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Third Runway Goes To A 109

General Franco down to a 99

The National Horseracing Authority have published their official assessment of the past weekend’s features.

  • Gr2 Western Cape Fillies Championship

THIRD RUNWAY has seen her merit rating raised from 97 to 109 after she made a winning seasonal debut in the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship for three-year-olds over 1400m at Kenilworth on Saturday 26 October.

The Handicappers were of the view that runner-up PRETTY YOUNG THING (who incidentally was beaten 4.25 lengths by THIRD RUNWAY in a maiden juvenile plate over the same distance at Durbanville back in May) was the correct line horse to use in assessing the race and as such, she remains unchanged on 105.

Third Runway lead in for the Kotzen team (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Third placed ROLL IN THE HAY goes up from 99 to 104, while fourth placed DRIVING MISS DAISY also goes up to 104 (from 96.)

Fifth finisher LARENTINA has been raised from 85 to 103, while sixth placed SAILING SHIP goes up from 87 to 98.  DRAMA QUEEN and POINT OF SALE both go up to 95 from 93 and 92 respectively.  The only drop was to SOMEWHERE IN TIME, who goes from 94 to 91.

  • Gr3 Cape Classic

SILVER OPERATOR’s merit rating has been increased from 106 to 109 after he captured the Grade 3 Cape Classic for three-year-olds over 1400m at Kenilworth on Saturday.

The Handicappers felt that it was highly unlikely that SILVER OPERATOR would have run below the 109 he actually achieved when he finished a close second behind BELGARION in a handicap on his seasonal debut in September.

The merit of that performance was underlined when BELGARION won the Listed Settlers Trophy at his next start.

Silver Operator returns to the winner’s box (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Runner-up CAPTAIN TATTERS was raised from 99 to 108 after beating the third placed runner SEVENTH GEAR by 2.75 lengths.  SEVENTH GEAR in turn goes up from 95 to 100, fourth placed PRINCE OF PERSIA is now 99 (up from 90) and fifth placed MACTHIEF has been raised from 97 to 103.

The third, fourth and fifth horses were rated relative to seventh finisher KING OF GEMS and as such all of this group would meet on the correct terms if they were to face each other in a handicap race.

The only other change was to GENERAL FRANCO, who drops from 102 to 99.

  • Listed Racing Association Stakes

VIVA RIO’S merit rating was raised from 93 to 108 after he ran out an easy winner of the Listed Racing Association Stakes for three-year-olds over 1600m at Fairview (turf track) on Friday 25 October.

It was decided by the Handicappers that fourth placed LUNA WISH was the correct line horse to use in assessing the race and accordingly her rating remains unchanged on 96.

Runner-up FOREIGN SOURCE also remains unchanged on 107, but third placed CANE LIME ‘N SODA has been increased from 98 to 101.

CANE LIME ‘N SODA also achieved 101 when he won a Kenilworth maiden race by 8.5 lengths in August and it was felt that he was unlikely to have fared worse by finishing third at Listed level.

Fifth placed JUSTFORTHEEPENNY goes up from 88 to 91, while SCARBOROUGH FAIR drops from 94 to 92.

  • Listed Socrasync Toro Ya Africa Algoa Cup

CAT DADDY has had his merit rating increased from 94 to 101 after his easy success in the Listed Socrasync Toro Ya Africa Algoa Cup (handicap) over 2000m on the Fairview turf track on Sunday 27 October.

In a race where the first five places were all taken by Cape Town raiders, it was decided by the Handicappers that fourth placed CROME YELLOW made for the best line horse and as such his rating remains unchanged.

Runner-up KNIGHTS TEMPLAR goes up from 97 to 100, while third placed DUC D’ORANGE goes up from 88 to 92 as the combined effect of having been 1 kg under sufferance and carrying 1 kg overweight.

Numerous horses were given a ratings’ drop.

TOMMY GRAND goes from 90 to 89, AMERICAN LANDING was trimmed from 97 to 96, MANGROVE drops from 96 to 95, OLLIVANDER goes from 85 to 81 and JUST CHAOS drops to 87 from 90.

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24 comments on “Third Runway Goes To A 109

  1. Steve Reid says:

    Are we not going to mention the obvious elephant in the room here?

    1. karel says:

      Trumpet Major?
      (Timeform 104 at 2 in 1965)

  2. Steve Reid says:

    Not even close but then again I think you know that.

    Perhaps MR ratings in PE should be adjusted by 15 when they meet WC competition to make it fair?

    Race Figure Karel none of the 1001 night stuff needed, not striding out or not.

