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SA Handicapper On WBRRC Committee

The World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee (WBRRC) has welcomed The National Horseracing Authority’s Senior Handicapper, Mr Lennon Maharaj, as the South African representative.

National Horseracing AuthorityLennon attended his first Committee meeting in Hong Kong during the month of December 2018 which was held under the auspices of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and comprised of Racing Officials and Handicappers representing the five continents.

WBRRC Co-Chairman Mr Nigel Gray said that, “it was a pleasure to work with Lennon at the annual meeting of the WBRRC last December and said that he is looking forward to the South African Handicapper’s contributions during 2019, and in the years to come”.

The rankings are based on the performance of horses in races held during the calendar year (1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018) and takes in account the quality of opposition and achievements of each horse.  Below is the final rankings for 2018 of the world’s top 10 racehorses as well as South Africa’s Top 10 Horses based on International Ratings as agreed on by the WBRRC.

LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Leading Horses for 2018

1

CRACKSMAN (GB) 130 GB

1

WINX (AUS) 130 AUS

3

ACCELERATE (USA) 128 USA

4

BEAUTY GENERATION (NZ) 127 HK

4

GUN RUNNER (USA) 127 USA

4

ROARING LION (USA) 127 GB

7

POET’S WORD (IRE) 126 GB

8

CRYSTAL OCEAN (GB) 125 GB

8

ENABLE (GB) 125 GB

8

JUSTIFY (USA) 125 USA

Top-rated Last Winter

South Africa’s Top 10 Horses for 2018 as at 31 December 2018

1

LAST WINTER (SAF) 119

2

CORAL FEVER (SAF) 118

2

DO IT AGAIN (SAF) 118

2

LEGAL EAGLE (SAF) 118

2

MARINARESCO (SAF) 118

6

CAPTAIN AMERICA (SAF) 117

6

MONKS HOOD (SAF) 117

6

UNDERCOVER AGENT (SAF) 117

6

SOQRAT (AUS) 117

6

ONE WORLD (SAF) 116

  • Press release published by NHA on 20 February 2019

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10 comments on “SA Handicapper On WBRRC Committee

  1. Dan says:

    Our horses are 10-15 points too high !!! Really is a joke as jeopardizes there chances are overseas

  2. Nirshad Singh says:

    Marinaresco is a118 and can’t even run a place in Dubai. Dan is absolutely correct.

    1. Editor says:

      Bernard Fayd’Herbe, Jockey, MARINARESCO (5th)—

      “I had a lovely race. Obviously, it is a bit short of his best distance. He travelled nicely. I had a horse in front of me who couldn’t quite pull into the straight, so I had to get around him. He picked it up nicely and he showed a good turn-of-foot. I got into third position and then he got a little bit tired. Obviously it’s his second run after a year, so we expected that. It’s a good improvement on last run and I think his next run is going to be his best.”

  3. hilton witz says:

    So our top older horses horses are only up to 7 pounds inferior to enable?Put up her track record and compare it our older brigade its like comparing barcelona and free state stars…

  4. Jay August says:

    There are valid reasons for saying some of our ratings are a little too high but to say they are as much as 10-15lbs to high is perhaps overly dramatic.

    In 2017 there were 82000 foals born in the major racing countries (Part 1 in the ICC Year Book) and there were 463 Group 1 races worldwide (including HK which is a Part 2 country). Taking into account that horses run on average over two seasons post their juvenile campaigns and some win multiple Group 1 races, there is therefore roughly a 0.25% chance that any foal born wins a Group 1 race. These horses are those typically rated by the WBRRC, which lists horses assessed to be 115 and above in any given year.

    What exactly the SA foal crop is at the moment is a mute point given the state of the Stud Book but let us assume it’s around 3000 foals. That implies that in SA we have a possible 7-8 horses which could be rated by the WBRCC. In 2018 we had a record 21 such horses rated while in 2017 we had a more reasonable 10.

    What changed from 2017 to 2018? I suspect that Mr Maharaj was fairly vocal and eloquent in promoting the ability of our SA bred horses and specifically the form in the 2018 Met. This perhaps has always been the problem with a committee deciding ratings where ability to persuade others is as important as the actual relative merit of individual horses. The Brits have been moaning for years that the Aussie horses are rated too highly and over represented, although in their defence they do have the second largest foal crop in the world.

    I guess this is a long winded way for me to say that I think that in some cases our SA bred horses are 4-5lbs overrated, but no more than that!

    PS – my comments should not be construed as a criticism of Mr Maharaj who has done a great job in moving the visibility of SA horses and races into the forefront.

    1. karel says:

      There have been enough runners in the UK over the years to get at least an idea how our ratings compare to RPR and TFR?

  5. Jay August says:

    Karel, not sure where the question is intended to lead me but I am struggling to remember any of the ratings over 120 (by TF and RP) which have come from the UK, but there are quite a few outside the UK by SA bred or trained horses.

    Have there really been enough (a decent sample size would be 30 or more horses) in the UK to make this comparison? Perhaps I have missed them. If you’d said ratings from the UK, Dubai and HK then I might agree; with the proviso that many horses are compromised by the quarantine and the travel, while others run better ratings, probably because the increased competition brings out their latent ability.

    What rating did Sporting give to Variety Club as an example? I am sure it was never a 131(TF) or a 124(RP) while the Dubai handicapper gave him a 120 and his MR in SA never exceeded 118.

    1. karel says:

      Taken from data of the last twenty years, there are 348 RFR-rated horses with an (SAF) country-code in the Raceform/Racing Post database.
      The majority of those raced outside of Britain (RP even attempted to rate some of the big SA races in isolation, but really are clueless in that respect).
      There are 74 (SAF) horses who ran one or more times in Britain, which is a fair number to draw conclusions from.
      I’ll do a story next week on how ratings compare, trying to put things in proper perspective.

      Your Variety Club example is a bit strange.
      I don’t see why a higher international rating would tell you anything about our local rating level.
      Many of our horses got higher ratings internationally since Mike began his raids on riches – Variety Club is just one example.
      Stronger competition requires stepping up – horses who have it in them will be able to do that.

      To answer your question: Variety Club won 14 of his 19 starts locally, from 2 to 4; we rated him 117 (vs MR 118) which is high given our ratings level (we had multiple HotY Legal Eagle at his peak as 117, or Pocket Power 116 – to give some perspective)

  6. hilton witz says:

    have we taken into consideration the 8 pound hike that was given last march?

  7. Jay August says:

    Karel, not sure why you find my Variety Club example as strange given I qualified before that by saying “….while others run better ratings, probably because the increased competition brings out their latent ability”. I was merely interested in what you had rated him in SA, following my qualification..

    I concur with your statement that RPs assessment of SA racing is strange, actually more than strange. I also concur with “I don’t see why a higher international rating would tell you anything about our local rating level”. But then please tell, why did you ask the question in the first place about UK runners, as the reverse also applies for horses who run below par overseas?

    In any case I look forward to your article and perhaps rather than continue this thread let me first read what you write there and I will comment further on that piece, when your thoughts are more clearly laid out, and we are not talking past each other.

    I’ll re-engage the RP database, and do some analysis in the meantime on the overseas ratings only for any SA bred or raced horses (includes any foreign born SA raced horses) which then have RP ratings outside SA. If there are 74 horses that have run in the UK, then we can draw some decent statistical inferences from that sample. Those horses that have run in the UK should also have BHA ratings with which to work also.

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