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Handicapper’s Stump The Logic Again

'Clearly I'm out of my depth' - Jehan Malherbe

I’m not one to sling off about the Handicappers. It’s a very difficult job, but their explanation regarding the rating of the Gr1 Cartier Paddock Stakes has got me beaten.

That was written by Form Bloodstock veteran Jehan Malherbe to Mike de Kock Racing in a letter published on their website about the ratings allocated to Queen Supreme and others in the race, following Saturday’s Gr1 Cartier Paddock Stakes:

Queen Supreme – race analysis boggles the mind (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Malherbe writes that firstly, the fact that it was really true run race – unusual for South Africa, not just Cape Town – would add credence to the result being a true reflection of merit.

Secondly, as a casual observation (and not a scientific analysis), I would have thought that in trouncing a good field in a true run Gr1 race- Queen Supreme probably ran the race of her life.

Admittedly, that’s merely a gut feel, not a scientific assessment.

Now let’s analyze the Handicappers’ post-race assessment.

I would just like to highlight 5 points:

1 – They state that Queen Supreme ran 2 lb below her best ability.

Maybe they’re right, but please let me be there the day she does run to her real ability!

2- They used Clouds Unfold as the ‘line horse’.

But wait a minute, not off her published rating of 124.

No, instead they decided to use her rating of 119 – which she showed at her last start against the colts.

Now that’s fair enough if they believe she has a confirmed rating of 119.

Obviously the line horse’s rating needs to be rock solid- all the other ratings are determined by it.

But hold on- Clouds Unfold – the confirmed line horse at 119 – exits the race at 122. Go figure!!!

3– Princess Calla, beaten a short head-i.e. less than 1lb, by Clouds Unfold, exits the race at 116.

If Clouds Unfold is 122, Princess Calla can’t be less than 121.

If Clouds Unfold is 119, Princess Calla can’t be less than 118.

Remember the weight received by Princess Calla is just her WFA allowance- in essence it’s a ‘level weights’ race.

4 – Chat Ching gets beaten 2lb by Princess Calla.

Princess Calla is now 116, so Chat Ching goes to 114.

No complaint with that logic, as long as Princess Calla was given the correct rating in the first place.

5 – Sing Out Loud exits the race a 108. She was beaten 0,5 lengths by Chat Ching (now 114)

That makes Sing Out Loud 113. Not 108!

Sing Out Loud was beaten 1,5 lengths (3 lb) by Clouds Unfold – who may have run 119, but exits the race 122.

Sing Out Loud either runs 119 or at worst 116. How do they arrive at 108?

If Clouds Unfold (now 122) meets Sing Out Loud (now 108) in a handicap next time, she will be asked to concede 14lb to Sing Out Loud – excluding any WFA allowance.

That’s per the official handicappers rating of them post race.

They have just met at WFA and Sing Out Loud was beaten 3lb.Now she will get 14 lb!

And Sing Out Loud- beaten 8lb by Queen Supreme- would now receive 18lb from her in a handicap.

I thought I knew something about handicapping, but clearly I’m out of my depth.

Any clues to help me comprehend their logic?

  • www.mikedekockracing.com

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4 comments on “Handicapper’s Stump The Logic Again

  1. Graham Martin says:

    What about Jet Dark going from 109 to 130! just like that! in receipt of 5Kg’s! and Silver Operator going from 109 to 112 for running unplaced. I like the humour about Queen Supreme not running to her true rating. Imagine if she ran to her true rating! She would win the MET by miles.

  2. I do hope Sporting Post can get some answers on this – the contradictions seem obvious – and bizarre. My filly ran last in the race so I have no complaints but Queen Supreme certainly didn’t look to be running below her best. Maybe they just feel they had already rated her too highly and didn’t want to punish the others in the field – but either way there is no logic behind it that a lawyer would want to defend.

  3. Geoff Logan says:

    Wow what a joke. What gets me is that Jehan is so logical in his summary of the facts, plus he is very astute and hugely experienced, but just like our own Government, we probably will not get a counter argument in support of their reasoning.

  4. Louis Goosen says:

    Jehan makes absolute sense.

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