The Investec Derby is officially the best three-year-old race in the world

The 2018 Investec Derby, the premier Classic and Britain's richest race won by Masar on June 2 at Epsom Downs Racecourse, is today named as the best three-year-old race run anywhere in the world last year.

The 239thrunning of the Investec Derby, the most famous global Flat race, saw a first victory for owner Godolphin in its royal blue silks with decisive victor Masar, trained by Charlie Appleby and partnered by William Buick.

Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Masar, who has not raced since, came home a length and a half in front of Dee Ex Bee, with another half-length to Roaring Lion in third and a further two and a half lengths to the fourth Saxon Warrior in the 12-runner Classic over a mile and a half over the unique Epsom Downs track.

Charlie Appleby and William Buick getting feedback from Brett Doyle.
Charlie Appleby and William Buick getting feedback from Brett Doyle. Picture: Press Photo

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) today published its annual list of the world's top 100 Group and Grade 1 Flat races, details of which were revealed at the LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Ceremony in London.

The ranked list is compiled using the annual race ratings, which are calculated based on the first four finishers in each race. LONGINES and the IFHA use this list to determine the winner of the annual LONGINES World's Best Horse Race Award.

Cracksman Picture: Pat Healy Photography

The race rating for the G1 Investec Derby last year came to 121.75, meaning that the Epsom Downs contest finished ahead of the next best three-year-old only races, America's Kentucky Derby and Australia's Winx Stakes, both rated 120.25.

The 2018 Investec Derby is also the joint-third best race in Britain, along with the all-aged Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park and Ascot's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO).

Winx Picture: Racing and Sports

The LONGINES World's Best Horse Race Award was won by the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the 2018 Investec Derby came 12th equal on the overall worldwide list.

Masar, who had finished third to Saxon Warrior in the mile Classic, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, at Newmarket before winning at Epsom Downs, was subsequently sidelined through injury, but is fully expected to return to action in 2019.

The best horse officially at the end of 2018 to run in the 239th Investec Derby was Roaring Lion, who went on to gain G1 victories in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park, the Juddmonte International at York, the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Sponsored by QIPCO) at Ascot.

Owned by Qatar Racing Ltd, trained by John Gosden and ridden throughout 2018 by Oisin Murphy, Roaring Lion earned a rating of 127 in the LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings, also revealed today, making him the best three-year-old to race anywhere in the world during last year.

Both Masar and Saxon Warrior, trained by Aidan O'Brien in Ireland for a Coolmore partnership, were rated 121 in the LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings. Dee Ex Bee earned a rating of 118.

This is the first time that the Investec Derby has been named the best three-year-old race in the short history of the LONGINES World's Best Horse Race list, which is in its third year based on just the previous year's form.

The Investec Derby was second (120.50) in 2017 to the Irish Derby and 18th equal overall, while in 2016, the premier Classic came third (119.25) behind the Japanese 2000 Guineas and Japanese Derby and 30th equal on the full list.

Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs, said: "We are thrilled to see the Investec Derby named as the best three-year-old contest in the world for 2018.

"The 239th renewal of the Investec Derby was exceptionally strong, with Masar coming out on top with Dee Ex Bee, Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior in behind. The Classic maintains its pre-eminence in terms of quality, prize money and history.

"Roaring Lion went on to prove himself the best racehorse of his generation with four G1 successes. We look forward to seeing Masar returning to action in 2019 with the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs, won by 2018's joint-best racehorse Cracksman, a potential starting point."

Investec Coronation Cup winner Cracksman is the word's joint-best racehorse

In a further boost to Epsom Downs Racecourse, the 2018 Investec Coronation Cup winner Cracksman is today announced as the world's joint-best racehorse globally last year in the LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings.

With a rating of 130, the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned Cracksman shares the honour of being the world's best racehorse with superstar Australian mare Winx.

Trained by John Gosden and ridden on all four of his 2018 starts by Frankie Dettori, Cracksman won three G1 races between April and October.

After a stunning success in the G1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp in April, Cracksman was made to work in the G1 Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs on June 1, when he got up close home to deny Salouen by a head.

The Investec Coronation Cup was Cracksman's only G1 success at a mile and a half.

After winning at Epsom Downs, Cracksman won a second G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes with a stunning six-length victory at Ascot in October.

Retired to Dalham Hall Stud at the end of the year, the son of Frankel ended his career with eight wins from 11 starts, four of which came at G1 level.

In addition to his Investec Coronation Cup success, Cracksman also finished a close third in the 2017 Investec Derby and began his three-year-old career by winning the Investec Derby Trial at Epsom Downs.

Racing and Sports