Northerly/Sunline Not quite champions...........

Usually, it wont take long for the knockers to come out of the woodwork, and I must admit, I am one of them.

Northerly is a Phenominal Racehorse. No Arguments, however, now that he has won 2 of the big 4, you cannot deny the ability of the racehorse, however I can deny his Champion Tag.

Sunline, who I am not the greatest admirer of, Still fulfills the champion tag better than Northerly to this point as she has the credentials to make it so. Apart from the Prizemoney, which really doesn't count a great deal, the fact is that they both fall a little short of becoming out and out champions.

In their Favour:
Both Won The Cox Plate, and many numerous other W.F.A events.
Both Won under handicap conditions.
Both Won in more than 1 racing centre in Australia.
Both won on any track surface.

Sunline only Favours:
Won in 3 countries and competed on 4
Has raced since a 2yo
Won a classic race as a 3yo (flight Stks)
Leads or races on Pace and carves out sectionals

Notherly only Favours:
Won from 1400m-2400m, a champions distance spread.
Won Grp 1's in 2 cities in Australia.
Set Track Records @ w.f.a
Will not get headed once he hits the front, and is a caged lion

Now for the detractions:

Never Won beyond 2040m and never lined up in any race beyond that distance.
Never raced at 2000m in the Autumn, apart from her 3yo season.
Hasn't any track records to her credit

Never Won a Group 1 in Sydney, or contest a race in sydney
Didn't contest his 3yo season

Now as there is no resonable set guidelines for what actually makes a champion, I concede that both horses are of phenominal quality, phenominal heart, and amazing racing ability.

I will concede that Sunline is a Champion in the eyes of most of the public, however, no one can call either horse a champion, until there is a solid set in concerete requirement for what makes a champion, any suggestions????

For me the Criteria would be:
A Group 1 Win registered at both W.F.A and Under Handicap conditions
Success at distances 12/1400m-24/3200m
Compete successfully at the age of 3
Success in both Melbourne and Sydney
Success at the top for more than 2 seasons
Any combination of Victory in at least 2 of the Big 4 across each age catergory: Open (Cox Plate/CC/MC/Doncaster)
3yo(Caulfield Gunieas/1000 Guineas/AJC Derby/AJC Oaks)
2yo (Golden Slipper/Blue Diamond/Ajc Sires/AJC Champagne)

Fulfil that list, You are a champion, and of the so called Current Champions, neither of them fulfil it. The last horse to do so, was Might and Power. He was a champion.

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Another good one, but can't seem to load it as it has a million posts. The title of the thread was  "This Manshood better than M & P"  it can be viewed outside of the forum, but not inside.



Oh dear Gaz. Your poor head is so done in trying to think of at least one horse that she beat that was any good that you had to go back almost twenty years to try and find some material to denigrate our past proper champs.

It is not enough to have multiple identities to look like you have support in your inane views but you now stoop to this.

You must be either totally insane or on someone's payroll.

A great read, but I find some of the criteria used to define a champion quite amusing.

The bar has been raised so much higher. They were champions of their day, but now appear to be one dimensional by today's standards.


The very word champion is an emotive and totally subjective term.
In the case of an athlete it is reserved for those outstanding performances that create incredulity and joy in the minds and hearts of the audience.
For me it is typiified by Jumpi'n Jai who "lost" the gold at the Sydney Olympics,or the gutsy Greek runner who upset the cream of American runners in the 200m final, what a day, what a privelege to be there!
Winning over adversity, against the odds (i.e statisticians!) or to the delight of a home crowd, this is what we mean when we discuss our champions, the ones who we believe are actually representing us in the contest.
To attempt to use statistics is sheer folly.
Smoking, heres a calculation for you, if you owned even 1% of either Sunline or Northerly I wonder if you would have even bothered with your meaningless statistics?
I for one use statistics solely to my financial gain, and revel in the emotional moment for the thrill of the race itself, and the opportunity to see a Champion like Sunline or Northerly in action against their peers.

Ahh well we may as well all stop going to the races according to smokin.

Bacause no-one is ever going to see a champion again - dod you think your standards are just a fraction high mate?

And all of you are roped into the empirical argument comparing distances and Group status and prizemoney and the competition at the time and whether one horse was racing well when another horse beat him/her/it. Pull your heads out of the freakin record books and look around at what racing is all about......

