Castelvecchio’s 2YO rating by Timeform Australia’s Gary Crispe ranks him among the best juvenile colts of recent years. (PHOTO: Joan Faras)
The Australian Racing Pattern ensures a constant supply of internationally credible, high-class competition throughout each season. And thankfully, the dedicated efforts of administrators and participants have kept that quality racing going in this Year of Coronavirus.
The only downside of this abundance of high-quality sport is that it tends to shorten our memories and make it easy to forget the best performances of the previous season, much less five or 10 years ago.
That’s why the work of Timeform’s respected Australian Handicapper Gary Crispe at Racing & Sports is invaluable for breeders who want to compare the best performers across several seasons.
With the Timeform ratings for 2019/20 now finalised, we were curious to see where Castelvecchio’s figure places him among the leading 2YOs of recent seasons.
Castelvecchio set a new Randwick 2YO 1600-metre record when winning the 2019 ATC Champagne S. G1 in 1:33.31. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)
Castelvecchio was rated the joint top 2YO (with Microphone) of 2018/19 with a figure of 121, above the Timeform 2YO Champions of the previous two seasons: Written By with 120 in 2017/18, and Invader & She Will Reign, both rated 119 in 2016/17.
Outside of last season, when Not A Single Doubt’s son Farnan was rated 122, we have to go back to 2015/16 to find higher-rated juveniles: Extreme Choice on 123 and Capitalist on 122.
In fact, only those three colts and Vancouver (122p) have been rated above Castelvecchio in the past 8 years, and only Extreme Choice & Castelvecchio have since gone on to achieve Group 1 success at three.
When we look at Group 1-winning 2YOs over the past 10 years, only 8 have rated higher than Castelvecchio, who earned the 5th highest Timeform rating in that period.
Over the last 20 years, Castelvecchio’s 2YO figure of 121 ranks him above 9 Golden Slipper winners & 12 Blue Diamond winners. He also tops the list of Arrowfield-bred Group 1-winning juveniles, ahead of Fashions Afield, Forensics & Miss Finland (all rated 120) and Invader (119).
We then wondered how many other Timeform Champion 2YOs have maintained or improved their figure at three. Turns out, only five in the past decade, including Pierro.