• Track and Ball Oaks (Grade 3)

SEVILLE ORANGE remains unchanged on a rating of 102 after she made virtually all the running to win the Track and Ball Oaks (Grade 3) over 2400m at Scottsville on Saturday, 22 June. The Handicappers were unanimous in their opinion that SEVILLE ORANGE herself made for the ideal line horse by confirming her SA Oaks (Grade 2) and Woolavington (Grade 1) performances on Saturday thus fully justifying her adjustments for those races and accordingly rated the race with her running to 102.

Runner-up FLICHITY BY FARR goes up from 93 to 96, while third placed SNAPSCAN was raised from 89 to 95 and continues to improve since being adjusted for her performances in the East Cape Oaks and thereafter the Woolavington (Grade 1). Some discretion was applied in both instances as they did in fact run to ratings of 100 apiece. Fifth placed BONDIBLU was raised from 82 to 88, while SABINA’S DYNASTY drops from 105 to 104 and DYNASTY’S BLOSSOM drops from 93 to 92. There were no other changes.

• Track and Ball Derby (Grade 3)

ROY HAD ENOUGH’s rating remains unchanged on 108 after he came from well off the pace to win the Track and Ball Derby (Grade 3) over 2400m at Scottsville on Saturday. Here, it was felt by the Handicappers that the ultra-consistent 5th placed horse SILVER ROSE made for the best line horse.

Rating the race this way actually sees the winner, runner-up CHARLES and third placed DAWN ASSAULT all running below their ratings and accordingly all three remain unchanged. Fourth placed WHITE LIGHTNING was picked up from 80 to 85, well below what he is actually achieving (100). When considering WHITE LIGHTNING’s adjustment the Handicappers took into consideration that this grey gelding was attempting a new distance category but also considered that WHITE LIGHTNING’s performance here was somewhat ‘out of sync’ with its overall profile. WHITE LIGHTNING’s future performances will be monitored closely.

In the only other change, SECRET POTION was given a small drop and goes from 102 to 101.

 


The National Horseracing Authority has become aware of a claim made by the company Natrofix EQUINE which stated on their website:

“Natrofix EQUINE has been screened and certified by The National Horseracing Authority Laboratory to be safe and free of prohibited substances.”

The NHA Laboratory does not provide a service to test equine products, supplements or feeds for prohibited substance label claims.

The NHA approached the company and informed them that this information was misleading and this claim has now been removed from the Natrofix EQUINE’s website. 

Background

  • The product called “Natrofix EQUINE” has never been tested (screened) by The NHA Laboratory.
  • What did transpire during 2010, the then Chief Executive approved a request for the Laboratory to analyse a sample of a product provided called “GastricFIX”.  
  • We provided a statement to the supplier of “GastricFIX” that the particular sample we analysed did not contain any prohibited substances.
  • Subsequently and after consideration, we became aware that such a result of a particular isolated product sample found not to contain any prohibited substances, could be misconstrued in its implication to be considered a certification that all future batches of a products would not contain any prohibited substances. 
  • For any laboratory or body to provide label claims or a label certification for such an equine product, this implies that every production batch (often also raw materials) must be tested for the full range of substances which form part of the label claim.  There are organisations, such as LG Chemicals in the UK, which provide such a service to horse products, supplements and feed manufacturers. Should the NHA Laboratory be approached, we refer these requests to LG Chemicals.
  • On that basis, the NHA Laboratory ceased to conduct such analyses of any products for commercial companies.

  • Post Merchants (Grade 2)

LA BELLA MIA has seen her rating upped from 97 to 99 after she took full advantage of a light mass to win the Grade 2 Post Merchants over 1200m at Greyville (turf) on Friday, 14 June.   The fact that LA BELLA MIA picked up only a minor adjustment for her win is indicative of the fact that, given her 2.5 kgs sex allowance, she was well weighted in terms of the conditions of the race.

In assessing the Post Merchants, the Handicappers believed that 3rd placed BOLD RESPECT was the correct line horse to use and as such his rating remains unchanged on 112.  Runner-up WYNKELDER also remains unaltered on 101 despite actually achieving a mark of 106, as the specific conditions of the race do not permit placed horses to have their ratings increased.

In other changes, SNIPER SHOT was dropped from 104 to his achieved 103, while SAND AND SEA was also cut by one pound, from 103 to 102.  GREEN PLAINS goes from 103 to 101, SUNSET EYES drops from 103 to 100, SEARCH PARTY drops from 108 to 105, RIVARINE goes from 103 to 101, PRETTY PENNY was cut from 92 to 90, and QUINLAN drops to 109 from 111 (having already been dropped to 110 after his previous race, which was after the issuing of the weights for the Post Merchants and which accordingly did not come into effect for this race.)