A champion is someone or something that makes you feel privaleged to have been there for one day. A horse that makes you shake your head and say "wow, how the hell did he/she do that" As far as racehorses go a champion could be...

- the horse that wobbled around the Moonee Valley turn only to straighten and pull of an improbable Cox Plate victory
- the horse that "couldn't win" but somehow gathered himself to win his third Cox Plate
- the horse that lead throughout and then took off like a rocket was up his arse and brained them in the Caulfield Cup a few years back.
- the horse that leads at breakneck speeds and breaks the hearts of her competition over a variety of distances
- the horse that leaves you shaking his head when you thought 58kg's and 2400 was too much for him last week.
- the horse that wins two country races and gives you the thrill of having such a beautiful animal going around for you but then goes amiss in the paddock one day.

There are lots of champions and I agree the term is used very loosely. But next time you ask if a horse is a champion, ask yourself if you shook your head when they won, or asked yourself how they did that. If you did those things then you saw a champion.

Maybe it weas a champion for one race - maybe a champion for one season. But a champion nonethelsess.

Now get your heads out of the books and go watch some racing.

That's what racing is about!
Love and appreciation of all the great highlights.
Thanks for reminding us!

Nprtherly over the last 2 years has been the best horse around, he has beaten all comings over the 1600m to 2400m at both WFA and Handicaps.
He went into the race on sat'day as the best horse around, came out a CHAMPION!


I was interested to see the timeform list for the past ten years (top25 and no Rough Habit).

Won G1 (2400m) and placed G1 WFA at 3 years of age. At 4 he won G1 WFA and G1 handicap. At 5 he won 4 G1 WFA and a G1 handicap. At 6 he won 2 G1 WFA. At 7 he won another G1 WFA. Won Group 1's in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand. Competed in Japan twice and USA once for a 5th in the Japan Cup. Won from 1200m and to 2400m, G1 from 1400m to 2400m. Was a runner up in the Cox Plate and won 11 Group 1's and 10 other Group or listed events.

Champion or not? Regardless, he should be on that timeform list.

Whats the problem callin either champions?
Fair dinkum! Both have won in fine style in Group races over a number over a number of preparations . Thatt'll do me for a champ!

Should read 6 April 2002

Randwick 6 Oct. 2002
1600m 3yr old+ ( WFA )
Track Record; 1:34.38
Holder; Sunline.

Was it gatman? Or GAFF man!


Held by FILANTE 1.33.31 5/10/96

Set in a Epsom Handicap

TO be fair though, credit for you effort, but check the OFFICIAL track records before sticking it out there, not the unofficial 1 eyed sunline supporter record sheet.


I think the record provided was the redord set under WFA conditions not handicap conditions.

don't try and claim to be an intellectual!! don't try and claim to having unwrapped the formula that determines champions...(because your age and distance criteria are hopelessly flawed for starters)

Sunline = Champion.
Northerly = Champion.

end. period. fullstop

Finally there are are few people who are prepared to stick their necks out and have something worthwile to say.

For whoever claims Sunline is the Best we have seen in the country? In the Modern Era, Probably, But you discount Surround, she won the Cox Plate, a CF Orr and 2 Oaks as well, grp 1 competitive from 14/2400m. Or Maybe Wakeful, as far as records go SHE IS THE BEST mare ever to grace Australia's turf, HANDS DOWN.

And some people obviously dont like a bit of debate.

Opinion is one thing but you can find flaws all you want, I am entitled to it.

Grandma Dawn, your wisdom is beyond your years, drs you have many valid points to raise and Joe Dirt, you don't scrub up to bad either.

SO to the rest of the warblers, have anything decent to say?


