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NZTR Invites Submissions On Handicapping Review

Wednesday, 22nd June 2011

A 3-months review of handicapping policy & procedures commissioned by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing “has identified a number of key initiatives aimed at improving the current system”. The review was undertaken by Mark Webbey (formerly Racing NSW senior handicapper, Singapore Turf Club chief handicapper & World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings Committee member) & includes 15 key findings. The NZTR Board “invites submissions on the report” & “will consider the final report after further feedback from stake-holders”; any handicapping changes “are unlikely to be introduced before November this year”. The 15 key findings are:

  1. Realignment of the Ratings to rate all performers as mature male horses, with age & sex allowance in future to be deducted at weight declaration.
  2. Fillies & Mares allowance should be 2kg across the board.
  3. 3YO allowance to be reviewed, particularly in early months of season.
  4. Revised Ratings bands: Open; Rating 95; Rating 85; Rating 75; Rating 65; Maiden; Age groups etc.
  5. Benchmark Handicaps should be utilised to cater for the pool of horses racing where necessary.
  6. Handicapper to be able to re-rate horses for placed performances, even if this results in a horse being taken out of its current grade.
  7. Points system to be re-introduced at trials to assist with Maiden entry/ballot conditions & to acknowledge trials winners.
  8. Deletion of R70 Set Weight & Set Weight Penalty races & replace with handicaps.
  9. More programming opportunities restricted to Fillies & Mares only.
  10. Open Handicaps should revert to 53kg minimum.
  11. Minimum 5kg spread of weights at all levels of competition outside of 2YO races.
  12. Deletion of Restricted Open races.
  13. Horses should not be able to be late entered for major races after handicaps have been declared.
  14. Current & past ratings should be displayed with race form & on the NZTR website.
  15. NZTR should consider employment of a 2nd Handicapper & development of a Cadet Handicapper.
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