January 25, 2008 at 12:10 #6384
Looking at the Doncaster card for tomorrow, there is a Mares only Hdl where 5 of the 9 runners have a RPR below 140 (1 other is unraced) while the SkyBet Chase a couple of races later has 20 of the 22 runners with an RPR of at least 140 (the other 2 have no RPR) and 14 of those greater than 155.
However, the Mares Hdl is a Gr2 event while the SkyBet Chase is only Lst class. The prize money is also significantly better for the SkyBet Chase (Â£42,765 as opposed to Â£28,510)
Now while I appreciate that the class of the race is determined before entires, surely races such as the SkyBet Chase are deserving of at least Gr3 status.January 25, 2008 at 12:52 #137633
I’m not 100% certain of the rules, but I’m fairly sure that the Skybet Chase cannot be a Graded race because it has an upper handicap rating limit – i.e. it ‘s a 0 – 150 handicap, not open to higher rated horses, like say the Hennessey which has no ceiling.
The mares race is part of a new series this season and it was made clear when they were introduced that the gradings would be reviewed after two or three years. It seems that trainers of mares have now spotted that there aren’t many high rated runners and that these races offer good place money and are worth trying.
And I’d guess the lack of highly rated mares is simply down to the fact that in the past, there was little incentive to keep them in training over hurdles – they either switched to chasing or breeding.
APJanuary 25, 2008 at 13:04 #137635
What is the difference between Gr2 Hcps (Old Roan / Haldon Gold Cup / Amlin 1965) and Gr3 Hcps?
A Hennessy win would rank higher in the eyes of most people than any of those 3 races?
Is there a minimum Hcp mark for Gr2s (the lowest OR for any horse was 132 in those 3 races this season)?January 25, 2008 at 13:31 #137641
The only difference is that those races you have named are ‘Limited’ handicaps – which basically just means the minimum weight is higher than the usual 10 stone and the top weight is lower that that which applies in all other handicaps.
For example, the Haldon Gold Cup weight range is 11st 10lbs to 10st 4lbs, whereas for the Hennessay it’s 11-12 to 10-0.
In theory the lower weight range favours the better horses – in practice it just means smaller fields!
So far as I know, there’s no minimum OR limit.
APJanuary 25, 2008 at 13:38 #137642
Thanks again Alan!
Seems strange why those 3 particular races are classed as Gr2 – IMO they should be kept as Limited Hcps but downgraded to Gr3 (or even Listed) and the likes of the Paddy Power, Hennessy, Boylesports, Welsh National, The Festival Hcps, etc should be reclassified as Gr2 Open Hcps.
Makes a mockery of the Grading system when Gr3 Hcps races carry more prestige than Gr2 Hcps races year after year.January 25, 2008 at 13:41 #137643
It’s like self assembly furniture, or knitting – there’s a pattern, but it doesn’t necessarily make any sense!
APJanuary 25, 2008 at 19:19 #137706Neil WatsonParticipant
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Regarding handicaps dont forget that the Melbourne Cup is a Group 1 race and that is a handicap which is certainly a little strange.
Pity the Skybet Chase isnt graded as it does deserve a place in the Order of Merit system and is always a fascinating race to watch and with 22 in tomorrows renewal there would have been a lot of points to be gained.
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