WAKEFUL -well I don't know how you came up with that one-at least you had to go back 100 bloody years to find a mare you think had a better record than Sunline.I Disagree totally let readers decide:
Group or Principal Race Wins
AJC Doncaster Handicap
VATC Caulfield Stakes
VATC Oakleigh Plate
VRC Melbourne (10f) Stakes
VRC Newmarket Handicap
AJC All-Aged Stakes
AJC Autumn Stakes
AJC Craven Plate
AJC Plate
AJC Randwick Plate
AJC Spring Stakes
AJC Sydney Cup
VATC Caulfield Stakes
VATC Eclipse (11f) Stakes
VATC St George Stakes
VRC All-Aged Stakes
VRC C.B. Fisher Plate
VRC Essendon Stakes
VRC Melbourne (10f) Stakes
VATC Eclipse (11f) Stakes
VATC St Helier Stakes
VRC Champion Stakes
VRC Essendon Stakes
VRC Melbourne (10f) Stakes
VRC October Stakes
Thats 25 feature races 100 years ago
AJC Flight Stakes
AJC Doncaster Handicap
MVRC W.S. Cox Plate
AJC All-Aged Stakes
HK Hong Kong Mile
MVRC Manikato Stakes
MVRC W.S. Cox Plate
STC Coolmore Classic
WaikRC Waikato Draught Sprint
AJC All-Aged Stakes
AJC Doncaster Handicap
STC Coolmore Classic
WaikRC Waikato Draught Sprint
STC Tea Rose Stakes
AJC Warwick Stakes
CtsRC Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes
VRC A.V. Kewney Stakes
AJC Apollo Stakes
CtsRC Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes
MVRC J.F. Feehan Stakes
VATC Memsie Stakes
AJC Apollo Stakes
VATC Memsie Stakes
VRC Turnbull Stakes
HBRInc Mudgway Stakes
Tatt's NSW Furious Stakes
MVRC Moonee Valley Oaks
Well blow me down -2 more than Wakeful!
Thats 27-and of these 13 group 1, 12group2 and 2 group3
Smokin -good luck-you believe what you want to believe,but please no "handsdown best mare of all time" plea,Wakeful's record is impressive but I'm not buying she was better than Sunline .....Sunline-25 group1+2-read em and weep.

Northerly wins Cox Plate and in first three with 60kgs in the MC is a Champion beyond any doubt. He didn't race as a 3yo, obviously had problems so have to overlook.

Sunline wins Cox Plate as a 7yo mare also Champion beyond doubt. There is enough in sunline's career to tag her champion already.

Might and Power is one of my all time favorites gallopers but his career was cut short by injury and has no better credentials than Sunline for the tag, she has won as many races as the power contested in his career!!!!

Again, for the people not paying attention to my posts, Northerly raced twice as an autumn 3yr old!

First up flashed home over 1500m in a C6, second up won the Listed Aquanita over 1400m EASY!

He then went back to the paddock to prepare for the Ascot Summer Carnival and you should know the rest of the story........

Tried and true formula that has worked for over 50 years around the world - Timeform ratings. I don't necessarily agree with it (personal opinion) but the horses with the highest ratings in the C.Cup ran 1,2,3,4 and Universal Prince.

Below is the highest ratings for the last 10 yrs (updated after Sat)
Might and Power 131
Lonhro 128
Northerly 128
Sunline 128
Super Impose  128
Hareeba 127
Naturalism 127
Saintly 127
Schillaci 127
Testa Rossa 127
Veandercross 127
Fairway 126
Filante  126
Intergaze 126
Jeune  126
Let's Elope 126
Sky Heights 126
Tie The Knot 126
Almaraad 125
Defier 125
Doriemus 125
Mahongany  125
Octagonal  125
Redoute's Choice  125
Shogun Lodge 125

Ooops Smokin
Northerly had two starts as a late 3 yr old.
First start flashed home for 3rd in a Class 6 (25/1) over 1500m and next start won the Listed Aquanita Stakes over 1400m by two lenghts. SP 14/1. Saw the first run and was convinced he could run a place. Don;t think I didn't keep looking for him after that!
Needless to say, he went straight back into the paddock. Think Fred knew he had a good one.

While I'm in a trivial mood, he beat Mr Callahan who won a Listed event at Ascot on Saturday. At huge odds!

This just gets better and better.


It clearly states, Compete with success at 3. Might and Power won a Frank Packer plate @ 3. Might and Power won at 1200m as a two year old. Might and Power Annexed the Cox/MC/MC, the only horse since Rising Fast to have won all three races. However he competed at 2 and 3, won 3 races on the list and won in both Melbourne and Sydney, won from 1200-3200m over his career. He meets every point with a tick.

I am still yet to see an intellectual with their input into what makes a champion, and I guess I wont, as we all seem intent on being sheep and bleating behind each others calls!

And Sunline you are right, Octagonal was a champion IN EVERY SENSE of the word. Won a Cox, Ajc Derby and the AJC Sires Produce. Was competitive from the word go, and gave 150%, usually prevailing by a beesdi.k! He opitimised the word Champion, and so Did Might and Power.

