The outstanding Karaka Premier Sale graduate El Segundo (Pins x Palos Verdes by Oak Ridge) continues to fly the New Zealand-bred flag, recently being ranked second-equal behind American Horse of the Year Curlin by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.
Rated 123, the Colin Little trained gelding went one better last year to defeat a class field including subsequent Group 1 Royal Ascot Queen Anne Stakes winner Haradasun plus the likes of Miss Finland, Divine Madonna and Efficient in the Group 1 BWM Cox Plate. A year earlier he ran a gallant second behind multiple Group 1 winner Fields of Omagh.
Purchased as a yearling in 2003 by Michael Stedman Bloodstock for NZ$140,000 from Ancroft Stud, El Segundo's stellar career to date has seen him record 12 wins, four seconds and three thirds from 26 outings. His Group 1 tally stands at four with almost A$3.8 million in prizemoney
Amongst these was his first Group 1 victory in the MRC Yalumba Stakes (2000m) beating Fields of Omagh and Confectioner in October 2005. He ran a second fresh up the following season before taking the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 MRC Underwood Stakes (1800m) in succession. His third Group 1 victory was the same season, winning the MRC CF Orr Stakes (1400m) in February last year.
Currently battling a tendon injury it's predicted El Segundo won't return to racing until autumn 2009 at the earliest.
The seven-year-old is the best performed progeny of his Waikato Stud sire, Pins (Snippets), who is also the sire of dual Group 1 winner Legs (ex River Century by Centaine), Group 1 Levin Classic winner Porotene Gem (ex Rubyfoo by Danzatore), and Group 1 Caulfield Guineas winner Econsul (ex Gypsy Soul by Centaine).
Curlin (Smart Strike x Sherriff's Deputy by Deputy Minister) who is rated at 130, has had a remarkable season which saw him crowned the US Horse of the Year. Further justifying his title he won the world's richest race, the Group 1 Emirates Dubai World Cup and more recently the Group 1 Stephen Foster Handicap and came second in the Group 1 Belmont Man O War Stakes.
Fellow Karaka Premier Sale graduate Efficient was ranked in tenth position while Armada, Maldivian, Packing Winner, C'est La Guerre, Nom Du Jeu, Seachange, Swick and Tuesday Joy are the other New Zealand-bred thoroughbreds who feature on the list.
The IFHA's World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings is of horses that raced in countries that have seasons that run from 1 August to 31 July.