American Pharoah rated best racehorse in the world ahead of Golden Horn

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For a few minutes on Breeders’ Cup Saturday at Keeneland in October American Pharoah and Golden Horn, the two finest middle-distance three-year-olds of 2015, were within a few dozen yards of each other. Golden Horn, the Derby and Arc winner, had just finished a close second in the Turf, while American Pharoah, already the first Triple Crown winner for 37 years, was about to be saddled for the Classic.

That, however, was as close as they ever got on a racecourse and so it was left to racing’s international panel of handicappers to determine which of the two was the outstanding horse in a memorable year. When their decision was published on Tuesday, it was emphatic. American Pharoah, with a final rating of 134, was 4lb clear of Golden Horn, who was in turn another 4lb ahead of Treve, the Arc winner in 2013 and 2014. Shared Belief, who died of colic in December, was a second US-trained horse in the top three, rated the equal of Treve on 126.

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