I can argue the same against Sunlines opposition. Inferior opposition in her First Cox Plate win, First Doncaster , All Aged Stakes, Both Coolmore Classics, A Manikato stakes, Flight Stakes, any NZ group 1, thats about 12 of her wins Grp 1's isn't it? So that argument doesn't stand up.

As to distances and what races horses win to become a Champion, A horse like Manikato who was an out and out sprinter, is a Champion SPRINTER. Super Impose, much like sunline herself was a Champion MILER. There is a place for champions of their discipline, however the word Champion is sprayed like a can of cheap fly spray, and it is being killed.


Well Smokin,
GEE I'm going to get you to work for the Government and write tender specifications, specifically for me to fulfill, so that no one else will meet the criteria.
Lets recap M&Ps career:
M&P LESS than 48% wins.
M&P could only win when left alone in front. M&P a press champion not a real one.
M&P only seven Group 1s.
Want to see and compare records in black and white NO BS?
Go to the Studbook web site:
Then type in M&P- LOOK.
Then type in Octagonal - LOOK
Then type in Tie the Knot - LOOK
Then type in Sunline - LOOK
Then type in Northerly - LOOK
Then type in Intergaze - LOOK
I could go on but I figure with your level of analytical skills you will probably be lucky to find the web site anyway.
M&P is the greatest embarrasment to the Champ term that I have seen and as for Hall of
Fame - the others in there must be turning over in their graves. I watched M&P get beaten perhaps 24 or 25 times across a range of races. Yet Sunline and Northerly seem to win a very high percentage of their races.
M&P is and was a product of press hysteria, mainly because he has a nice name. If he had been called Snake Eyes he would have never have made a headline.

hey smokin whats in that pipe your'e smokin??If you RESTRICT your criteria it is not a fair test is it??
It is pointless trying to set 'criteria'to determine a champion-it does't work like that,but if commonsense prevails it is very easy-here it is:
A horse or athlete is a 'true' champion when it can dominate,at whatever distance,the best around at the time,(thats wfa in horse racing) in such a fashion that it leaves very few doubting its prowess.Now if we had a wfa race for MARES at Rosehill over 1400-1600m,Randwick 1400m,Caulfield, Flemington ,Mooney Valley or any other track on the planet and Sunline was in it she would win.NAME THE LAST MARE THAT BEAT SUNLINE AT WFA!!She is undefeated in NZ and I cannot recall another mare beating Sunline recently at WFA-so my point then:
SUNLINE IS THE BEST MARE TO RACE IN AUSTRALASIA,probably the world,as she beat all the mares in hong kong,dubai also.THERES YOUR TRUE'CHAMPION'
I will be at Mooney Valley Saturday cheering her on,poetry in motion,even against my favorite horse Northerly-because I at least appreciate a true champion when I see one,and I will be all choked up when she leaves as I doubt if I will ever see the likes of such a magnificent mare again.

The last mare to beat her home WFA or handicap was piavonic in the WFA Manikato at Moonee Valley last year


Smokin, the attack on you was directed at the fact that you said Might And Power fulfilled all of your credentials. The fact is that he didn't. The last horse to come close to your credentials was Octagonal. He won from 1200m-2400m, as a 2yo, 3yo and 4yo, and won 10 G1s, including of course the Derby, Cox Plate, and 2 Mercedes. He also competed against a sensational crop and broke records. I think he was a champion and is somewhat underrated.

As for the 1200-3200m argument, well you may as well say that the horse has to be successful at stud as well.


Smokin, If M&P was the last to fulfil all your criteria, can you please tell me how many G1's he won as a 3YO.

G'day Smokin,

M&P is the greatest embarrassment ever to be called a champion. Have a look at the quality of fields he beat and remember that quality always drops away above 2000m.

As an example - of the other 10 runners in M&P's Cox Plate they had generally bad form going into the race and truly appalling form afterwars. 4 of those 10 never raced again and the other 6 had 32 starts between them for 2 wins and 6 placings.

That's why I call him The Embarrassment.

Times mean diddly. When M&P broke the track record in the Cox Plate (it hadn't been many years since the track was upgraded and records reset) the track was on fire and the 10th horse home in that race also broke the old record and 6 other horses on the day broke track records in other races. Diatribe beat M&P's Caulfield Cup track record by more than 5 lengths and the 9th horse home behind him (Streak!) also broke M&P's time.

Sunline's record of 32 from 44, 2 Cox Plates, 2 Doncasters etc stamp her as an absolute champion.

