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