    1. karel says:

      Really. Alan Greeff wouldn’t bring a no-hoper here to be beaten 10 lengths. That wasn’t true form.
      Let’s just keep it sensible till next time 🙂
      And how bad was the run of the Frankel colt… those efforts are just not true and don’t deserve any comments.

  3. Dave says:

    off the radar it seems ….

  4. Steve Reid says:

    Sensible would be to mention the joint highest rated filly in the race. Sensible would be to mention the favourite who finished 2nd last, even if it were to say something was clearly wrong and no adjustment would be made at this stage. It makes absolutely no sense commenting on the adjustment of a horses rating who finishes 12/14 yet treats the wunderkind highest rated 1st time winner from PE of all time as if she didn’t run.

    Alan Greeff did the right thing raiding – off that rating what choice did he really have? A Conditions Plate in PE? This is not about the trainer, it is about the horse and a ludicrous rating achieved after slamming a mediocre field first time out.

    Karel there comes a time when common sense dictates that handicappers get it patently wrong on occasion. There’s no shame in that, as if we are brutally honest, the rating of General Franco on his debut run was more the opinion of the handicapping team than the assessment of the run seeing that there were only two horses that had run previously in that field and neither have won a race since. Frankel must be an intimidating factor when debating the strength of a field one of his progeny has just comfortably disposed of. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that the opinion was incorrect when you have the facts to prove that initial opinion incorrect . Why does it take as long as it has? Or is the defending of this system that punishes stellar performances of young horses more important than proving that handicappers do not walk on water and do get things wrong on occasion.

    Let’s rather be realistic about it.

    1. karel says:

      Can I ask a favour: wait another run or two before I eat humble pie. World Radar and the General. OK?

      Oh, and I must add that the SP ratings and the official MR assessment went along the same road with rating the debut efforts.
      Which no doubt you knew.

  5. Jay August says:

    Steve, one can debate whether World Radar is 105 but to say she beat a mediocre field first time out is not quite true. The second in that race Glory Days is hardly mediocre.

    1. karel says:

      Steve says: “.. a ludicrous rating achieved after slamming a mediocre field first time out”.
      Presumably this means that he must have an alternative rating for the official handicapper to have used.
      Wonder what it would have been?

  6. Steve Reid says:

    Guys with respect we can go round and round on this and pick fly shit out of the pepper to try and prove ourselves right in our views, it gets us nowhere. I include myself in this analogy. To answer some of the responses: @karel I am not trying to be clever here and will admit my bias in saying that regardless of how good World Radar proves to be, my opinion is no horse should be rated as a 105 on a debut run against maidens in PE regardless of how impress the victory was. Shoot holes through that as much as you like – had World Radar won on Saturday my views would not change on that initial rating. @Jay a maiden winner in PE and a second in a plate race in PE in a field of 6 shows a nice horse sure, but would you call that a proper horse when compared with the best in stronger centres? I know what my opinion is, and with no disrespect to anyone, there’s no shame in calling a horse mediocre when comparing with the best. I should know I have been blessed to own a few mediocre horses when compared to the best of their generation, and like all of us, many more proper soup. Why the sensitivity?

    1. karel says:

      I’m not at all sensitive. Have been around long enough in this game!
      And this is serious, not picking fly-shit as you so glibly assert.
      It’s easy to generalise and not put your balls on the block.
      To me it would be interesting to know what exactly the critics would want the handicapper to have done, and based on what?
      Mincione’s explanation may give you something to chew on?

  7. Tony Mincione says:

    I’m a generous bloke who can spare 2c.

    WORLD RADAR’s debut was a difficult race to access, more than 50% unraced. She won by 7L and the 2nd horse beat the 3rd horse by another 10 L. It was a 1200m and the time was 69.66 which makes the 1000m time 58.05

    I used the lowest rating of the 6 raced horses (54 by my reckoning) and got WORLD RADAR 104 and GLORY DAYS 87. Hard to believe just looking, but doing anything else would be just making up numbers, so I left it.

    I looked forward to her next run because of all the fanfare etc, and was excited to see a 3/10 shot facing older horses in a 1200m Novice because that made them about 7kg better off at handicap terms. She would have to be at least 14 points better than the runner up if she wanted to win.

    I watched, she went to the front and never gave a moment of worry, the rest in trouble from the jump. The highest of the older horses ran 2nd, TWIN FALLS 80, a 4yo beaten 3.25L Lets assume the winner set the pace and dragged the rest behind, using the runner up as a line the WORLD RADAR ran 101.

    As it happened, the NHRA used the 6th horse which made the race rating for the top two 93-72.

    If I owned WORLD RADAR and the trainer called me next day and said we should go to the Fillies Championship next, I would say “If we get the 1400m, we will make ’em run… see you there”

    The result of Championship does absolutely nothing to help us with WORLD RADAR’s true and eventual rating. If anyone asked me, I think I would buy her as a 105+, but wonder about what trip will end up being best. If she gets a mile I would pay double :)..easy when you start with 2c.

