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weight for age allowance

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  • #402
    dave 22
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    • Total Posts 339

    watching the racing this weekend i got the feeling that 4 year old novice chasers have a huge advantage over the older rivals. surely the weight allowance shouldnt be so large. when 4 year old chasers start there second season they always seem to struggle, suggesting that the weight allowance was the only reason they were so successful as novices. for instance, boychuck would have been alot closer to turko had he not been giving him the best part of a stone

    #30200
    Happy JackHappy Jack
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    • Total Posts 515

    I’ve been thinking about this recently. I’ve not done any in depth research on the subject but I’d be pretty confident that 90%+ of all four-year-old chase winners are French bred. I would suggest that the maturity difference between a precocious French bred four-year-old (who receive a big WFA allowance) and a British/Irish bred ‘store’ horse aged five, or even six (who receive no allowance), is negligable.

    This is the problem the WFA scale has – any modification of the scale recently has not been enough to cope with the massive influx of French breds in the last few years. I believe the allowance for four-year-olds was reduced about five years ago but surely it needs to be looked at again. Unfortunately, it is never going to be an exact science so it is never going to please everyone.

    #30201
    Artemis
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    • Total Posts 1736

    I think you’re right HJ.

    Physically, there cannot be much between 4 and 5 year olds, so it must be the 4yo’s lack of experience of fences that gives rise to the allowance. Horses cannot start jumping fences in public in this country until they are 4yo, but I believe that they are allowed to jump the brush type fences in France as 3yo(Not 100% sure about this).

    I suppose that as 4yo, they need time to get experience and match the older horses on equal terms.<br>If this isn’t the case, why give them an allowance? – a very generous one, at that.

    #30202
    apracing
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    • Total Posts 3087

    <br>What makes the allowance for 4-y-olds in chases (it was 13lbs in the race at Wincanton yesterday) so patently ridiculous is that 4-y-old hurdlers meet older rivals at level weights at this time of the year.

    I’m firmly of the opinion that the allowance should be withdrawn completely and if trainers choose to run 4-y-olds over fences, they should do so on level terms. And if they don’t feel that’s fair, then they should either stick to hurdling or campaign for a program of 4-y-old only races over fences.

    That would be nothing new – the Cheltenham festival used to include a ‘Juvenile Chase’ restricted to 4-y-olds as far back as pre World War One, long before anyone had heard of the Triumph Hurdle.

    AP

    #30203
    Prufrock
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    • Total Posts 2081

    Timeform got rid of the distinction between chasers and hurdlers where weight-for-age is concerned for the very reasons made above.

    That was in 1992 (shortly after the first real influx of French-bred chasers showed it up for what it was).

    But, never mind, Ruth Quinn (Director of Racing at the BHB) says she is "confident" that the weight-for-age scale is correct…..

    Yeh, right.

    #30204
    Maurice
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    • Total Posts 355

    The Flat WFA works as accurately as you could wish for. I’m also sure I read that Jair Du Cochet was schooled over fences as a 2yo but maybe my memory is playing tricks with me.

    The French breds, especially the AQPS horses, seemed ahead of the original WFA scale and I’m not convinced the current scale is accurate.

    There’s a simple answer. Don’t allow 4yos to run in chases while we get the 5yo allowance sorted then make no distinction between 4 & 5yos.

    #30205
    Prufrock
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    • Total Posts 2081

    The success rate of 3yos against older horses at different times of year and over different trips suggests that the Flat wfa would benefit from a tweak or two as well.

    The allowances made for 2yos are a joke early in the season, though that is admittedly an academic more than a practical consideration (but nonetheless relevant to those who incorporate wfa in timefigure calculations).

    #30206
    empty walletempty wallet
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    • Total Posts 1631

    <br>From what i’ve read, the wfa system seems to need reviewing, the poundage allowance scale seems to need reviewing, so why not  tweak the WHOLE handicapping system?

    (Edited by empty wallet at 9:57 pm on Nov. 5, 2006)

    #30207
    Prufrock
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    There is no good reason that I know of…

    #30208
    empty walletempty wallet
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    • Total Posts 1631

    Pru

    Would you be interested in trying to contact Nigel Gray on these  issues? Or maybe Cormack could invite him to do a Q&A

    <br>Either would make  interesting reading

    (Edited by empty wallet at 10:52 pm on Nov. 5, 2006)

    #30209
    Prufrock
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    • Total Posts 2081

    I have contacted Nigel Gray. I asked him 20 questions by e-mail and was going to meet him on 17th October. Unfortunately, The Sportsman went down the pan on 5th October and the meeting, and the article I was going to write, never saw the light of day.

    I can ask if he would be interested in coming on here if you like, but he is a busy man at this time of year on account of all this international racing.

    #30210
    empty walletempty wallet
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    • Total Posts 1631

    The unseen article or a Q&A would interest me Pru

    (Edited by empty wallet at 11:22 pm on Nov. 5, 2006)

    #30211
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    I didn’t get a reply to the questions: that was meant to happen when I met him in person at Lingfield on Oct 17th.

    If Cormack is looking in then I can ask on TRF’s behalf if he wants me to, or Cormack can ask officially himself.

    Nigel Gray is a helpful guy and more approachable than most in officialdom.

    #30212
    empty walletempty wallet
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    • Total Posts 1631

    Quote: from Prufrock on 11:30 pm on Nov. 5, 2006[br]I didn’t get a reply to the questions: that was meant to happen when I met him in person at Lingfield on Oct 17th.

    If Cormack is looking in then I can ask on TRF’s behalf if he wants me to, or Cormack can ask officially himself.

    Nigel Gray is a helpful guy and more approachable than most in officialdom.

    Sorry, i’d presumed (wrongly) that  Nigel Gray had replied to you email questions  :(

    Hopefully Cormack will be in touch if he sees your excellent offer :cool: :cool: :cool:

    (Edited by empty wallet at 11:46 pm on Nov. 5, 2006)

    #30213
    DroneDrone
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    • Total Posts 5109

    A Q&A with Nigel Gray – or any official handicapper – would be an excellent idea.

    On the subject of 4yo chasers Jonjo’s Four Schools makes his debut at Carlisle today in the handicap chase at 3.30 receiving 13lbs. Flat bred rather than French bred though was with Macaire as a juvenile.

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