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Matt Chapman: Alpinista or Love – who’s the better horse and which one would you send a stallion to?

SO here’s a question… who is the best horse: Love or Alpinista? Have a think, people!

You see, today’s Monday Yeeehaaa is all about how we rate horses.

Chappers looks at the vagaries of ratings and how we judge horses


Chappers looks at the vagaries of ratings and how we judge horsesCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd.

I would hazard a guess that most of you have just shouted what a silly question Chappers. Of course Alpinista is better. And you may be right.

But you might be wrong! Let’s have a recap.

Alpinista, a five-year-old, won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe the other day for Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris.

That was her tenth success from fifteen starts which have gained her getting on for £3.5m in prize money.

The Arc was also her sixth Group 1 victory on the bounce. Alpinista will tomorrow be rated 123 after her Paris triumph.

Love was trained by Aidan O’Brien. The daughter of Galileo won seven of her fifteen starts and nearly £1.4m in prize money.

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She was last seen finishing fourth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar.

In 2020 Love slammed Alpinista by five lengths in the Yorkshire Oaks and she looked unstoppable.

At a peak Love was rated 122.

So I ask you again? Who is the best horse?

It’s an interesting debate. Effectively, Love was the better three-year-old and Alpinista at five.

But on ratings there is only 1lb between them at their peak. Yet there is more to it than that.

Love was a brilliant juvenile banging in the Group 1 Moyglare and was also a Classic heroine with a huge success in the 1000 Guineas.

Most horses are judged by their final official rating. But there is no logic to that.

Why would any horse necessarily run its best race the last time it was seen?

As a three-year-old, Love was just about unbeatable. A monster. A horse all of us could not wait to see.

Meanwhile, Alpinista could only manage a Listed win at Salisbury.

How we judge horses is basically down to personal taste, although official ratings can always be used as a deciding factor.

Running styles are also key and make comparisons almost pointless.

We all know Frankel was exuberant and could win by miles, while a horse like Sea the Stars never did much once hitting the front.

Right. Let’s just say we all agree Alpinista is the better horse.

Here’s one more question. If you had a stallion, which mare would you prefer to send him to?

Now I’m in the Love camp here – although whether it would be more lust than love only the lucky pair would ever know!


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