York Racecourse is delighted that the Group 1 Juddmonte International has been crowned as the 2020 Longines World’s Best Race, following the announcement by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
The Juddmonte International is York’s flagship race and is the feature of the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. The 2020 renewal has been ranked number one of all thoroughbred horse races across the globe, ahead of contests such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Japan Cup.
To earn this world number one status, the provisional ratings of the first four horses past the Knavesmire winning post were assessed by the international panel of handicappers who comprise the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. This Committee concluded that the star horses - Ghaiyyath, Magical, Lord North and Kameko - combined to provide the strongest race on the planet.
Between them, these four thoroughbreds have now landed fourteen races at the highest level around the world. This accolade follows the news that, after its last full season, York Racecourse was voted the ‘Racecourse of the Year’ by both the Racehorse Owners Association (joint with Chester Racecourse) and The Racegoers Club.
The Juddmonte International has benefited from investment and support for more than three decades by Juddmonte and its founder, His Highness the late Prince Khalid Abdullah. It is a poignant tribute that this announcement comes in the month that saw the passing of the man who contributed so much to the racing and bloodstock world.
Bridget Guerin, Chairman of York Racecourse said, “York is particularly grateful to the late Prince Khalid and Juddmonte whose support of the race for over thirty years meant another world-class field assembled on the Knavesmire in 2020. I am delighted that the ratings have now confirmed what we felt at the time - that the Juddmonte International is the best race in the world.”
The winning trainer of the race was Charlie Appleby, who masterminded the triumphs of Ghaiyyath in both this category and as the world’s leading horse. The Newmarket based handler commented, “We were thrilled with Ghaiyyath’s win in the Juddmonte International for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Team Godolphin, in what we now know was the 2020 Longines World’s Best Race. It was such an impressive and emphatic victory and we were delighted that he won at York.”
British racing has once again made a strong showing in the wider rankings, with three of the top ten races being staged on the UK’s tracks - all of which form part of Qipco British Champions Series.
The Director of International Racing of the British Horseracing Authority, Ruth Quinn, said, “It is excellent news for York, and for British racing, that the Juddmonte International has once again been recognised as the strongest race in the world. Its roll of honour features some of the great names of the turf and 2020’s typically strong renewal did not disappoint, with Ghaiyyath putting up a resounding performance to defeat a field stacked with Group 1 experience and wins.
“The race is one of the most anticipated of any British summer but last year sadly lacked spectators, like so many great sporting events in the last 12 months. I’m sure I speak for many when I say that I cannot wait until the time when we are all able to return to the Knavesmire and enjoy the Juddmonte International in person again, as we have so many times before.”
Speaking about what it means for a County that recognises what sport can do for the tourism industry, James Mason, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the headline sponsor of the Ebor Festival confirmed, “Hosting world-class sport means people hear about you and gives them yet another reason to visit our beautiful County. Yorkshire keeps winning global accolades and I am delighted for everyone at York Racecourse that they have earned another such prize.”
Summing up the achievement, William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course said, “This is a fantastic endorsement of the quality of racing at York. Everyone associated with York is delighted and honoured to win this prestigious award from the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. It means that the Juddmonte International sits on top of the world, higher ranked than more than one hundred thousand thoroughbred horse races staged globally. It is a tribute to all the hard work and effort invested by the York Race Committee, Juddmonte and all the team at York, so I could not be more proud. We remain hugely grateful and appreciative of the continued support we receive from so many individuals, connections and organisations in helping stage top quality racing at York. Having been responsible for the number one race in the world is a huge accolade for York, Yorkshire and British racing. It means we are determined to keep building on this award by continuing to deliver fantastic racing action, facilities and experiences at York, into the future, so cannot wait to welcome everyone back.”