Ruler Of The World has been given the lowest rating of any Investec Derby winner this century by the British Horseracing Authority’s senior handicapper. Press Association Smith said in his BHA blog: “I have Libertarian on 117 as he has basically run to the same level as Battle Of Marengo, and that is what I had him running to on both of his starts this year. “I have no reason to believe that Battle Of Marengo did not run his race at Epsom. As a result I have Ruler Of The World performing to 120. “I have agreed this figure with Garry O’Gorman, who is senior handicapper on the Flat for the Irish Turf Club, and it is the lowest immediate after-race figure for a Derby winner this century. “However, just as with Talent, I am sure this will not be the limit of Ruler Of The World’s ability level.” Phil Smith has given Aidan O’Brien’s unbeaten colt a figure of just 120 following his defeat of Libertarian, although he admits he has the potential to improve it. He was similarly dismissive of Oaks winner Talent, rated 114 and above only Casual Look and Was at this stage.
Along with the two transfers, the Trojans are bringing in six impressive freshmen. Center Angel Jackson — Minyon Moore’s former teammate — ranks No. 24 overall and No. 4 at her position nationwide, according to Prospectsnation. Jackson’s versatility is demonstrated by her 21 double-doubles and a triple-double in her senior season for which she garnered First Team All-State Honors. The Trojans’ new talent joins returning players redshirt sophomore guard Shalexxus Aaron, sophomore guard Desiree Caldwell, and senior forward Kayla Overbeck as the Trojans seek Pac-12 contention this coming season. During her three seasons at North Carolina, Watts earned the 2016 ACC Freshman of the Year distinction and scored 1,320 total points. She netted an average of 15.2 points per game while amassing 82 3-pointers, only four shy of USC’s all-time record. “Angel possesses an interior presence with a very unique ability to score, rebound, defend and alter the game with her size,” Trakh said. “She is a very elite prospect who matches skill with her athleticism. She will have the ability to have an equivalent impact to our program as some of the greats before her at USC.” Following a losing 7-11 season in Pac-12 conference play, the USC women’s basketball team has brought in two promising graduate transfers — guards Stephanie Watts and Aliyah Jeune — to aid the team in its upcoming season. The program is looking to rebuild after losing several notable players from this past season. Guards Mariya Moore and Aliyah Mazyck finished their final seasons as Trojans, while guard Minyon Moore and forward Ja’Tavia Tapley decided to transfer. Although the Trojans’ top talents have left, graduate transfers Watts and Jeune are poised to make an immediate impact this season. All four were consistent starters who, despite the team’s poor record, rose to the challenge against some of the NCAA’s fiercest competitors. Minyon Moore’s absence will be especially difficult for the Trojans, as she led the team last season in points, free throws, assists, rebounds and steals. At Morehead State, Jeune averaged 16.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game with three double-doubles. Also a talented defender, she was the linchpin in a Morehead State team that which surged to second place in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament last season. A consistent scoring threat, Watts also put up several record-breaking single game performances. She broke the ACC’s record for 3-pointers in a game in her sophomore season with 10 makes, and came up just short of this mark last season with nine 3-pointers in a game. “[The 2019 class] is a very talented group with a great mixture of positions,” Trakh said. “We have height, strength and shooting. All these young women come from successful programs and are winners.” Jeune’s decision to become a Trojan was announced last Tuesday, three weeks after Watt was welcomed to the program. Jeune played two seasons for Rutgers before leaving for Morehead State. As a Beaker, she sat out for a season before earning the OVC Newcomer of the Year honors as a redshirt junior. “Stephanie is a great scorer and had a very successful career at the University of North Carolina,” USC’s head coach Mark Trakh said. “She will bring a tremendous level of experience and leadership to our program. We can’t wait to see Stephanie on the court in a USC jersey.” Winning Watts · Guard Stephanie Watts broke the ACC’s record for 3-pointers in a game while playing for North Carolina. (Photo from UNC Athletics) “Aliyah is an athletic wing who can defend, shoot the three and get to the basket,” Trakh said. “We are very excited about our prospects for the upcoming season.”