If not winning past 2000m disqualifies a horse from champion status then where does Manikato fit? Or Bernborough? He only won one race past 2000m being the Doomben Cup at 11 furlongs and that's generally an average sort of race anyway. Really shouldn't be a G1 but ya gotta give the banana benders something, I guess.

Cheers - JaQaL

JaQal, for someone who talks a little bit of sense, you ignorance regarding M&P and the strength of QLD races such as the Doomben Cup shines out.

Also, you state that times mean "diddly" but then you go to great lengths to explain how M&P's time in the CC was blown away by Diatribe although by your reasoning - this means diddly. To say that M&P was an embarassment demonstrates either your total lack of knowledge or judgement or both.

M&P was internationally rated as one of the best stayers in the world following his CC & MC wins. He won the CC by 7 or 8 lengths. He lead all the way in the MC where results all day proved the the going on the fence (where M&P stayed for 3200m) was not the place to be and all the leaders that day failed badly. M&P should have won the AJC Derby as indicated in his next start where he towelled a smart field in the Packer Plate. He came out and won a 1200m sprint first up where he beat another gun horse with an electifying finish. An unlucky run in the Epsom preceded his 13 months of championship form.

If you want any credibility, stick to facts, your judgement sucks.

Hi Todman,

I have done extensive (and I mean extensive) research on the field strengths M&P met and defeated. I have done the same for horses like Kingston Town, Manikato, Sunline etc.

For info, I produce ratings every race on every day that is covered by SuperTAB.

The quality of M&P's opposition was truly appalling. Just look at his Cox Plate competition and judge for yourself.

People point to M&P's Caulfield Cup win as devestating, which it was, and one of the most terrific wins for years. But the horse only had 52.5kg...What would Northerly have done to last Saturday's field (which was 6kg stronger than the 1997 field by my ratings) with only 52.5kg? M&P then won the Melbourne Cup with only 56kg and narrowly beat a horse that hadn't won in 18 months at any level. How he could then be rated the world's best stayer is amazing to me - though it is selected by a panel in a similar way to the Australian Horse of the Year award so anything can happen.

Todman, I've done the work and am happy with the accuracy of my ratings, which show M&P having a similar rating to Gurner's Lane. The ratings have a very strong strike rate (and picked the Caulfield Cup in order, which was handy) and once the //scrap//s (Maidens, low class races etc) is filtered out they strike at 44%.

You're entitled to your view, Todman. I can only point out the facts as I see them and cringe when people talk of M&P as a champion.

Have a good time on the punt over the carnival.


How do your ratings explain his thrashing of the top mare and Melbourne Cup runner up Champagne by 12 or so lengths in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes?

Doriemus won a Melbourne Cup by 4, a Caulfield Cup, and ran a further Caulfield Cup 2nd and 4th and a further Melbourne Cup second and sixth!

He was the second best stayer of the last decade and was ridden a treat by Hall. Might & Power's effort to lead all the way and hold him off was incredible.

He is clearly the best horse since Kingstown Town. He couldn't control who he was up against. All he could do was win and he did that in style.

He beat Tycoon Lil (into 3rd) who had NEVER finished further back than 3rd in her whole career, the best mare up until Sunline - not comparable, of course.

She did once but talk about an under-rated horse. Her win in the Canterbury Guineas was phenominal.

Her clash with Might & Power in the Caulfield Stakes was up there with Lonhro v Sunline.

I think a champion needs to have won a Cox Plate! I also agree that a champion has to:
- maintain a high level for many seasons
- win G1 at WFA and handicap. And as a topweight in a handicap.
I don't agree that you have to win at 3 years of age.
The major thing is to be able to win a Cox Plate. If you only win at sprint distances or at long distances or as a 2yo or 3yo, you will be known as a champion 2yo/3yo or a champion sprinter/stayer. Not a Champion!
The 3 points mentioned above are essential. The rest depends on people's opinions.
In my opinion Sunline is a champion. She has won a Cox Plate, won at the highest level for many seasons and won the Doncaster with topweight +2.5kgs WFA. She has done everything.
Northerly has the makings of a champion. He has won a Cox Plate, won at the highest level for 4 consecutive seasons now. And won the Caul Cup with topweight +0kgs WFA. But he hasn't produced enough yet. If he wins the Cox or Melb Cup this season or if he comes back in future seasons and continues as well as this year or he wins overseas - he could well be a champion too.