    In the end it’s a handicap rating, and who wants a handicapper if you want to shoot for the stars? There was nothing wrong with the 105. Still not. If the have to go down, we should all be disappointed, and not happy like the peanut gallery. If people can’t stomach high ratings early, put a cap on it and make handicaps a bigger farce. WORLD RADAR went into a Novice then a feature…the handicap rating has yet to be applied after 3 runs. More peanuts anyone?

  8. Rian says:

    There are no experts in this MR Joke and that what it is, who can call himself a expert or Prof of handicappers so rules are rules
    How many horses throughout the world have been raised to a 105 after one race
    If you cant stomach the peanut comments then try removing the shells first

  9. Graham Hurlstone-Jones says:

    I really do feel for Franko but how about that Kelpie ?….did not dodge the handicapper bullet it dodged a whole regiment of them……where is that other horse now, ? shame. Kelpie with the full penalty only just matches Flame Tree now ( I feel for FT as well )…[email protected]£ked if I can work that out ? I dont know much but when its obvious it’s obvious…..Keep following everyone, its still free as a bird. If and when I buy again I want an invisible horse….I got 3/1 !! I handed myself into the police station I felt so bad !! pure theft…..

  10. Jay August says:

    Rian, the only one without a stomach here is you. If you must talk down do it with some dignity and cut the innuendo.

    If you think this issue rests only with the MR handicappers, then google “hidden scroll” and “beyer speed figure” and you will find that the speed figure aficionado’s get it wrong as well, often.

  11. Rian says:

    Got nothing to do with stomach or big/small balls but it cant be right for a system to fail so many times and Handicappers to take so much flak.
    I asked a simple question , How many international Horses are rated 105 after there first win in a maiden race ????
    Keep up the good work Jay

  12. Jay August says:

    Rian, the likelihood that a horse runs a 100+ on debut is a less than half a percent. Very few horses will ever achieve it as the event is rare but that does not mean that none ever will.

    Let me ask you a question – how many maiden winners beat a 10+ size field with the 3rd 17 lengths back?

    You will only ever hear from the 50 percent who are unhappy with their ratings, not the 50 percent who are happy. Based on that you seem to believe everyone is unhappy.

  13. Michael Jackson says:

    Kelpie proved yet again the folly of MR handicapping. Yesterday as a 2 time winner she again beat Flame Tree! My point is that when they entered their post maiden start, why was there such a huge discrepancy between the weight of the 2 three year old fillies? Both should have carried a similar benchmark post maiden weight penalty, and then see how their careers/ form pans out. Yesterday again it was nice to back Kelpie at the expense of Flame Tree. Got a to show the craziness of MR handicapping for young horses!

  14. Jay August says:

    MJ, when the handicappers make mistakes why is it that you complain? I can understand a trainer complaining about a horse being overrated, but any punter should leap at the opportunity upon spotting this error. Arbitrage is what makes serious punters money, no? You should be encouraging this error not pointing out its folly.

    Now show me with a proper sampling of the data that the Kelpie example has “merit” beyond this one example. I’ll be convinced of the craziness when you put up the data which supports your statement. Otherwise I must conclude that you cherry pick the parts that prove your point and the real craziness is in your thinking.

  15. Michael Jackson says:

    Very, very few maiden winners that are rated above 90 win next time out in the handicaps yet they are usually favourite so I’m ok with that. My point is that the race figure programme/system was fairer to horses and punters as there was a predictable path before horses entered the handicap ranks. You still got upsets ( racing always has upsets, the industry wouldn’t survive othrrwise) but you didn’t have the lottery that we have since MR handicap racing became the main staple of the racing programme .

  16. Jay August says:

    MJ, what stops the operators from programming only plate and conditions races, similar to the old race figure system instead of MR handicaps, especially as they are so simple to program? I can see no reason why the NHA could or would stop this. What reason would the NHA have for insisting on merit rated handicaps? If this is more “fair” and will rescue the industry why are the operators not doing this? Have you asked them?

    PS – horses rated 90+ and who step from maiden to MR handicap level next time out have a strike rate of 16.83% compared to all other horses in MR handicaps which have a strike rate of 9.04%. Very very few it may be but nearly double the expectation.

  17. Jay August says:

    MJ, I’ve just watched a 3yo win a MR99 in KZN off a rating of 93, under sufferance and in his first start in a handicap. Master of Illusion it is!

    1. karel says:

      Cherry Picking Rules, OK?!

  18. Jay August says:

    Cherry picking indeed!

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