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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Handicap System Questions

    Hi all, first time posting (long time reader), I am wondering if someone a bit more knowledgeable in the field than me is able to help with a couple of queries around the UK/Ireland handicap systems.

    Sorry for the long post, but here goes -

    This is my understanding of the UK system -

    1. A horse gets a rating after 3 runs (providing they have a top 6 finish)
    2. The official ratings only get updated once a week (they are made available Tuesday morning)
    3. If a horse wins during that week they carry a penalty (or multiple penalties) until the ratings get updated (6lb for flat, 7lb for national hunt)

    Firstly - is the above correct?

    Secondly - A scenario, A horse called classic pursuit ran and won off a mark of 68 on 29/07/2018, then ran again on 02/08/2018 off the same mark. The ratings were updated on 31/07/2018 at 7am according to the BHA website. How is this possible?

    Finally - How does the irish rating system differ? If at all?

    Thanks in advance, hoping someone out there can help

  2. #2
    Welcome Smor84

    there is somestuff here but a 404 on guide !

    https://www.britishhorseracing.com/a.../handicapping/

    I think there is some oddity about being able to run on old ratings if entries were made before amendment.

  3. #3
    Professional
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    I have a question ... If a horse is 3lbs Out of the handicap ,. what does that actually mean. ?,

  4. #4
    Champ Kevloaf's Avatar
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    I believe that to be the case OV.

    You sometimes hear a horse is '6 lbs well-in' as they're due to go up.

    My understanding is that penalties are for winning certain races and that they aren't used to 're-handicap' a horse who is due to go up the following week.
    Last edited by Kevloaf; 08-06-2018 at 09:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BigChaang View Post
    I have a question ... If a horse is 3lbs Out of the handicap ,. what does that actually mean. ?,
    If a horse runs in a handicap race where the top weight carries 11st 10lbs and the horse in question is inferior on ratings by more than would be the case to carry bottom weight, ie 10st, then the horse is out of the handicap. So to be 3lbs out of the handicap the horse would need to be rated 27lbs inferior to the top weight in this example

  6. #6
    Professional
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    Many Thanks for explaining , MrMcGoldrick.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MrMcGoldrick View Post
    If a horse runs in a handicap race where the top weight carries 11st 10lbs and the horse in question is inferior on ratings by more than would be the case to carry bottom weight, ie 10st, then the horse is out of the handicap. So to be 3lbs out of the handicap the horse would need to be rated 27lbs inferior to the top weight in this example
    Handicaps have a rating, e.g 0-140, so if a horse runs with a rating of exactly 140 that horse will carry the allotted top weight, which would usually be 11.12 but is dependent on the conditions of the race.
    If there aren't enough entries from horses who are rated 124 or above then those below will get a run but from out the handicap.
    Handicaps have changed in recent years but there were many occasions when handicaps were littered with horses carrying more than they should, in some cases a stone or more.
    The National would regularly have a number of horses run from out the handicap, as did the County hurdle, very different these days.

    The Irish system is almost identicle though I believe some chases carry a minimum weight of 9.7.

    The min/max weights have changed endlessly over the years for safety/welfare reasons.
    I think Dessie once carried 12.5lb in a 'cap before they limited the max weight to 12.00.
    I also remember flat jockeys carrying 7.7 before the authorities increased on jockey welfare grounds.
    Again, Irish racing may have a few tweaks on UK rules but nothing mindblowing
    Last edited by Istabraq; 08-06-2018 at 07:36 PM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the responses, I found the 404 on the BHA site too... Typical!

    As it turns out, someone at BHA was kind enough to respond to my email with these questions, so I have my answers now.

    If anyone is interested, they are as follows -

    1. My understanding wasnt quite right, the top 6 rule doesnt exist.
    2. The ratings are updated on a Tuesday for the previous Sunday-Saturday, they take affect the Saturday after they are produced. This means the horse will be running off the old mark for up to 12 days after it is produced (with the penaltys as needed).

    I just need to figure out how the irish system works now.

  9. #9
    Try here smor84

    http://www.hri-ras.ie/

    I wish BHA would adopt same open system for decs...

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