mark with his victory in the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1), and St Mark’s Basilica his rating from having won the Coral-Eclipse (G1).
The Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are established by international handicappers according to the performance of horses in top races. In the previous edition, Ghaiyyath was awarded the 2020 Longines World’s Best Racehorse title.
The Longines World Racing Awards also celebrated the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, held at ParisLongchamp in France, as the 2021 Longines World’s Best Horse Race with a rating of 124.75. This award recognizes the best-rated race of the highest-rated group 1/grade 1 international races as established by a panel of international handicappers. The ratings of the top four finishers in each race serve as basis for the assessment.
This is the fifth time the Arc has won the award, with additional recognition coming in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019. America’s Breeders’ Cup Classic won in 2016, while England’s Juddmonte International Stakes took the title in 2020.
The awarding of the Longines World’s Best Jockey title is based upon performances in the 100 highest-rated group 1 and grade 1 races as established for the year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. Moore also was named the Longines World’s Best Jockey in 2014 and 2016.