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Kemboy rated top jumps horse

Thu 23rd May 2019, 16:02

© Photo Healy Racing

Kemboy has been announced as the highest-rated National Hunt performer of last season in the annual Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications, hosted at Sandown Park by the British Horseracing Authority and Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old enjoyed a magnificent campaign, landing the Savills Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting, before atoning for an early exit in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with victories in the Betway Bowl at Aintree and the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup.

The latter will also be remembered as the last ever ride for Ruby Walsh, who immediately announced his retirement after returning triumphant aboard the Supreme Horse Racing Club-owned gelding.

Kemboy’s two-length defeat of Gold Cup-winning stablemate Al Boum Photo (175) at Punchestown earned him a rating of 177, the highest awarded since Don Cossack in the 2015-16 season.

Nicky Henderson’s dual Champion Chase hero Altior (175) gained top honours in the two-mile division, with Cyrname’s win in the Betfair Ascot Chase in February (176) making him the top-rated chaser over two and a half miles.

Gordon Elliott’s dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll gained a mark of 172 after his history-making success at Aintree, where he became the first back-to-back winner of the world’s greatest steeplechase since Red Rum in 1974.

The Unibet Champion Hurdle win of Gavin Cromwell’s Espoir D’Allen saw him given a rating of 170, a pound clear of leading staying hurdler Paisley Park (169), with Apple’s Jade (163) on top at intermediate distances.

Martin Greenwood, steeplechase team leader, said of Kemboy and Al Boum Photo: “Both horses are only seven years of age and there is no reason why they both can’t continue to improve.”

He added: “Tiger Roll is the third highest chaser in the staying division and is immortalised in the history books following his superb second consecutive Randox Health Grand National victory.

“A strong staying novice division was headed by Topfothegame (164), who beat Santini and Delta Work (both 163) in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, with Aintree scorer Lostintranslation (161) not far behind.

“This quartet all look capable of making their mark in the top staying events next season.”