Timeform Recap - 2020 William Reid Stakes

Timeform recap of the 2020 William Reid Stakes won by Loving Gaby.

LOVING GABY winning the Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes.
LOVING GABY winning the Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes. Picture: Racing Photos

Loving Gaby  returned to Moonee Valley and returned a new peak Timeform rating of 121, joining Miss Andretti  as a winner of the Manikato-William Reid double in the process.  

Miss Andretti completed the double back in 2007 and we go back to the horse that the first leg is now named for, Manikato, to find the next. Manikato completed the Freeway-William Reid double twice, winning both in 1979/80 and 1982/83. 

That's nice trivia but Loving Gaby's William Reid success is better framed by more meaningful metrics. A rating of 121 makes Loving Gaby the seventh in her crop to break through the 120 mark on Timeform's scale and the highest rated filly of the season to date.  

A rating of 121 should go a long way to stamping Loving Gaby as Timeform's Champion three-year-old filly. In the ten preceeding seasons a rating of 121 has been good enough to win that title seven times. 

Mystic Journey , First Seal  and Black Caviar  were the top fillies of their generation with higher ratings than Loving Gaby's 121, while Snitzerland and Crystal Lily  were also rated 121 when they topped their crop. 

This is a stronger than average group though, a drum we have been beating since it became clear that they were trending that way back in the spring, and there are a few candidates to reach similar marks in the coming weeks. Probabeel , Flit and Libertini are all rated 115. Libertini looks a shot duck, and Flit is a yo-yo, but Probabeel looks a candidate to do better than 115 in the coming weeks along with her sparring partner Funstar who is rated 117. Funstar has run consistently around that level and done so with plenty of substance on the clock which hints at her potential to do more when it is required. 

But as it stands, Loving Gaby is the one with the runs on the board. She is now responsible for two of the five Group One wins for this crop against the older horses.  

Five Group 1 wins (and an Everest which took more winning than the vast majority of Group Ones in Australia) is a significant number. It is already higher than the return of five of the past six crops while the average in nineteen crops this century is just short of six which they will surely land above - they are already there if we count that Everest.  

It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the group. Exceedance , who sat at the top of the class at the end of the spring, has failed to fire in two autumn runs and his chief adversary Bivouac , who was below form in the William Reid, underwhelmed in the Oakleigh Plate before his power-packed Newmarket display. And on Saturday Cosmic Force  was very ordinary as a well-backed favourite in the Galaxy. That's two chances burned in races that the three-year-olds would have fancied themselves in, but there are many more three-year-old friendly Group One races to come and it doesn't look beyond them to get up towards this century's record of 11 set by Pierro and All Too Hard's 2012/13 crop. 

That 2012/13 crop had four horses rated 125 or higher. Sepoy was one of five rated 125 or higher the year prior. We have to go back to Octagonal's 1995/96 group to find another crop with more than three.  

Octagonal's crop had six rated 125 or higher and are widely regarded (correctly) as a super crop. This group is unlikely to get to that level but with the 124-rated Castelvecchio back in business winning the Rosehill Guineas on Saturday they have a good chance of getting to four, they have a filly already established at a level good enough to be the champion filly in most years, and hopefully they still have four months of top racing ahead of them to round out the season. 

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