Enquiries:

The Handicapping Team


 • The National Horseracing Authority Roadshow - Highveld – All Interested Parties Welcome to Attend.

Please note that the NHA will hold the Highveld Leg of the Handicapping Roadshow at The NHA Offices, Turffontein Racecourse on Wednesday 12th June 2019 from 12h00 till 14h00, please RSVP for catering purposes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 011 6839283.

Agenda:

1. Handicapping Methodology – in Brief
2. Handicappers to rate races in view of attendees
3. Discuss the proposed adjustment of the national horse population
4. Questions and Answers

Venue : National Horseracing Authority Offices (Turffontein Racecourse)
Start : 12h00 


• Rising Sun Gold Challenge (Grade 1)
DO IT AGAIN’s merit rating remains unchanged on 125 after he ran down CIRILLO in the closing stages of the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge (WFA) over 1600m at Greyville on Saturday, 8 June. In fact, DO IT AGAIN, 4th placed SOQRAT and 5th placed UNDERCOVER AGENT all ran to their rating and all three can effectively be seen as being line horses. As such, no changes were made to the rating of any of the three.

Runner-up CIRILLO actually runs to 124 when rating the race this way, but the Handicappers are cognisant of the fact that he was given a very enterprising ride from the front on a day when a strong tailwind was blowing down the straight and it is our view that CIRILLO may have been a little flattered by the bare numbers. As such, he was given a rating of 121 to make him the equal for now of his fellow three-year-old SOQRAT, who has beaten CIRILLO on these same weight terms three times in the past.

Third placed RAINBOW BRIDGE did not enjoy the greatest of luck in running here and also remains unaltered on 124. In fact, aside from CIRILLO, no changes were made to the ratings of any of the eight runners in the Gold Challenge line-up.

 

• Tibouchina Stakes (Grade 2)
OH SUSANNA has seen her rating trimmed from 118 to 116 after she made virtually all the running to narrowly win the Grade 2 Tibouchina Stakes for fillies and mares over 1400m at Greyville on Saturday. This drop in the four-year-old’s rating is more in the nature of an overall re-assessment of her form this season, where she has never equalled the rating of 118 off which she raced here.

In assessing the race, the Handicappers felt that TWICE AS SMART had not run worse in a race of this calibre than the 94 she achieved when beaten 0.80 lengths by CAMPHORATUS at level weights in the Grade 3 Flamboyant Stakes at Greyville in December 2018. In the Tibouchina, TWICE AS SMART carried six pounds less than CAMPHORATUS and beat her by 2.60 lengths, or five pounds, so the performance is very similar to that of TWICE AS SMART in the Flamboyant Stakes vis-à-vis CAMPHORATUS. However, no change was made to the rating of either of these two in the wake of the Tibouchina Stakes.

Runner-up IN THE DANCE was raised from 92 to 101, third placed SILENT CRUSADE went up from 91 to 98, and fourth placed DESERT RHYTHM was given a smaller raise and goes from 92 to 94. In other changes, ELUSIVE HEART drops from 100 to 98, ROSE IN BLOOM has been cut from 105 to 102, ANIME drops to 93 from 96, and AL DANZA comes down from 102 to 99.

 

• Cup Trial (Handicap) (Grade 3)
KAMPALA CAMPARI’s rating was raised from 107 to 109 after his narrow win in the Cup Trial (handicap) over 1800m at Greyville on Saturday. The Handicappers opted for the conservative route when assessing this race and decided to use runner-up EYES WIDE OPEN as the line horse. The Handicappers took the view that the Cup Trial was something of a false-run race, with the first two finishers occupying the first two places for virtually the entire race and also benefitting from a strong tailwind in the straight, so it was decided to adopt the lowest possible way of rating the race.

Third placed DOUBLEMINT (who was almost certainly not suited to the way the race was run) and fourth placed MADE TO CONQUER were left unchanged on 104 and 108, respectively. There were drops, however, for ROY HAD ENOUGH (109 to 108), DARK MOON RISING (who reverts from 106 to the 105 he was before being raised one pound for finishing fifth in the Premier’s Champion Challenge at Turffontein in May) and SOCIAL ORDER (101 to 99.)

 

• Jubilee Handicap (Grade 3)
BARAHIN has had his rating increased from 108 to 112 after he came from well-off the pace to win the Grade 3 Jubilee Handicap over 1800m at Turffontein (standside) on Sunday, 9 June. In the process, he again underlined the strength of the current three-year-old crop by beating some useful older rivals in a quite comprehensive manner.

