For the first time in almost a decade, an Australian-trained racehorse is missing from the official world top-10 thoroughbred rankings.

As the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) crowned retired Japanese champion Equinox as the world’s best racehorse for 2023, Australia’s stars of the track found it hard to get a look in.

Nevertheless, for the fourth year in a row, Australia hosted more of the world's highest-rated races than any other country with 24 Group 1s for three-year-olds and older ranked inside the top 100.

The racehorse rankings left two-time Group I winner and this season’s $20 million Everest hero Think About It as the nation’s highest-rated thoroughbred.

Yet Think About’s meteoric rise after graduating from benchmark racing to Group I wins in the Kingsford Smith Cup and the Stradbroke Handicap ahead of his Everest triumph wasn’t reflected at a global level compared to past Australian sprinters.

Think About It was given an international figure of 122, an assessment that leaves him two rating points outside the top 10 in equal 19th place.

The Sydney-trained sprinter shaded TJ Smith Stakes winner and Everest runner-up I Wish I Win and Cups hero Without A Fight - each with a 121 rating - for top billing.

Until Wednesday's announcement, Australia hadn’t had a racehorse outside of the world’s top-10 rankings since 2014 when Lankan Rupee was equal 16th off a 123 rating.

Thanks to the deeds of horses such as champion mare Winx and top sprinters Chautauqua and the recently retired Nature Strip, Australian-trained horses had been at the forefront of the international standings.

As a consequence, Australia has lost its mantle of having the world’s best sprinter for the first time since 2019.

Hong Kong idol Lucky Sweynesse now holds that crown with a 125 rating that places him equal 8th overall in the world.

Lucky Sweynesse received a peak rating on three separate occasions, dominating Hong Kong’s sprint races with victories in the Chairman's Sprint Prize, the Hong Kong Sprint, the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup and the Centenary Sprint Cup.

Another Hong Kong star, Golden Sixty, is the best-ranked Australian-bred horse, given a 126 rating after his Hong Kong Mile triumph in December.

Despite winning six times at Group I level in Australia and New Zealand during 2023, Imperatriz was ranked just 69th on a 118 mark.

Without A Fight climbed up the rankings in completing the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.

But a place couldn’t be found in the world’s top 100 Group 1 races for two of the jewels of the Melbourne spring carnival.

Their absence left the way open for the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and the Champions Mile at Flemington to share the accolade of Australia’s highest-rating Group 1 for the year at No.24.

Flemington’s Newmarket Handicap was the world’s highest-rated contest for sprinters at equal 28th with the Lightning Stakes ranked equal 33rd.

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the premier weight-for-age test of The Championships at Randwick, and the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill, were equal 44th to share the title for Sydney’s top Group 1 race.

Equinox earned a 135 rating in the Japan Cup, the race ranked the world’s best in 2023, in what turned out to be the final start of his career.