The most annoying part of this post is the title ( N/S not quite... ) and I'm happy to see almost all of you totally disagree! These two horses are the only thoroughbreds racing in Australasia that would be able to compete overseas at this point in time. They are made of the "right stuff". What is the right stuff? I wouldn't have a goddamn clue!! But it's what makes Champions and these two have it. All the great horses that have been mentioned had it as well. If we could critique it, as some of us have tried, we'd all be billionaires ! I will also state that the Champions of yester-year would not be able to compete with the Champions of today because of the improvement of the bred but it does NOT make them any less a Champion.
There's gonna be a great race on Saturday and I will be fortunate enough to watch a "Champion" win it!!

Yeah Joe i totally agree with you. They are both great but Sunline has achieved more than Northerly at this stage, she deserves her champion status, he is getting very close. I still maintain that she is a better horse than him for what she has achieved for the last 4 years, roughly 8 or 9 seasons of racing. This Spring, Northerly has changed his style of racing, he is more front running and dogged, he is probably harder to run down, but i think this has come at the cost of a loss of acceleration. This pattern of racing can win you Caulfield Cup's, maybe even Melbourne Cup's, but i dont think it can sustain a Cox Plate against the likes of Sunline, Lonhro, Defier.

we'll soon see!
Good punting!

Twenty seven consecutive placings at top level? THAT'S most definitely a champion. Couldn't be anything less.

northerly and sunline are both superior to might and power. is might and powers record that much greater than etheral? no, she won the b.m.w at w.f.a after she won the c.c./m.c. double and still wasn't crowned horse of the year. in fact there was 2 horses in front of her, northely and sunline.

What garbage!
A horse can only beat what he is put up against.He does not HAVE to win beyond a certain distance.To say Sunline is not a true champion because it has not won beyond 2000m is utter rubbish.If a horse wins from 1200 to 3200m and is a champion eg PharLap,Tulloch.,He may be the most versatile champion,but do you want to tell me VAIN was not a champion because it did not win beyond 2000m,or Octagonal because it did not win @3200???It amazes me what you Sunline detracters can come up with.IanThorpe has not won a gold medal in the Olympics at 100m or 1500m-so he must not be a real champion in your eyes-he is by my reckoning,best over HIS distances of all time!!!

So you cant be a champion if you dont race over 2040 meters????
It is the best horses with the most talent in Australasia that race at and up to this distance. You are entirely wrong...
I agree with longevity at the top level. Both are champions and who needs a preset definition. Stop wasting your time worrying about it and just accept that you are witnessing a couple of the best horses in history going around in the best races we have to offer, and winning them with consumate ease...

Cheers :)

So M&P sneaks into your arbitrary standards because he won one average open handicap at 1200m, at Warwick Farm. He only won at Group level from 1600m up, that was only G2, and he was only competitive in it because it was a quagmire, and raced like 2000m.

But Sunline, who has G1 wins from 1200-2040m doesn't make it.

Pick apart what I have said all you want, but your replies make NO sense.

The question I am posing is what is YOUR criteria for a champion?

As per usual all you see is the fact that a personal opinion differs from yours and the first step is to trash it and attempt to pin down the author!

Yes there are two marvellous horses in competition right now that we are all priveledge to witness. But there was also in 1996 4 Marvellous 'champions' in competition, and there were 2 in 1997, then 2 in 1998, see the pattern?

The only thing thats sets horses in time eras apart is 1 set of standardised rules that are set in concrete from year to year.

The challenge is, use your brain and tell the world what makes a champion in your eyes, not insult my intellegence for actually having an opinion, and facts to back it up.

Sometimes I wonder, what does make racing tick, Is it the brain-dead masses, or the people who actually give a damn, enjoy what we have for what it is and stop believing the dribbling //scrap//s that the media tell you to believe.

We were blessed with a brain, show me you can use it................