Here, third placed CAPTAIN AND MASTER and fourth placed THE DAZZLER (who is as consistent a guide as one could ask for) were used as the line horses and accordingly they both remain unchanged on 99.

Runner-up SHENANIGANS was four pounds under sufferance in the race and accordingly goes up from 89 to 94. Four of the five pounds by which his rating has gone up is because of the sufferance, and on top of that he earned one pound for beating the line horses by around half-a-length.

In the only other changes, HERO’S HONOUR drops from 106 to 105, ARCTICA was trimmed from 100 to 98, and BANNER HILL was dropped from 96 to 93.

 


The National Horseracing Authority confirms that after Guideline M on the use of the crop was amended, effective 10 May 2019, to limit the use of the crop to 12 strikes in the entire race, the general use of the crop has been closely monitored to establish if any further amendments should be considered.


Whilst the limit of 12 strikes is still above the number of strikes permitted in some Racing Jurisdictions, The National Horseracing Authority is satisfied that the provisions of Guideline M is a step in the right direction to where it wants to be positioned in the future regarding the use of the crop.


The use of the crop in the back hand position whilst the Rider’s hands are on the reins, will continue to not be counted as a strike.


• Tsogo Sun Sprint (Grade 1)

CHIMICHURI RUN has had his rating upped from 112 to 115 after he led home a “trifecta” of Sean Tarry trained horses to win South Africa’s only Grade 1 Handicap Sprint, the Tsogo Sun Sprint over 1200m at Scottsville on Saturday. This returns him to a rating of within one pound of the 116 he was awarded after he won a Gr 3 event over 1200m at Turffontein last September and seems to underline to fact that 1200m is probably the three-year-old’s optimum distance. His win here also underscores again that the current crop of three-year-olds is a strong one.
In assessing the race, the Handicappers agreed that runner-up TRIP TO HEAVEN, third placed AFRICA RISING and fourth placed UNDERCOVER AGENT all make for more than satisfactory line horses after finishing within 0.30 lengths of one another and as such the ratings of all of this trio remain unchanged.
In other changes, last year’s Tsogo Sun Sprint winner BOLD RESPECT was dropped from 113 to 112, PALACE CHAPEL was trimmed from 108 to 107, SEARCH PARTY drops from 110 to 108, ATTENBOROUGH goes from 106 to 104, DUTCH PHILIP drops from 104 to 102, and SNIPER SHOT was cut from 106 to 104. 

 

• South African Fillies Sprint (Grade 1)

CELTIC SEA’s rating was upped from 103 to 114 after she quickened up well and comfortably won the South African Fillies Sprint over 1200m at Scottsville. In the process, she struck another blow for the current three-year-old crop. In assessing the race, the Handicappers agreed to use runner-up SNOWDANCE to her current season’s best achieved rating of 110 and have accordingly dropped her from 112 to 110. Although SNOWDANCE had not raced over a distance shorter than 1400m since she won on debut over 1100m in February 2017, she showed plenty of pace throughout and finished 2.10 lengths clear of the third horse, so there is absolutely no reason to believe that she is less effective in sprints than she is over 1400/1600m.
Third placed VISION TO KILL was raised from 95 to 105, but fourth placed NEPTUNE’S RAIN was dropped from 105 to 102. In contrast, fifth placed JUNIPER SPRING goes up from 91 to 98. GREEN PLAINS was dropped from 105 to 103, ROSE IN BLOOM was dropped from 107 to 105, MIGHTY HIGH gets the same drop from 107 to 105, NAFAAYES goes from 104 to 103, EXQUISITE TOUCH was cut from 96 to 94, ANIME drops from 98 to 96, and ELUSIVE HEART drops from 102 to 100.

 

** Note **

The two-year-old Features from Scottsville on Saturday (the Grade 1 Allan Robertson Championship and the Grade 1 Tsogo Sun Gold Medallion) have been assessed by the Handicappers. However, two-year-old ratings are generally not disclosed as they are essentially provisional and are regularly subject to retrospective handicapping (a practice which is not permitted with older horses) until the crop turns three years of age.

