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Williams horse at Yarmouth yesterday

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  • #12312
    Cav
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4825

    Surely the time has come to not allot handicap marks to horses like Straboe after 3 runs.

    #242929
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    I imagine you know this, but the authority has long been in place to do this. But the BHA handicappers steadfastly refuse to use that authority in instances like this.

    I would suggest that this is a direct consequence of the set-up whereby BHA handicappers are expected to give the time of day to every bit of lobbying and self-interested complaint from an owner/trainer/other interested party.

    #242931
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    Didn’t they refuse to allot a mark to one of the Quinlan horses the other day. I feel sure I heard one of the pundits (possibly Graham Cunningham) mention this.

    I’d be rather surprised if Stuart Williams would have the ear of many at HQ, surely he has always been thought of as a bit of a pariah?!

    Colin

    #242939
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    Don’t know about the Quinlan case, seabird: there may be exceptions.

    If a BHA handicapper were to refuse to allot a mark, he would still be expected to field phone calls, or to talk the matter through in person and at length with the trainer/owner etc, rather than at one remove.

    It is no surprise that BHA handicappers, being human, prefer an easy life, especially when diplomacy has been regarded as at least as an important qualification for the job as technical prowess over the years.

    #242941
    Hugh Taylor
    Member
    • Total Posts 19

    I imagine you know this, but the authority has long been in place to do this. But the BHA handicappers steadfastly refuse to use that authority in instances like this.

    Prufrock – this used to be true but is definitely not the case this year. I rang Phil Smith about this subject a few weeks ago, having noticed a few horses running in maidens on their fourth start that seemed to have been denied marks, and was told the handicappers had a meeting in January about this very issue and made a decision they were going to be tougher in terms of awarding ratings this year, and there have been numerous examples of horses not being given marks when the handicappers decided there was insufficient information to award one.

    Examples that I had noticed myself prior to contacting Phil Smith include Bernie The Bolt, Bomber Brown, Cheyenne Red, December, Brett Vale, Uncle Brit and the Stuart Williams-trained Ziggy Lee (though that didn’t stop the latter from landing a gamble on his handicap debut on his fifth start, having been given a mark after his fourth run in a maiden!).

    It’s an interesting development, and the fact that they have refused marks to horses from such yards as Sir Mark Prescott and Sir Michael Stoute suggests that the BHA handicappers are not lacking in resolve in this matter, even if it’s perhaps a work in progress and some horses are still slipping through the net.

    In fact I’m a bit surprised they gave Straboe a mark after three runs given how much tougher they have been this year overall, though I know from speaking to Phil Smith that the handicappers feel there has to be something "goes wrong" on one of the runs to deny a mark – a slow start, a bad draw, a jockey reporting the ground didn’t suit, the horse eased down, anything like that – and thinking off the top of my head, maybe the time is right to have a minimum mark (say 60) that a horse can have after only three runs.

    #242942
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    Thanks for that, Hugh. I stand corrected.

    I have been primarily following the Irish in the last two years, so this slipped by.

    Well done to the BHA handicappers – better late than never, anyway – imo.

    #242951
    thedarkknight
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1299

    Well done for the BHA for recognising and trying to solve the problem.

    However, if people are determined to deceive the handicapper and/or the betting public as to a horse’s true ability, then it is virtually impossible to stop them imo.

    Instead of the 3 duck eggs, it will be 4 – or maybe even 2 and then pull off a surprise in a weak maiden etc.

    #242954
    wit
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2165

    ..
    However, if people are determined to deceive the handicapper and/or the betting public as to a horse’s true ability, then it is virtually impossible to stop them imo….

    different environment i know, but some ways that HK uses including for Griffins:

    ………………………………
    3) A trainer shall be responsible for ensuring horses trained by him are ridden and perform in a consistent manner wherever possible.

    (4) A trainer may be penalised if in the opinion of the Stewards any instruction or direction given to or arrangement made with a jockey of a horse trained by him is unreasonably different from or inconsistent with those given to or made with a jockey of the horse at its previous start or starts.

    (5) Any person who in the opinion of the Stewards breaches or is a party to breaching any portion of this Rule may be penalised and the horse may be disqualified or have its entry or declaration refused.

    …………………………………………….

    Any jockey of a horse commits an offence if in the opinion of the Stewards his riding was (i) foul, or (ii) dangerous, or (iii) improper, or (iv) reckless, or (v) incompetent, or (vi) careless.

    ……………………………………………

    A person attending or required to attend before the Stewards shall not be entitled to be represented by any other person, whether a member of the legal profession or otherwise, provided that an apprentice jockey may be represented by the trainer to whom he is allocated or another trainer acting for such trainer.

    ………………………………………….

    ….a licensed person or registered owner fails to report to the Stewards of the Jockey Club, or as they shall direct, any event or circumstances which comes to his knowledge and which would constitute a contravention of any of these Rules;

    …………………………………………

    ……..a horse suffers a bleeding attack, it will be barred from racing for a period of three months.

    ………………………………………….

    No horse will be permitted to start in a race unless within 7 days prior to its engagement it has worked publicly on the training track (namely the grass tracks, all weather tracks, trotting rings or bridle path). Trainers are required to certify to this effect on the declaration form.

    ………………………………………..

    #242958
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    Instead of the 3 duck eggs, it will be 4 – or maybe even 2 and then pull off a surprise in a weak maiden etc.

    Indeed, as any layers found to their cost with Secret Dancer, an 89+ Flat horse having his third run over hurdles having been puylled up on his first 2 starts.

    One of the best examples of a refusal to give a horse a mark was a Prescott horse this year called Valid Point. He didn’t get one until after his sixth run in a maiden.

    Credit to the handicapping team for refusing to allot horses like Bomber Brown a mark after runs like that one produced at Leicester. We all know the reason why they chose not to allot him, and it shows that the handicappers are fully aware of what was happening that day. It’s disappointing that there isn’t sufficient communication between them and the stewards to prevent the latter team constantly having the wool pulled over their eyes.

    #242969
    Prufrock
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2081

    One imagines that the appointment of a "Race Day Integrity Co-ordinator" (a post advertised a few months back) by the BHA may be partly intended to address this lack of use of the expertise that is available.

    #242970
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    Just stick someone in front of the betfair forum. You don’t have to spend too long on there to sort the wheat from the chaff, and when certain posters have something to say, then I’d suggest there is no smoke without fire.

    #242974
    wit
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2165

    Just stick someone in front of the betfair forum. You don’t have to spend too long on there to sort the wheat from the chaff, and when certain posters have something to say, then I’d suggest there is no smoke without fire.

    "Why did you rate my horse at X ?"

    "Well, you see there’s this poster on the BF forum who……"

    In the Colin Cameron book about BF, there’s a quote from Ben Gunn on the security side:

    "….Translating information into intelligence is the skill, Gunn explains. ‘So is converting intelligence into evidence – which is what you need at the end of the game for enforcement. That is altogether harder work. You can spend a lot of energy on information without converting any into evidence and then being able to use it in enforcement. ‘

    Presumably the handicappers need to have something to a similar standard to justify the mark they give / don’t give ?

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