U S Navy Flag
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

U S Navy Flag has been crowned the leading juvenile of 2017 following the publication of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt won both the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in the autumn and earned a rating of 122, despite finishing down the field in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on his final start of the year.

His mark puts him on a par with O’Brien’s Churchill, who was the leading two-year-old 12 months ago and went on to win both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas.

U S Navy Flag is also the 10th champion juvenile O’Brien has been responsible for and he dominates the two-year-old standings, with 15 horses featuring in the top 45.

He also has the next-best performer in Racing Post Trophy victor Saxon Warrior, the current favourite for this year’s Guineas and Derby and who is on 119, 1lb ahead of the John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion, who was beaten just a neck at Doncaster.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Dewhurst disappointment Expert Eye and Jim Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity share fourth place with a rating of 117.

O’Brien – who broke the world record for Group/Grade One winners in a calendar year in 2017 – has the leading juvenile filly as Clemmie was allotted a mark of 115 following a season that concluded with Cheveley Park Stakes victory at Newmarket.