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Handicappers On East Cape Creep – And More

St Vladimir remains a 92

The National Horseracing Authority have issued a report on the weekend’s racing.

World Sports Betting East Cape Derby (Listed)

ST VLADIMIR remains unchanged on 92 after he comfortably won the World Sports Betting East Cape Derby over 2400m at Fairview on Saturday, 11 May 2019.  In fact, the Handicappers agreed to use ST VLADIMIR, which was joint top rated, as one of the line horses to rate the race, because in this way 3rd placed JUST CHAOS and 7th placed SAILING LIZARD also run to their marks.  As such, these two also remain unchanged.

Second placed DROP KICK was raised from 83 to 88, while fourth finisher SWIFT SURPRISE was raised to 82 from 75 in the belief that his rating should be higher than that of SAILING LIZARD.   Similarly, sixth placed JAY’S HAWK was raised from 67 to 70 in order to keep him higher than local rival TOM ‘N JERRY (66) placed ninth, who was also beaten by JAY’S HAWK in the Derby Plate over 2000m on 19 April 2019.

No other changes were made in this race.

Brett Crawford supervises the unsaddling of Vladimir after the big win (Pic – Pauline Herman Photography)

Castle Tankard (Zimbabwe Grade 1)

PEGGSON’s rating was upped from 88 to 93 after he won Zimbabwe’s well established premier handicap, the Castle Tankard over 2000m at Borrowdale Park on Saturday, 11 May 2019.   The handicappers were of the view that 3rd placed FAREEQ would not have run worse here than when he finished fourth in a much smaller field in the Independence Trophy at his last start and used him to the actual 81 he achieved there to rate the Castle Tankard.

Runner-up LEVEN POINT came into the race 5 pounds under sufferance and has accordingly been raised from 72 to 80, while FAREEQ was given a small drop from 86 to 84.  Fourth placed ARTE was dropped from 78 to 77 on her Zimbabwe debut, while fifth placed HEIR LINE dropped one pound from 92 to 91.  SIMONA also dropped slightly from 93 to 92, while MASTER ‘N COMMANDER comes down from 82 to 75.  In other drops, BUSH PILOT went from 81 to 78, and SOLINSKI was trimmed from 75 to 74.

Report on Handicappers Roadshow

The 2nd Leg of the Handicappers Roadshow was held at Fairview Racecourse on the 10 May 2019 after the running of the last race.  The implications of the Eastern Cape ‘creep’ factor was discussed at length.

The ‘creep’ factor is the inevitable rise in the ratings of a local group of horses that regularly race against each other thereby potentially flattering such horse’s ratings in the national pecking order.  The Handicappers addressed the above to the satisfaction of those that attended.

The Handicappers would like to thank all who took the time to attend the Roadshows held thus far and that have entered the discourse by raising questions which were addressed by the Handicappers and providing valuable input.

The next roadshow is scheduled to take place on 1 June 2019 at Greyville Racecourse after the last race.

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17 comments on “Handicappers On East Cape Creep – And More

  1. Steve Reid says:

    “The handicappers addressed the above to the satisfaction of those that attended”

    What exactly was discussed? How were the concerns addressed? This is really of no use to anyone that did not attend the physical meeting and as such.

  2. Niran says:

    With all due respect to the handicapping,today at durbanville I have witnessed a travesty in handicapping beyond words ,the connections of the Candice Bass robinson trained Celestial Prince and the Peter Wrensch trained Troop the color must be livid and appaled by the injustice done to these horses ….. they were both raised 8 and 5 points respectively after their last runs which was a merit hike more than the WInner ( Bold Assassin) , who I must add subsequently won today …. celestial prince ran a well beated 4th proving how deplorable the handicapping was after the last run. Parade march and the silver fox was just 0,5 lenghts behind celestial prince and troop the color on their last run but didnt get any penalties,and importantly they did carry more weight than celestial prince in their last efforts and duly finished ahead of both troop the color and celestial prince …. Long story short the handicappers in question have failed the sytem but most importantly did an injustice to the connections of these horses …. absolutely pathetic !!!

  3. Niran says:

    Correction the venue today was Kenilworth and not Durbanville …


    This is why I’m on medication and listening to 70’s music !

    When I asked Vee Moodley & Mr Lennon Maharaj, at the roadshow at Kenilworth, about their approach to assessing false run races for the purposes of Merit Ratings, and I said ” in particular to races devoid of any pace” they assured me that these races are ignored completely.

    “Oh, don’t worry, those races are totally ignored, obviously a No race”, confirmed Mr. Moodley.

    Now, I don’t know if there is such a thing a half-a-race or half-a-crawl-of-a-race , Ladies & Gentlemen ?

    “7th placed SAILING LIZARD also run to their marks”. Please Mr. Moodley & Mr. Maharaj, in the quiet words of the Virgin Mary….. ‘ come again ‘

  5. The Dark Duke says:

    William don’t let the truth spoil a good story.

