Famed for his silky smooth, lengthy stride, Ghaiyyath never fails to catch the eye of punters or awards judges.
And after an incredible 2020 campaign in which he landed three Group 1 titles, the six-year-old has been retired with one of the greatest honours that can be bestowed on a racehorse – recognition as the best around at the Longines World Racing Awards.
Given a rating of 130, the Godolphin powerhouse swept all before him last year after winning the Coronation Cup, the Coral-Eclipse and the Juddmonte International Stakes in a near unbeatable 2020.
The likes of Authentic and Addeybb have also been rewarded for their fine form, while staying champion Stradivarius remains highly-rated with the judges too. Here’s the full Longines World Racing Awards top 10:
|=2||Palace Pier||126||John Gosden|
|=3||Classique Legend||125||Casper Fownes|
|=3||Persian King||125||Andre Fabre|
|=3||Tiz the Law||125||Barclay Tagg|
|=10||Almond Eye||124||Sakae Kunieda|
|=10||Nature Strip||124||Chris Waller|
In addition to their horse rankings, the Longines judges – arguably the most authoritative awards in the sport – have had their say on the finest races of 2020.
And they have opted for the International Stakes as the best renewal of last year, which is the first time since 2015 that a race on British soil has landed the award. That fascinating encounter saw Ghaiyyath – front running as ever – holding off the fast finishing Kameko and Magical to clinch what was his third Group 1 of the campaign.
The Irish Champion Stakes, in which Magical got the better of Ghaiyyath, was voted into second place with the Coral-Eclipse and the Champion Stakes at Ascot also inside the top ten.
A Giant That Got Better With Every Race
In good news for connections up and down the land, Ghaiyyath has now been retired and will spend the next few years in stud alongside his sire, Dubawi.
And the Charlie Appleby trained horse could not have signed off his racing career in more incredible fashion as he produced a trio of incredible runs from the front.#
|12th Sept 2020||Irish Champion Stakes||Leopardstown||2nd||8/13|
|19th Aug 2020||Juddmonte International||York||1st||11/8|
|5th July 2020||Coral-Eclipse||Sandown||1st||9/4|
|5th June 2020||Coronation Cup||Newmarket||1st||11/10|
|20th Feb 2020||Dubai Millennium Stakes||Meydan||1st||4/9|
The Coronation Cup was an outstanding win – a sneak peak of what was to follow in 2020. Ghaiyyath led from the front, and while his pace was inconsistent he still had more than enough in the tank to outlast former Derby champion Anthony Van Dyck and staying sensation Stradivarius. Neither, in truth, even got close.
Then came the one they all wanted to see: Ghaiyyath taking on the best in the business in Enable. They locked horns at Sandown in the Coral-Eclipse, and once again it was William Buick who was in control of the race. He allowed Ghaiyyath free rein to stride out, took his foot off the gas in the middle portion of the renewal before setting his mount free again at the business end – Enable, who at that point had only been beaten in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe since peaking, stood no chance.
The hat-trick duly followed in the International Stakes at York. Another stellar field saw Ghiayyath paired against the likes of Magical, Lord North and 2,000 Guineas champion Kameko, and once again he made all the running – nobody in the star-studded line-up could keep up, and the Godolphin champion roared home by three lengths.
That was considered to be the finest run of Ghaiyyath’s career, and while he would sign-off with defeat to Magical at Leopardstown this was still a fitting swansong for a late bloomer who became world class in the blink of an eye.