Merit Rating Appeal
An Appeal was lodged by Mr Charles Laird on behalf of the horse RULEROFTHE DESERT against the Merit Rating of 81,which was allocated subsequent to it coming second in Race 6 at Turffontein on 15 February 2011.
An independent panel consisting of Messrs D Brugman, R Napier and V Moodley was convened to hear this Appeal on 25 February 2011 by teleconference.
The Panel noted that in deciding to use BELMONTE as the Line Horse in the race on 15 February, the Handicappers were bound by Handicapping Protocol 4.6 which reads as follows:
‘MR Handicap Races
4.6 In cases where the 3rd horse or below is used as the line horse and the distance between the winner and the runner-up is only equal to 1 merit point or less then that will be the rating applicable to the winner. In such case, clause 4.1 will not come into play’.
The Appeal Panel however deemed the consequent 3 point increase in RULEROFTHEDESERT merit rating was too much of an adjustment, considering that RULEROFTHEDESERT has not won a race since September 2010. In order to overcome the problem with the Handicapping Protocols, the Panel unanimously agreed that RuleroftheDesert should be used as the Line Horse. As a result RULEROF THEDESERT will revert to a Merit Rating of 78.
The deposit fee will be refunded.