All sport has come to a grinding halt… except racing. The sport of Kings, its races can stop nations and whilst Covid-19 might be impacting everything, its near-on impossible stopping the Thoroughbreds… But who have been the best of our generation?..

10. Takeover Target

Record 41:21-6-4 (8 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Salinger Stakes (2004)
Lightning Stakes (2006)
Newmarket Handicap (2006)
King’s Stand Stakes (2006)
Sprinters Stakes (2006)
Doomben 10,000 (2007)
KrisFlyer International Sprint (2008)
T J Smith Stakes (2009)
The Goodwood (2009)

Champion sprinter who didn’t just do it here, but did it overseas too. 8 G1s is solid going, won over $6 million in prize money and one of few horses we’ve seen who has won a group one race five seasons in a row.

9. Dundeel

Record 19:10-4-1 (6 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Gloaming Stakes (2012)
Spring Champion Stakes (2012)
Randwick Guineas (2013)
Rosehill Guineas (2013)
Australian Derby (2013)
Underwood Stakes (2013)
Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2014)

Properly good middle distance runner out of New Zealand, saluted in six G1s from only 19 starts. That 2013 Australian Triple Crown effort was amazing. Had five starts at Randwick, four victories and a second for almost $4 million in prize money.

8. Chautauqua

Record 32:17-7-4 (6 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Hawkesbury Guineas (2014)
Bobbie Lewis Quality (2014)
Gilgai Stakes (2014, 2015)
Rubiton Stakes (2015)
TJ Smith Stakes (2015, 2016, 2017)
McEwen Stakes (2015)
Manikato Stakes (2015)
Lightning Stakes (2016)
Chairman’s Sprint Prize (2016)

The Grey Flash may have had an interesting end to his career, but we have seen very few sprinters better. That 2015/16 season where he won six from eight, four of those wins G1, was sensational. Over $8 million in prize money, a phenomenal career.

7. Sunline

Record 48:32-9-3 (13 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Flight Stakes (1998)
W S Cox Plate (1999 & 2000)
Doncaster Handicap (1999 & 2002)
All Aged Stakes (2000 & 2002)
Coolmore Classic (2000 & 2002)
Waikato Sprint (2001 & 2002)
Hong Kong Mile (2000)
Manikato Stakes (2000)

Possibly a bit low, but I’m deducting the slightest points for having some great wins last millennium. One of the greatest mares of the track we’ve ever seen, to win two Cox Plates and Doncaster Handicaps is as impressive as it gets. Her second Coolmore in 2002 was most impressive carrying 60kg. Over $11 million in prize money as well.

6. Lonhro

Record 35:26-3-2 (11 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Australian Cup (2004)
C F Orr Stakes (2004)
George Ryder Stakes (2003,2004)
Caulfield Stakes (2002,2003)
George Main Stakes (2003)
Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2003)
Chipping Norton Stakes (2003)
LKS MacKinnon Stakes (2002)
Caulfield Guineas (2001)

Outstanding horse, he won 64% of Group 1’s entered, just absurd. Won his first G1 over 1600m in the Caulfield Guineas and then just dominated up to the 2000m mark for the next four years. That agonising third to Fields of Omagh in the 2003 Cox Plate the only missing piece from an already glittering career.

5. Northerly

Record 37:19-7-2 (9 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Australian Cup (2001,2003)
W S Cox Plate (2001,2002)
Underwood Stakes (2001,2002)
Caulfield Cup (2002)
Yalumba Stakes (2001)
Railway Stakes (2000)

Maybe a bit high, especially in front of Lonhro and Sunline, but The Fighting Tiger out of Western Australia won two Cox Plates, two Australian Cups and a Caulfield Cup – some going. The 2001 Cox Plate win over Sunline was especially epic. Those back to back Spring carnivals in 2001 and 2002 were something else – Underwood into Yalumba into Cox Plate one year, Underwood, Turnbull, Caulfield Cup into Cox Plate the next.

4. So You Think

Record 23:14-4-1 (10 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
W S Cox Plate (2009, 2010)
Underwood Stakes (2010)
Yalumba Stakes (2010)
LKS Mackinnon Stakes (2010)
Tattersalls Gold Cup (2011, 2012)
Eclipse Stakes (2011)
Irish Champion Stakes (2011)
Prince of Wales’s Stakes (2012)

Gee, if he could have nabbed that 2010 Melbourne Cup who knows, but what a career anyway? Two Cox Plates, won carrying 49.5 kg as a three-year-old, the next year 57.5 kg. Went to the northern hemisphere as a five-year-old and won three G1s and placed in two more, adding significant weight to his CV. Winning the Gold Cup in Ireland and the Prince of Wales Stakes at Ascot in his final two races a fitting finish.

3. Makybe Diva

Record 36:14-4-3 (7 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2002)
Melbourne Cup (2003, 2004, 2005)
Sydney Cup (2004)
Australian Cup (2005)
The BMW Stakes (2005)
Memsie Stakes (2005)
Turnbull Stakes (2005)
W S Cox Plate (2005)

Insane. First horse to win the Melbourne Cup three times. What else do you want? Just insane numbers at handicap, she defines legendary status. Ran really good 2nd and 4ths in the 2003 and 2004 Caulfield Cups as well, but its all about the Melbourne Cup. Carried 51 kg the first time round, but 55.5 kg in the back-to-back and finished off her amazing career carrying 58kg for the threepeat, in a Spring where she won the Turnbull and Cox Plate too for good measure.

2. Winx

Record 43:37-3-0 (25 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Furious Stakes (2014)
Phar Lap Stakes (2015)
Sunshine Coast Guineas (2015)
Queensland Oaks (2015)
Theo Marks Stakes (2015)
Epsom Handicap (2015)
W.S. Cox Plate (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Apollo Stakes (2016, 2017, 2019)
Chipping Norton Stakes (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
George Ryder Stakes (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Doncaster Handicap (2016)
Warwick/Winx Stakes (2016, 2017, 2018)
George Main Stakes (2016, 2017, 2018)
Caulfield Stakes (2016)
Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2017, 2018, 2019)
Chelmsford Stakes (2017)
Turnbull Stakes (2017, 2018)

Controversial but got her pipped at the post. Chris Waller’s star won 37 times, that’s something you can’t comprehend even though we all witnessed it. 25 times at G1 level. Some of the stats are just out of this world, Hugh Bowman rode her 33 times for 32 wins and a second, won 20 times at Randwick from 24 starts, of the 14 races she was in worth over $1 million, won 13, came second the other time. Finished with over $26 million in prize money. But never went international and was beaten…

1. Black Caviar

Record 25:25-0-0 (15 x Group 1 wins)

Major wins
Diamond Jubilee Stakes (2012)
Newmarket Handicap (2011)
Lightning Stakes (2011, 2012, 2013)
Patinack Farm Classic (2010, 2011)
T J Smith Stakes (2011, 2013)
William Reid Stakes (2011, 2013)
BTC Cup (2011)
C F Orr Stakes (2012)
Australia Stakes (2010, 2012)
Schillaci Stakes (2010, 2011)
Schweppes Stakes (2010, 2011)
Danehill Stakes (2009)

Perfect record, and won in the UK. Black Caviar is the best of our generation. First G1 win was the Patinack Farm over 1200m in November 2010, and from there until her farewell at Randwick in April 2013, she had accumulated 13 G1 wins. Luke Nolen on board, over anything 1000-1400m, no-one could get close to her. She was destined to go a perfect record and when they took the plunge and went to Ascot when she got there only just, was the pinnacle of one of the the greatest track careers we’ve seen.

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