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Top 10 Sprinters Heading Into The 2022/23 Season

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

Australia has proven time and time again we have the worlds best sprinters and if there were any doubters worldwide, Royal Ascot certainly quashed that. We will be looking at the best Sprinters, aged 4 and above across Australia and New Zealand heading into the 2022/23 racing season who perform best between the distances of 1000-1350m.

10. Levante (NZ) - 6yo Mare

At 10 we have the best NZ Sprinter, barely ahead of Entriviere in Levante. Winning 2 G1 Sprints in NZ beating home Roch n Horse (in an unofficial 1200m world record) and Entriviere, horses which won and placed in Group 1s within Australia this season, she came out and ran 4th in the Newmarket, where she was on the wrong side of the track. The spring goal seems to be the Empire Rose but I think she'd be suited to the hot tempo of the Everest and a potential top 4 finisher.

9. Paulele - 4yo Stallion

At 9 we have the best Godolphin sprinter in Australia, Paulele. Very consistent but had losses to horses at various times to horses like Mazu & In the Congo, proving he is just below the best but he could very well improve. Godolphins leading seed in Australia for their Everest slot, competing with two European internationals for that spot in Creative Force and Naval Crown.

8. Lost & Running - 6yo Gelding

Lost and Running comes in at 8. His spring was really strong, with a 4th in the Everest, a 2nd in the Winners Stakes and a 1st in the Hunter. To me that suggests he is a 1400m horse, maybe even a miler. His autumn was a tad weak, underperforming on numerous occasions, flopping in the Newmarket. He has locked in a spot for the Everest but he should be stepped out in trip next autumn.

7. Mazu - 4yo Gelding

Mazu comes in at 7 which may seem low to some but while he has been impressive, he is yet to beat a horse above him but he is also yet to lose to one. He did everything right in the autumn, culminating with a G1 in the Doomben 10,000 but watching him, something is left to be desired as the margins are not super flattering. However he is versatile, from a running pattern perspective and from a surface perspective, which will hold him in good steed. He could very well be far better than this.

6. Artorius - 4yo Stallion

Artorius comes in at 6 which may seem unusual for a horse who did not win a race this season from 9 starts. Like a horse above him, he struggles at the gates which holds him back from reaching his potential. He also appears to need a lot of work from the jockey to actually get going but once he gets going, he is electric. His July Cup placing was scintillating and surely at some point, he is due some luck. Will be a light spring for him though and it is not clear what his best distance may be.

5. Masked Crusader - 6yo Gelding

Masked Crusader comes in at 5. A very talented horse but very problematic for punters. He got going too little, too late in the Everest and after jumping well in the Winners (Classique Legend Stakes) he showed no turn of foot. It seems as if this horse needs to be last to build into the race at his own speed which is always going to be problematic but there is no denying his speed.

4. Marabi - 6yo Mare

At number 4 is Marabi and is this too high? She is very fast and talented, as demonstrated by her Australia Stakes win but does seem at this stage, to need to be able to dictate a race on her own terms to produce her best results but Nature Strip was the same and it took him until 7 to perform consistently. Marabi is a rising 6yo prep and while she will be out for the spring. I feel a Lightning Stakes could be a perfect target to show everyone what he is made of.

3. Classique Legend - 7yo Gelding

Coming in at number 3 is a somewhat forgotten horse. His win in the 2021 Everest was arguably the best sprinting performance since Black Caviar and arguably better than any performance Nature Strip has ever done however, he has only managed it once whereas Nature Strip is far more consistent. Plus he may never be the same as he pulled up lame and with a bleed in Hong Kong, then pulled up with a suspensory issue in the Everest. Jury is out.

2. Eduardo - 9yo Gelding

The only horse in the world that can compete with Nature Strip over the past 18 months on a consistent basis comes in at number two. Eduardo managed to score two wins over him but is yet to do it at the top level against him. He is very fast and proved in the Winners (Classique Legend) Stakes and the Everest, he was more than just a 1000-1100m horse. He also quashed the theory he was a wet tracker (although he probably prefers the surface). A deserving number 2. 1. Nature Strip - 8yo Gelding

There was no other option for this spot, Nature Strip was an easy number 1 selection. Winning the Everest, VRC, TJ & winning abroad would do that as well as a luckless 2nd in the Lightning. He has proven this season that he is a champion in the Everest, where he did not get any favours in the race and still managed to win. When he gets that easy build though, no horse can go with him. We will see this season if a champion can become a legend.

Hons: Entriviere (NZ), Rothfire, In The Congo, The Inferno

There is the Couch Critics top 10 sprinters. What are your thoughts? Let us know what changes you would make. The next top 10 will be our best middlers heading into the 2022/23 season.

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