Smokin,i will tell you what a champion is and that is Kingstown Town......3 cox plates wins having to carry 59kg on twice of those occassions,3 warrick stakes back to back years,competive as a three year old never started more than 9/4 on for years,holds the records for most group ones,could make 3 runs in a race,could lead could take a sit,could come from last...raced from 1200m-3200m being succesful from1200m-2400 and being placed in melbourne cup[3200m]running second to gurners lane.So that is my definition of a champion mate,and i heard that if Tulloch hadnt missed his 3 and 4 year old racing years through a twisted bowel people believe he could have been better than the king...might and power was a good horse but he is in no even within a mile of the king..Kingstown is a champion,Might and power was a good horse..If you can tell me that might and power was a better horse than Kingstown ill eat my hat...
Cheers good punting

well done smokin, you have identified the problem with this argument. there is no standard definition of a champion racehorse. in fact you will not find one anywhere. everyone has their own definition and opinions on the subject. i have decided that the champion tag is a matter of personal taste and accept anyones individual definition, whether it is based on records and ratings or on pure emotion.
i personally think a champion racehorse is one that i myself feel (as you put it) priveliged to have witnessed.


I must admit I'm not one for dreaming up "criteria" for who is a champion or who is not. I think it's probably more important to acknowledge that we all have our favourites - often based on personal experience, including how early we spotted it as a horse of ability. It also infuriates me whenever I read that so-and-so must be a champion because it won x races over y seasons in for $z prizemoney. For the life of me, I don't give a rat's arse if a horse has one good season or five. What's more important to me is what it does in whatever time it is around, and the competition it faces. You also tend to get a situation after a while where one camp will ceaselessly attack another, and vice versa. For instance, Sunline fans will demand that everyone bow before her, and acknowledge that she's a champion, but, at the same time, will take the piss out of other fine horses, especially Might And Power, for some reason. The guy who criticised Might And Power's Cox Plate win is typical. He doesn't tell you, for instance, that the horses who had finished second, third, fourth, and fifth in the 1998 Cox Plate had, earlier in the year, won the Phar Lap Stakes, the Tulloch Stakes, the New Zealand Oaks, the Canterbury Guineas, the Frank Packer Plate, the Rough Habit Plate, the Queensland Derby, the Epsom Handicap, and the Doncaster Handicap. How many people out there would love win those races with "out-of-form" horses? He also doesn't tell you that, 12 months later, Northern Drake overcame problems to crush Tie The Knot like a bug in the Caulfield Stakes, while Tie The Knot came out a fortnight later and went much closer to beating Sunline in the Cox Plate. You also hear people bagging Lonhro from time to time as having no "ticker", while Northerly is like a "caged lion". Hmmm, Lonhro's five defeats accrue to lack of "ticker" but, mysteriously, none of Northerly's 10 defeats are put down to this ailment. Not that I think Northerly, or any other horse for that matter, lacks "ticker", it's just an illustration of the bull//sshit//s people come out with to support whatever case they want to make. We are also left with a very real possibility that Northerly and Sunline will get beaten in the Cox Plate, yet the winner will have to be rated behind those two because it hasn't won enough races, or been around long enough. Surely any horse who, on top of the ground, beats other topliners who have had every possible chance deserves credit for doing so - and all people's crazy biases and criteria will ensure this doesn't happen, and I'm sure all the articles will be Sunline this, Sunline that regardless of the result.

Well we have a smart one. I have to say that if you do not think that Sunline isnt the best mare we have ever seen in Australia you have to go do a lot more reading my friend. I could sit here for a hour and run off what she has done in her time so far but realy your the type that wouldnt lissen anyway.

I think it is a worthwhile exercise in determining criteria as to distinguish the good performers from the champions but winning over distances from 1200 to 3200 should not be one of them.

The Ian Thorpe analogy was a good one and even the great Michael Johnson has not won a Olympic 100m. I am sure he could if he tried as could Northerly win a 3200 under the right conditions.

Was Don Bradman not a champion cricketer because he scored his runs against a couple of nations? Of course he was.

The only purpose of the distance criteria would be to compare Sunline and Northerly against a horse like the King,but as that other guy said that would not make them a better horse only a more versatile champion.

I think any horse that has won as many Group 1's as those two deserve the champion tag.

Smokin - some would agree with a lot of what you say. However, like Sunline's & Northerly's shortfalls, you too have shown yourself up. If we go by your criteria, the likes of Vain & Manikato are not champions - you would lose any debate with an independant adjuticator/jury to say they are not 'out & out' champs; this is not an 'opinion', this is fact. Furthermore, to say a horse's status is determined by who they raced against is detracting from many past champions. Were you around to see the opposition against Carbine/Phar Lap/Tulloch/Kingston Town/Vain (maybe you were for Manikato), who the true scribes say are the benchmarks!!!
Hmmmm........your system is flawed.

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