 

• Winter Classic (Grade 3)

VARDY has seen his rating upped from 109 to 118 after he put up a career-best performance to beat a small but classy field in the Grade 3 Winter Classic over 1800m at Kenilworth on Saturday, 25 May. The gelding has shown continuous improvement since making his debut last November and his performance here fully earns him a place amongst the leading members of the three-year-old crop.
In assessing the race, the Handicappers had no hesitation in using runner-up ONE WORLD as the line horse. Any notion that ONE WORLD didn’t stay the distance of 1800m was considered to be groundless given that he finished more than six lengths in front of the third placed runner MAJESTIC MOZART – a considerable increase on the 2.85 lengths by which ONE WORLD beat him in the Grade 3 Winter Guineas on 27 April.
Other than VARDY, no changes were made to any of the remaining four runners after MAJESTIC MOZART, HERODOTUS and CLOUDED HILL finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively – exactly as they had also done in the Winter Guineas.

 

• Olympic Duel Stakes (Listed)

Unbeaten three-year-old RUN FOX RUN has had her rating increased from 91 to 104 after she soundly beat her rivals in the Olympic Duel Stakes, a Listed handicap for fillies and mares over 1200m at Kenilworth on Saturday. The Handicappers have little doubt that she is well worthy of her new rating after four impressive wins from as many starts.
Runner-up RUSH HOUR GIRL has been a model of consistency recently and was used as the line horse, so accordingly her rating remains unchanged. Third placed PLATINUM CLASS remains unchanged after the veterinary surgeon reported that she suffered from post race distress, while fourth placed DYNAMIC DIANA was also left unchanged.
The only drops were to LESEDI LA RONA, who goes from 92 to 86, and to MISS KATALIN, who drops from 98 to 94.

 

• Stormsvlei Mile (Listed)

HELEN’S IDEAL was left unchanged on 99 after her narrow success in the Listed Stormsvlei Mile for three-year-old fillies over 1600m at Kenilworth on Saturday. The Handicappers felt it was unlikely that HELEN’S IDEAL would have run worse than the 96 she achieved when she beat many of the same rivals in a similar Listed race over 1400m four weeks earlier and used that level to rate the Stormsvlei, but given that she has won two Listed events in less than a month it was decided not to drop her rating from her current mark of 99.
Runner-up STAR FIGHTER was raised from 92 to 95, while third placed DUCHESS OF BOURBON was raised from 84 to 91 and is now rated equal to fourth placed SHAMROCK WIND, who was dropped to 91 from 94. The only other change was to CORAL BAY, who drops from 90 to 86.

 


• World Sports Betting Greyville 1900 (Grade 2)

Not one change was made to the rating of any of the 12 horses which contested the World Sports Betting Greyville 1900 (Grade 2) on Saturday, 18 May. The Handicappers’ assessment of the various contestants proved to be well justified as the winner EYES WIDE OPEN, runner-up MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and third placed MADE TO CONQUER all ran to their respective ratings and as such all three of them can be considered to have been line horses. DAWN ASSAULT, who finished ninth, as it happens also ran to his rating.

Fourth placed FRESNAYE raced off a rating of 108, but her mark had already been dropped to 104 following the publication of the weights for the Greyville 1900. This was a consequence of the weights for the WSB Greyville 1900 being issued at first entry rather than supplementary entry stage in terms of the WSB Greyville 1900’s published Conditions. She ran to within a pound of her new rating when achieving 103 and was left unchanged. DOOSRA also ran just one pound below his rating and was also left unchanged. The same is also true of DOUBLEMINT. 

• East Coast Cup (Listed)

ROY’S RIVIERA was raised from 95 to 97 following her win in the East Coast Cup (Listed) for fillies and mares over 2000m at Greyville on Saturday. The Handicappers felt that she would not have run worse here than when she achieved a mark of 97 in winning an off-season pinnacle plate last October and accordingly used that performance to rate this event. Furthermore, ROY’S RIVIERA runs to the same net 97 as when she was beaten less than one length behind MYABI GOLD in the Grade 2 Gold Bracelet over the same course-and-distance last July, which appeals to the Handicappers as being a very similar performance to this.

The specific conditions of the East Coast Cup state that the rating of placed horses cannot be picked up and accordingly second placed PERFECT AIR and fourth placed SNAPSCAN remain on 74 and 81 respectively despite actually achieving marks of 81 and 85 respectively. Third placed MIYABI GOLD was left unchanged given that she had won the Listed Scarlet Lady in her most recent start.

A number of horses had their ratings dropped, however. SABINA’S DYNASTY was trimmed from 106 to 105 to make her not higher than MIYABI GOLD, who had also beaten her in their last encounter in the SCARLET LADY. EXPEDITE was dropped from 87 to 86, LUNA CHILD goes from 88 to 85, DYNASTY’S BLOSSOM drops from 95 to 93, WOODSTOCK FAIRY goes down from 71 to 70, and PARABOLA sees her rating cut from 78 to 75. 

