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2015/16 New Zealand Free Handicaps

Two Thousand Guineas winner Xtravagant is the highest rated three-year-old on the 2015-16 New Zealand Free Handicaps.

Xtravagant headed an outstanding crop of three-year-olds and was rated at 61.5kg in the 1200m to 1600m category.

Sacred Elixir, a Group I winner at the Brisbane winter carnival, was the top-rated two-year-old.

Xtravagant won two Group I races by wide margins and was rated on the same level as the 2015 dual Derby winner Mongolian Khan, who was given 61.5kg in the over 1600m category for the 2014-15 season.

The only three-year-olds with a higher Free Handicap rating over the past decade have been Jimmy Choux (62.5kg), Dundeel (62kg) and Alamosa (62kg).

Xtravagant's form has also been acknowledged on a global scale, with an international handicap rating of 118.

New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo, who also won the Avondale and Waikato Guineas, was the second-highest rated three-year-old, with 60.5kg in the over 1600m category.

Australian Derby winner Tavago and Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa were assessed at 60kg, though Sofia Rosa's rating is reduced to 58kg with the sex allowance.

Sacred Elixir was a convincing winner of the JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) in Brisbane and was rated at 58.5kg, 0.5kg ahead of the unbeaten Heroic Valour, who won the Group I Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie.

The highest-rated juvenile in the past decade has been Jokers Wild, who was given 60kg for the 2005-06 season.

The Free Handicaps are prepared for the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association by NZTR handicapper George Strickland.


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