Punt Drunk: Who is Australia’s best horse?

Who is Australia's best horse?

The Group 1 horses are well and truly back on the track, and with another three top-level races between Flemington and Randwick on Saturday, the Punt Drunk team thought it was a good time to rank our top five horses doing the rounds in Australia at the moment.

It is safe to say that, unlike a certain radio programme, we will not be leaving reigning Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winner Without A Fight out of our top three. We aren’t that silly.

#5 – Think About It

The top five kicks off with the reigning Everest champion, Joe Pride’s Think About It. With 11 wins from 13 starts, the five-year-old gelding is without a doubt one of the horses to follow over the next 12 months. Having claimed the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) during the Brisbane Winter Carnival, the up-and-coming star would go on to claim the Group 2 Premiere Stakes ((1200m) and The Everest during the spring, before being narrowly defeated behind Bella Nipotina and Private Eye in the Giga Kick Stakes (1300m). Pride has said he’d like to get Think About It out in trip to the 1600m and potentially even the 2000m, with a tilt at the Cox Plate (2040m) on the agenda during the spring.

Safe to say, wherever he goes during this autumn campaign, he is going to be hard to beat.

Relive Think About It winning The Everest

#4 – Imperatriz

A bit like Pavlova, we’re going to claim Imperatriz as an Aussie for this process. Imperatriz has not been beaten in a race since the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) in March last year. Since then, she has gone on to win the five Group 1 sprints in Victoria, including all three spring sprinting majors down south during the spring. She returned to racing last weekend with a determined win in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m). What more can she do to silence the doubters, though? Every win comes with some sort of negative response from “experts”. If she comes out and wins the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) during The Championships, someone will bring up the fact that Giga Kick isn’t there, and they will need to see her do it in The Everest.

Pish posh, the Kiwi is a superstar and is comfortably the best sprinter in the land. She’s a champion, and she should be treated as such.

Relive Imperatriz winning the Group 1 Champions Sprint

#3 – Fangirl

Is it a bit of recency bias that Fangirl is this high up the order? Potentially. However, every autumn weight-for-age race between 1400m-2000m is Fangirl’s for the taking, especially in Sydney. Chris Waller’s star mare returned with a breathtaking win in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) last weekend, backing up her ridiculous win in the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (1600m) during the spring. She has a mortgage on the inaugural running of the Verry Elleegant Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, and is expected to be a genuine contender in races like the Cox Plate during the spring.

If she doesn’t win two Group 1 races this autumn, knock us over with a feather.

Relive Fangirl winning the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes

#2 – Mr Brightside

It is easy to make the argument that Mr Brightside is the best horse in the country. There is no argument, however, that he is one of the top two racehorses. The Lindsey Park product won two Group 1 races during the spring and ran second in three subsequent elite-level events, including when being nosed out in the Cox Plate behind Hong Kong superstar Romantic Warrior. Mr Brightside returned a winner in breathtaking fashion in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m), and was just as impressive when winning last weekend’s Futurity Stakes. He won a second straight Doncaster Mile (1600m) in April last year, a feat only eight other horses have ever done. Mr Brightside is the genuine definition of a superstar.

Much like Fangirl, any WFA race between 1400m-2000m in Melbourne, he is the one to beat. Let’s hope they clash at some point!

Watch Mr Brightside win the 2023 Doncaster Mile

#1 – Without A Fight

It is hard to believe, but it feels like Without A Fight winning the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double during the spring is not being respected enough. He became the first horse since Ethereal in 2001 to achieve the feat, one that was expected to never happen again. He won the Caulfield Cup second-up, having just one run at 1800m prior to his history-making achievement. Not much more needs to be said, he is the best horse in the country and despite being set to miss the autumn, Without A Fight is sure to be the one to beat in the Melbourne Cup later this year.

Watch Without A Fight win the 2023 Melbourne Cup

Punt Drunk

About Punt Drunk

Welcome to Punt Drunk – our weekly column covering all the latest horse racing and punting controversies, dramas and headline news. Have a story or gripe or issue that just grinds your gears? Just hit us up in the comments or contact us page and our jaded, punt hardened Punt Drunk staff will give it the Punt Drunk treatment it deserves. Don’t expect pleasantries or typical racing media fanboy gloss from Punt Drunk – we’re on the punt and we don’t have time to bullshit; the next is about to jump…

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