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Harry one of the best sprinters in years - that's official

"He is one of the highest-rated European sprinters seen in years." Phil Smith on Harry Angel
J A McGrath

Godolphin's Harry Angel registered one of the biggest ratings hikes of the season following his brilliant win in Saturday's 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park.

He also earned a valued accolade from respected Phil Smith, the British Horseracing Authority's senior handicapper, who said: "He is one of the highest-rated European sprinters seen in years."

Accelerating through the mud that many found impossible, Harry Angel stunned his opposition and rocketed up the ratings table accordingly. His rise may continue if he can add to his record the G1 Sprint on Ascot's Champions' Day on October 21.

In the seventh edition of the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings, published today (Thursday), the Clive Cox-trained Harry Angel (125) was rated the sixth highest on the list headed by Arrogate (134) and Winx (132).

Ulysses, winner of the G1 Coral-Eclipse and G1 Juddmonte International, was another conspicuous improver, progressing from a mark of 121 to join in-form American horse Gun Runner as equal third highest-ranked, on 127.

This leaves three-year-old filly Enable (126) in fifth, followed by Harry Angel.

Smith, who is co-Chairman (with Hong Kong's Nigel Gray) of the Longines panel, explained that the rankings were very different to handicapping horses for a specific race based on recent form.

"The Longines rankings are the best sustainable performance in a calendar year," he said.

"I would be surprised if you see a drop in Arrogate's figure before the panel have their final meeting in Hong Kong in December.

"As for Winx, we considered her win in the G1 George Ryder Stakes (on March 18) to be her best performance of the year, but in the main she hasn't needed to perform to her very best to win (of late).

"There is nothing wrong with what she is doing. And the glib answer (to not earning a higher figure despite a sequence of wins) is that it's not her fault that her opposition isn't stronger," he said.

Winx will attempt her 20th consecutive win when she runs in Sydney at the weekend.