Japanese galloper Just A Way has been crowned the Longines World’s Best Racehorse for 2014 in London, reports Racing Victoria (www.racing.com).

The brilliant six-year-old son of Heart’s Cry won three times for the year for trainer Naosuke Sugai, twice at Group 1 level.

His 6.25-length victory in the Dubai Duty Free (1800m) at Meydan on March 29 was deemed the best performance of the year by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities handicapping panel, rating it 130.

This is the first time that a Japanese horse has been rated the world’s best and, just to prove the nation’s strength in racing, Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia was ranked second with a rating of 129 for that victory.

Overall, the spread of elite performances for 2014 was wide. The top 10-rated horses were from Europe (5), Asia (3), North America and South Africa.

Hong Kong’s Australian-bred Able Friend rated 127 for his win in the Hong Kong Mile in December, the highest rating ever achieved by a Hong Kong-trained horse.

Similarly, South Africa’s Variety Club became that country’s highest-rated horse when he ran to a rating of 127 when winning the Hong Kong Champions Mile in May.

Three-year-olds Australia (127), The Grey Gatsby (127), Kingman (127) and Sea The Moon (125) joined Treve (126) as European gallopers in the top 10.

Treve became the first horse since Alleged in 1977/78 to win consecutive runnings of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m).

Breeders’ Cup Classic (2000m) winner Bayern (125) completed the 10-highest rated horses for 2014.

As expected, Australia dominated the sprint division. Lankan Rupee and Terravista both achieved ratings of 123 for their performances, challenged strongly by Chautauqua(122).

A horse must have achieved a rating of 115 or higher during the period under review for inclusion in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings and 309 horses from 19 individual countries achieved this figure for 2014, including 40 from Australia.

View the full list of the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings.