British Horse Racing Authority rate Lady Aurelia best King's Stand winner this century

Lady Aurelia is clear in the King's Stand
Lady Aurelia is clear in the King's Stand

The British Horseracing Authority consider Lady Aurelia's King's Stand Stakes success at Royal Ascot last Tuesday the best performance in the race this century.

Wesley Ward's three-year-old took full advantage of the weight she received from all of her rivals by producing a devastating display under John Velazquez as the filly streaked to a three-length victory over 2016 winner Profitable.

Adding further weight to the quality of the form was Marsha - last year's Prix de l'Abbaye winner - who finished off her race well in third, and the BHA's handicapper Chris Nash felt the American-trained Lady Aurelia could potentially have won by even further.

He said in the BHA handicappers' latest blog: "The only debate to be had is whether the 122 figure slightly understates her achievement as she took this for predominantly hands and heels riding.

"This already rates as the best performance in this race this century. The previous best figure was 119 which was achieved by several winners including Choisir (2003), Miss Andretti (2007) and Scenic Blast (2009); so Lady Aurelia can certainly be viewed as an outstanding winner.

"Connections are keen to return to these shores for a crack at the Group 1 Nunthorpe at York in August where a rematch with plenty of these rivals will likely be on the cards. Remembering that she will be entitled to a 3lb fillies allowance, if she can reproduce her Ascot figure at York then a colt or gelding would have to run to 125 to match her… and no other horse has achieved anything like that sort of figure over 5f so far this season."

Lady Aurelia wasn't the only Royal Ascot scorer to make a deep impression on the official assessors, Big Orange being allotted a new rating of 121 (+4) following his heroic Gold Cup win over favourite Order Of St George.

Mark Olley, principally responsible for rating the staying division, said: "It (the Gold Cup) was a truly thrilling finish between horses that we have grown to know and love.

"Order Of St George came into the race with an Irish rating of 120. He finished six lengths in front of last year’s 114-rated St Leger winner, Harbour Law, who in turn finished three and a quarter lengths in front of 111-rated Torcedor. That all looks excessively neat and means that I have no need to alter any of their ratings.

"A couple of my international colleagues have rated Big Orange on a par with Order Of St George on 120. Their reading of the race was that Order Of St George was tactically disadvantaged by the way the race was run and by coming wide had to cover more ground than Big Orange.

"Both are fair points, but for the time being I have given Big Orange credit for his victory and have him on 121 (up 4lb from 117)."

Unlike Michael Bell's popular six-year-old, the Richard Fahey-trained Ribchester did not need to improve to win the Queen Anne Stakes.

In fact, according to the BHA's Dominic Gardiner-Hill, he emerged on top last week despite posting a slightly lower figure than when successful earlier in the season.

Gardiner-Hill explains in the blog: "Ribchester set the pre-race standard with his mark of 125 gained in the Lockinge on his reappearance. He duly followed up despite hanging badly to his left in the closing stages.

"From a ratings perspective the race hangs together quite well with runner-up Mutakayyef and fourth placed Spectre fitting neatly on their respective marks of 120 and 114.

"This suggests that Ribchester performed to 123, which is 2lb shy of his Lockinge mark, but the best Queen Anne performance since the mighty Frankel’s demolition job in 2012.

"Unsurprisingly the Fahey-trained colt is currently the highest rated miler in Europe."

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