The Standard of Racing in America and Australia

Why is the standard of racing in America and Australia not as good as the UK?

British dominance in the Melbourne Cup early this morning has once again called upon the standard of racing in America and Australia, stating that it is not as good as racing in the UK.

Despite Cross Counter becoming the first British-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup, in its 150-year history, the lightly weighted 3yo comfortably led home a British 1/2/3, with the Hughie Morrison-trained Marmelo a length down in second, and Prince of Arran for Charlie Fellowes, back in third.

AtTheRaces and ITV Presenter Matt Chapman made the headlines a few weeks ago over his comments regarding Winx, who landed a fourth Cox Plate at Caulfield, Australia.

Of course, 29 successive wins in a row – which included 22 Grade 1 victories, is some feat, especially surpassing Black Caviar’s record, deemed one of the best mares from Australia in history. However, it is more about the standard of opposition that these Grade 1 horses are beating.

Winx beat Benbatl – trained in Britain by Saeed bin Suroor with utter ease, but can he be classed as the best from Britain? If the handicapper did his job properly, then Cracksman – who won back to back Champion Stakes, along with Enable, who is a dual Arc winner, and made history at the Breeders Cup the weekend, will surely be rated higher than the Chris Waller-trained Winx.

The graded races in America; but in particular Australia, are very very weak, with the term ‘legend’ completely abused and overused. They are won by the obvious standout horse, who is unopposed and unchallenged in the race.

If you compare and contrast that to Britain, the feature races are normally full of highly-rated thoroughbreds, and the contests are much more open and not so one-sided, as more horses have a chance.

Over the course of this year, several horses from Britain have competed internationally and won some valuable prizes around the globe. Not many international horses make their name in the UK, mainly due to how tough the going is, but possibly due to being outclassed.