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The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

Handicaps

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  • #928
    Chris B25
    Member
    • Total Posts 27

    Hi, Im a big horse racin fan but I dont know what the ratings mean such as Kauto star is running off 175 etc, what does the higher/lower number mean compared against the other horses in the races an how is this number altered?

    What number is the best for a horse, higher or lower, and how does it play a part with the weights?

    How would I spot by this number if  a horse should do well or shud be avoided?

    This is something iv never asked about, so if sum1 cud explain briefly Id appreciate it, I apologize if this has been covered in another thread, thanks..

    #41921
    Aragorn
    Member
    • Total Posts 2208

    Chris,

    In simple terms, the higher the better.

    If Kauto is running off 175 and say L’Ami was running of 165, in a handicap Kauto would carry 10lbs more on his back than L’Ami due to being rated a superior animal. In the Gold Cup, they will all run off the same weights, so if you believe the handicapper (and if he stands up… yawn) he should win purely on a ratings basis.. Of course it’s never that simple..

    Some people on here would be able to explain in detail exactly how the system works but unless your a mathematician, with plenty of time on your hands, it’s difficult to get an edge this way. Horses running without their penalty (this would be when a horse wins and then runs again before being officially re-assessed) would be one way of noting horses who are "well in"… Although most punters will be aware of this usually..

    #41922
    Chris B25
    Member
    • Total Posts 27

    Thanks Aragorn :)

    #41925
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17718

    Hiya Chris

    To simplify things a little further, convert the figures to stones & pounds, (14lbs = 1 stone), to assess what the horse would carry in an open handicap.

    Thus;<br>                    Kauto Star  175   =  12st 7lbs<br>                    Flyingbolt    212  =  15st 2lbs<br> George Washington (flat) 128   =  9st 2 lbs

    The same conversion applys equally to TopSpeed, RPR, and many other ratings.

    Simple enough, if you don’t let this new-fangled metric tripe get in your way.:)

    #41927
    Venusian
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1665

    Flyingbolt was "only" 210! It was Arkle who was 212.

    #41929
    cormack15cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8783

    Chris –

    The theory behind ‘handicapping’ is that having a horse carry extra weight on his back  will slow him down and, therefore, horses of different abilities can be allocated different weights to carry in a race in order to try to ensure they should, in theory, all have the same chance. This should, again in theory, provide competitive racing while giving owners of inferior animals a chance of winning races with them.

    Over the years a scale has been devised whereby winning distances and times can be converted into it’s equivalent in terms of weight. For example a 1 length win can, over a certain distance in certain ground conditions, equate to 3 lbs difference in weight. So, if horse A beat horse B by a length and next time they met Horse B carried 3 lb less than horse A then they should, in theory finish equal.

    All of this is in theory of course and for a multitude of factors, not least of which is the alarming refusal of  horses  to reproduce their running accurately on each occasion they race, the ‘art’ of handicapping remains an inaccurate science and one which we all believe we can have a chance of beating.

    On a historical note the Godfather of handicapping, the great turf administrator Admiral Rous once said of his search for a public handicapper –

    ‘I have been looking out for thirty years for the phenomenon, without the hope of success. I might pick pout three Prime Ministers who would satisfy the public, but I can discover no man gifted with the qualifications of the handicapper’.

    He went on to describe the necessary attributes thus –

    ‘We want a man, like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion, of independent means, a perfect knowledge of the form and actual condition of every public horse, without having the slightest interest in any stable. If by any possibility you can find this man above price, he would throw up his office in three months, disgusted with many horse-owners, whose sole knowledge of racing is confined to running horses for stakes, and abusing the handicapper’.*

    Nothing has changed then!

    The Admiral, for whom self doubt was clearly not a factor, ended up taking that particular job himself and laid down the foundations for the methods of handicapping which still form the basis of the methodology used to this day.

    * From the Biographical Encyclopaedia of British Flat Racing – Mortimer, Onslow and Willett.

    #41930
    dave jay
    Member
    • Total Posts 3386

    .. and then Chris you can convert lbs to lengths by distance using this calculation ..

    For the flat .. <br>15 / 5 = 3lbs per length for a 5 furlong race or<br>15 / 8 = 1.87lbs per length for a mile race <br>.. etc

    to work out how much the weight is worth in lengths, hypothetically, in relation to its rivals. So a horse carrying 3lbs more than another in a 5F race should finish 1 length behind the other … and so these horses have more equal chances.

    .. I dont know if NH does the same calculation, perhaps someone might want to add ??

    #41932
    PompetePompete
    Member
    • Total Posts 2391

    Beware Chris;

    To parapharse Jung

    Handicapping does not create itself – it wells up from unknown depths…..it awakens gradually and all through life it wakes us each morning out of the depths of sleep

    #41933
    Chris B25
    Member
    • Total Posts 27

    Thanks Reet Hard, Venusian, Cormack15, Dave Jay, and Pompete!<br>:) <br>

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