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    • Total Posts 96

    I don’t know if my memory is playing tricks with me, but I seem to recall that at one stage these races weren’t run until August?

    When did that change, and does anyone know what the rationale for it was?

    • Total Posts 2924

    Good question, I believe you are right in thinking that nurseries didn’t begin until August, also the first six furlong race was at the Derby meeting and the seven furlongs around the start of July? my memory is failing me on that one.

    Seems all this changed some years ago, I’m sure someone on here, Venusian or Rory perhaps, will have a better recall of when and why.


    • Total Posts 96

    Apologies for bringing this back to the top but I saw a note in the declarations section of the Racing Post that stated –

    ‘Nurseries from Friday onwards will no longer be "estimated". Official two year old ratings were released on Tuesday (28th).’

    This sort of does(n’t) answer my original question at all. Can anyone shed any light on when and why nurseries began to be run before August?

    Equally, what does the note in the Racing Post mean? Who ‘estimates’ these races and on what basis?

    • Total Posts 6217

    A quick search of the Racing Post database gives the following sample of start dates for nurseries since 1990:

    1990 – 13 July
    1995 – 11 July
    2000 – 7 July
    2005 – 1 July
    2009 – 2 July

    The start date seems to have moved forward a couple of weeks over the period, though I’m sure years before that nurseries didn’t start until August.

    I’m not sure, but I would guess that "estimated" ratings refers to a period during which horses are assessed as they are entered for nurseries, presumably as two-year-olds sometimes run often and improve quickly. From the date stated the ratings have ‘settled down’ so that the official figures are published.

    With a bit of digging on the BHA website I found the following Rule relating to 2 year olds:

    29.7 Subject to Paragraph 29.8, no two-year old may run

    29.7.1 before The Flat Season commences in any year,
    29.7.2 more than five furlongs before the York May Meeting,
    29.7.3 more than six furlongs before the Royal Ascot Meeting,
    29.7.4 more than seven furlongs before August 1st,
    29.7.5 in a Handicap Race before July 1st,
    29.7.6 in a Handicap Race with older horses, and
    29.7.7 in any Selling Race after having won two such races in Great Britain except when a Selling Race has a Total Prize Fund of £10,000 or more.

    I reckon that covers your queries.


    • Total Posts 2924

    Thanks, Rob.


    • Total Posts 96

    Don’t it just! :D

    Thanks to both for your responses.

    Shows how hard work and research can replace some vague recollection.

    • Total Posts 4293

    Estimates for 2yo h’cap marks refers to the marks being provisional, in that the H’capper has been rating the 2yos between themselves but hasn’t nailed down the figures vis-a-vis the older horses.

    For example a 2yo’s estimate might be 85. At some time the H’capper has to nail his balls to the shelf and decide whether the 2yo 85 is the same as a 3yo+ 85, or is really a 83 or an 88. In the former case all the 2yo ratings would be adjusted downwards by 2 lbs and in the latter case they would all be raised by 3 lbs.

    That’s my guess anyway.

    To further answer your question, when a race such as the Brocklesby is run the Official Handicapper (and private h’cappers as well, I presume) takes into account the ratings of previous runnings of that event to help in their assessment.
    I am fairly sure that Racing Post Ratings take into account Topspeed ratings, as by definition a Topspeed rating can’t be higher that a RPR. So if the Racing Post H’capper (which is the same as the Raceform H’capper) has rated a race too lowly all the ratings for that race are raised so that they match the Topspeed rating.
    The jigsaw of how the horses’ ratings rank one to another is done from top downwards, so presumably the H’capper is starting out with the Coventry and July Stakes, and spreading out from there.

    edit: I suppose that nowadays in the age of the computer, that the H’capper knows what the average 2yo rating is at this time of the year in previous years, and moves all his ratings so that they fall into line.

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