  6. Armchair handicapper says:

    The creep factor is not inevitable at all if one handicaps in the correct manner. If you however keep making wrong guesses as to the correct line horse then that is exactly what you get over time. Nobody should take statements like this very seriously unless the speaker puts down on paper exactly how the creep factor has developed over time. If you can’t see it explicitly it cannot be accepted as fact. I could understand making this error in the first couple of years one handicaps horses but when you do this over many years surely you know the pitfalls to avoid in order to stop creep.


    Good afternoon Armchair Handicapper – let me try & explain myself better irrespective of what the NHA said, meant to say or made no comment at all.

    In a race like the EP DERBY, were even the vicar accepts it was a farcical tempo/pace, how on earth can you adjust, up or down, a few horses MR (3 of them) on the basis that they visually showed a aptitude to accelerate better than other stayers in THAT 2400m ?

    All it showed is that at the end of a crawl, a few horses managed to ‘quicken off a dime’ a little better than others.

    There was ZERO merit in anything done there.

    My half – a – race analogy wasn’t well explained early, I apologize. I was expressing dismay when reading that DROP KICK and SWIFT SURPRISE merit rating was raised.

    The handicappers are making a PURE arithmetical MR adjustment, to balance or reconcile (for the want of a better word) their Working Template, on that race.

    Every runners MR should be left untouched.

    What can be gleaned from that race, by jockeys and punters for future crawling races, is a horses propensity to speed up over 200 to 400 metres.

    No penalty for that, especially if the horse is practicing to be a stayer !

    1. Editor says:

      William – from Andrew Fortune profile chat
      “A jockey will ride his race to suit his mount. That event looked a bit devoid of pace on paper. So maybe trainers should deploy pacemakers as insurance? It will boost field sizes and means no disappointments for the connections. Look, travelling eight hours up the coast isn’t easy either. That horse will bounce back.”

      Read more:

    2. karel says:

      … and remember, in a short sprint any wfa disadvantage goes out the window, too!


    Mr Editor, I always thought that the pacemaker for a stablemate is an excellent idea but, and it’s a big but, the owner of the pacemaker won’t be happy.

    He/she will protest that their horses’ arse will be ‘like fried chicken’ at the top of the straight if used purely to burn it up. They have grounds to say that their horse never ever was entered with a realistic /any chance of winning

    And a chance to win is the cornerstone of a bet.

    If stablemates are used to set an even pace, ok, that’s another story.

  9. Armchair handicapper says:

    I am patiently waiting for Tellytrack to put up the sectionals of this race so we can see just how and whether the pace was sedate and false. Until then William I’m saying stum. BTW – none of my comments were aimed at your comment, rather the highlighted portion of the article!

    1. karel says:

      Sporting Post’s timekeeper says: Comparatively the second slowest of the five races around the turn, the pace was strong very early on, but then it slowed the further they went before developing into a sprint for home.


    Not at all Armchair handicapper, I didn’t take it that way. And don’t remain stum. LOL

  11. Armchair handicapper says:

    The sectionals are now up and I nearly fell asleep looking at them, such was the crawl!! For whatever reason they slammed the brakes on at around the 1200m off what already was a very slow pace, and unlike Turffontein they have no 11 meter incline to negotiate around the bend. The race then developed into an all out 400m dash off a warmup jog. I’m still sure the best horse won though as he had the only sub 11s 200m section in the whole race and was for me the best horse entering the race. Now let me crawl back onto my sofa which should take about 14s, just a little better than some of those nags and their sleeping jockeys..

  12. Armchair handicapper says:

    I hope the pace experts were watching the Dante Stakes today. Now that is what real ‘osses do when they have pace and a pacemaker to aim at. By contrast, a horse which finished just over 5 lengths behind in the SA Derby cannot do better than 6th in a common handicap today at the Vaal – pathetic!

  13. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    Buckle your seatbelts – a 10 pt general population raising is a coming.

    I wonder how this will effect the PE creep?

    Makes sense why SP did their 6 pt raise earlier on.

    I wonder if the unofficial ratings of 2 yrs olds had already included this 10 pt rise – as the few i have seen were scary high, but reasonable if you factor in the 10 pts

  14. Lou Syfer says:

    Here is a question that the powers that be can perhaps answer for me? All these upping and lowering of entire horse populations MR is surely a sign that your system is problematic, or perhaps, you do not like the truth insomuch that the average horse is well, average. Would a far easier and less messy solution to your problem not be to adjust the Program by 10 points rather? So a scheduled MR 70 would now become a MR 60. It seems a far easier, with less logistics, than doing what you propose?
    New thinking is needed, this adjusting every horses MR route has been tested and failed previously – why would it work out differently this time? Cater for the scrubbers and program it as the pool dictates.

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