NHA Graded race roundup

NHA Graded race roundup

NHA Press Release: The 1st of a series of planned Handicappers’ Roadshows was held at Kenilworth Racecourse on 27 April 2019, after the running of the last race

The Roadshow was well attended and proved to be informative and enlightening.

The Handicappers rated the Kenilworth race meeting of 27 April in full view of all the attendees and explained the current application of the Handicapping Guidelines.

This was followed by a questions and answers session which was very well received by those that attended. Questions raised were answered and are included in the details below. The initiative proved a success and highlights the Handicappers’ commitment to transparency.

The next Roadshow will take place on 10 May 2019 at Fairview Racecourse, after the last race. Roadshows for KwaZulu-Natal (1 June 2019) and Highveld (9 June 2019) are being planned.


ONE WORLD’s merit rating remains unchanged on 117 after he survived an objection lodged by the Trainer of the runner-up and won the Winter Guineas over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday, 27 April 2019.

ONE WORLD emerged victorious by a short head following a protracted duel with runner-up VARDY, and it was VARDY who was used as the line horse to the 109 he actually achieved when beaten 3.75 lengths by ONE WORLD at level weights in the CTS 1600m Sales race over the same course-and-distance in January.

In the Winter Guineas, VARDY received 2 kgs from ONE WORLD which amounts in theory to 4 lengths over 1600m, so in finishing right alongside ONE WORLD the Handicappers firmly believe that both horses upheld the form of the CTS Sales race. Accordingly, VARDY’s rating has been raised from 100 to 109.

Third placed MAJESTIC MOZART confirms the 104 he ran to when he finished 6.5 lengths fifth behind ONE WORLD at level weights in the CTS 1600m. Now 2 kgs better off, he finished 2.85 lengths behind ONE WORLD.

Nevertheless, the Handicappers exercised some discretion and raised his rating to 102 to keep him one pound higher than fourth placed HERODOTUS, who remains unchanged on 101. Interestingly, MAJESTIC MOZART beat HERODOTUS into second place when winning a maiden over 1400m last September and confirmed his superiority over that rival again here.

No changes were made to the ratings of the three unplaced horses in the 7 runner field.


HELEN’S IDEAL remains unchanged on a rating of 99 after she overcame a wide draw and made most of the running to win the Sweet Chestnut Stakes for three-year-old fillies over 1400m at Kenilworth.

Here, the Handicappers took the view that runner-up SHAMROCK WIND is very unlikely to have run worse than when she finished sixth in the Grade 3 Prix du Cap over the same course-and-distance at her last start and accordingly used her to the 94 she actually achieved there to rate the Sweet Chestnut Stakes.

In fact, HELEN’S IDEAL only runs to 96 in assessing the race this way and hence her rating remains unchanged, but SHAMROCK WIND goes up to 94 as a consequence.

Third placed STAR FIGHTER goes up to her actual achieved 92, while fourth placed CHARGE D’AFFAIRES was raised from 83 to 85 to make her one pound higher than fifth placed DUCHESS OF BOURBON for the purpose of them meeting on the correct terms in a handicap race.

The only other change was to LESEDI LA RONA, who drops from 95 to 92.


ORPHEUS has had his rating upped from 88 to 94 after he made all the running in his first attempt on a Polytrack surface to easily win the Sledgehammer over 1800m at Greyville on Sunday, 28 April 2019.

The Handicappers felt that runner-up ROY HAD ENOUGH is very unlikely to have run below the 101 he achieved when unplaced in an off-season Pinnacle Plate at Greyville last September, a level he also ran to when unplaced in the Gr 1 Summer Cup in December, and accordingly used him to 101 to rate the Sledgehammer.

This is well below ROY HAD ENOUGH’s current rating of 109 (which remains unchanged) and takes cognisance of the fact that he was returning from a 123 day lay-off and was most likely not at his absolute peak for this event.

Rating the race in this manner has ORPHEUS running to 103, but given the false-run nature of the race and the fact that a rating of 103 would be completely out of sync with anything ORPHEUS has previously achieved, it was decided to only raise him six pounds to 94, in keeping with the conditions of the race.

Third placed OUR COYS remains on 73, while fourth placed EYES WIDE OPEN drops from 111 to 109. The only change to the unplaced horses was that TOP CLASSMAN was trimmed from 85 to 84.

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