Vermeulen Star Gets 30 Pound Hike

Vars Vicky restricted increase - goes from 106 to 112

The major mover of the weekend in terms of NHRA merit ratings adjustments was Phillip Vermeulen’s Savannah Storm, who bounced from a  76 to a 106 after winning the Listed Drum Star Handicap.

  • Gr2 Senor Santa Sprint

VARS VICKY has had his merit rating raised from 106 to 112 following his success in the Gr2 Senor Santa Sprint over the Turffontein 1160m straight course on Saturday 13 March.

The Handicappers were of the view that 4th placed EDEN ROC made for the most suitable line horse, which leaves him unchanged on a mark of 119.

In rating the race this way, VARS VICKY actually achieved a mark of 116.

However, the specific conditions of the Senor Santa Sprint allowed only for a maximum six-pound increase for the winner and for placed horses, obliging VARS VICKY to be capped at 112.  Likewise, runner-up BOHICA had his rating increased from 112 to 118 even though he achieved an actual rating of 122.

There were no other ratings increases, but three horses were given drops.  SINGFORAFA was trimmed from 119 to 118, MARDI GRAS is down from 111 to 107, and MOUNT PLEASANT drops from 120 to 114.

  • Listed Drum Star Handicap

SAVANNAH STORM has seen his rating increased from 76 to 106 after he handed a steep rise in grade with a start-to-finish win in the Listed Drum Star Handicap over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday.

Savannah Storm (Marco van Rensburg) gets up to beat Cornish Pomodoro (Pic – JC Photos)

This sharp increase is predominantly due to the fact that SAVANNAH STORM was no fewer than 26 pounds or 13 kgs under sufferance at the weights.

It was 3rd placed YOUCANTHURRYLOVE who was used as the line horse here, leaving him unchanged on a mark of 112, while 2nd placed CORNISH POMODORO goes up from 102 to 104.

There were no other ratings increases, however six horses were given drops, PACK LEADER drops from 110 to 109, DIVINE ODYSSEY goes from 112 to 110, BARAHIN is down to 119 from 123, GREEN HAZE drops from 110 to 108, HERO’S HONOUR drops from 104 to 102, and lastly SEVEN PATRIOTS was trimmed from 103 to 102.

  • Listed Derby Trial (Handicap)

PAMUSHANA’S PRIDE has had his rating raised from 88 to 91 following his success in the Listed Derby Trial (handicap) for three-year-olds over 2000m at Turffontein on Saturday.

It was 4th placed INVINCIBLE WARRIOR who was deemed to make for the correct line horse here, leaving him unchanged on a mark of 84.

Pamushana’s Prider storms clear under S’manga Khumalo (Pic – JC Photos)

Runner-up BAYMAX had his rating increased from 80 to 81, while 3rd placed USHUAIA received a similar raise and goes from 77 to 78.

There were no other ratings increases, but no fewer than six horses received drops.  THE KOP is down from 81 to 80, BOLD RESOLVE drops from 79 to 77, HAVE A GO JO is down to 87 from 88, MIDNIGHT CALLER is down from 75 to 73, PASSING STORM drops from 76 to 73, and lastly SUPER HANDSOME was cut from 80 to 78.

  • Listed Ormond Ferraris Oaks Trial (Handicap)

ARYAAM has had her rating raised from 76 to 80 after she recorded a first career victory in the Listed Ormond Ferraris Oaks Trial (handicap) for three-year-old fillies over 2000m at Turffontein on Saturday, 3rd placed KEEPINGTHEPEACE was deemed to make for the best line horse and has had her rating restored to the 79 which she ran off, having been dropped to 78 following the publication of weights for this race.

The only other increase was for 2nd placed IDEAL JET, who goes from 88 to 91, while three fillies were given drops.

SIREN OF GREECE is down from 72 to 68, PHOENIX is down from 82 to 80, and QUEEN BOMI drops from 77 to 74.

  • Media release by NHRA on 16 March 2021

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