• Syringa Handicap (Listed)

The Listed Syringa Handicap for fillies and mares over 1600m on the Turffontein inside track on Sunday, 19 May have produced something of a Handicapper’s dream finish when less than one length covered the first four to finish and four lengths covered the first 12 to finish in a 14 runner field.
Given the close nature of the finish, the winner BEING FABULOUS received the minimum 2-pound adjustment that the winner of any handicap race must get and was raised from 87 to 89. The placed runners BULLSADE, PENNY ROYAL and REGAL GRADUATION can be considered to be line horses and all three of their ratings remained unchanged.

Several of the unplaced horses saw a drop in their rating, however. ROUGE ALLURE goes from 90 to 88, while ROCKIN RUSSIAN had already been dropped from 83 to 79 after the weights were published and actually ran to 79 in the Syringa, so she remains on that mark. This was a consequence of the weights for the Syringa being issued at first entry rather than supplementary entry stage in terms of the Syringa Handicap’s published conditions. EMILY JAY was dropped from 89 to 86, ANNEKA was dropped from 86 to 84 and FOLK DANCE was trimmed to 92 from 93. 

 

• The National Horseracing Authority Roadshow Continues:

Please note that the NHA Handicapping Panel, Mr Lennon Maharaj, Mr Matthew Lips and Chief Executive of the NHA, Mr Vee Moodley, will be in attendance at Greyville Racecourse on 1 June 2019.

The following will be discussed:

1. Handicapping Methodology – in Brief
2. Handicappers to rate the Daily News 2000 in view of attendees
3. Discuss the proposed adjustment of the national horse population
4. Questions and Answers

Venue : Classic Room – Greyville Racecourse
Start : 16h45

All welcome to attend. 


• World Sports Betting East Cape Derby (Listed)
ST VLADIMIR remains unchanged on 92 after he comfortably won the World Sports Betting East Cape Derby over 2400m at Fairview on Saturday, 11 May 2019. In fact, the Handicappers agreed to use ST VLADIMIR, which was joint top rated, as one of the line horses to rate the race, because in this way 3rd placed JUST CHAOS and 7th placed SAILING LIZARD also run to their marks. As such, these two also remain unchanged.
Second placed DROP KICK was raised from 83 to 88, while fourth finisher SWIFT SURPRISE was raised to 82 from 75 in the belief that his rating should be higher than that of SAILING LIZARD. Similarly, sixth placed JAY’S HAWK was raised from 67 to 70 in order to keep him higher than local rival TOM ‘N JERRY (66) placed ninth, who was also beaten by JAY’S HAWK in the Derby Plate over 2000m on 19 April 2019.
No other changes were made in this race.

• Castle Tankard (Zimbabwe Grade 1)
PEGGSON’s rating was upped from 88 to 93 after he won Zimbabwe’s well established premier handicap, the Castle Tankard over 2000m at Borrowdale Park on Saturday, 11 May 2019. The handicappers were of the view that 3rd placed FAREEQ would not have run worse here than when he finished fourth in a much smaller field in the Independence Trophy at his last start and used him to the actual 81 he achieved there to rate the Castle Tankard.
Runner-up LEVEN POINT came into the race 5 pounds under sufferance and has accordingly been raised from 72 to 80, while FAREEQ was given a small drop from 86 to 84. Fourth placed ARTE was dropped from 78 to 77 on her Zimbabwe debut, while fifth placed HEIR LINE dropped one pound from 92 to 91. SIMONA also dropped slightly from 93 to 92, while MASTER ‘N COMMANDER comes down from 82 to 75. In other drops, BUSH PILOT went from 81 to 78, and SOLINSKI was trimmed from 75 to 74.

Report on Handicappers Roadshow
The 2nd Leg of the Handicappers Roadshow was held at Fairview Racecourse on the 10 May 2019 after the running of the last race. The implications of the Eastern Cape ‘creep’ factor was discussed at length. The ‘creep’ factor is the inevitable rise in the ratings of a local group of horses that regularly race against each other thereby potentially flattering such horse’s ratings in the national pecking order. The Handicappers addressed the above to the satisfaction of those that attended.
The Handicappers would like to thank all who took the time to attend the Roadshows held thus far and that have entered the discourse by raising questions which were addressed by the Handicappers and providing valuable input.
The next roadshow is scheduled to take place on 1 June 2019 at Greyville Racecourse after the last race.


An investigation was opened into two horses being loaded and jumping from the incorrect Starting Stalls in Race 1, at Fairview on 10 May 2019.

During the course of the investigation it was found that the NHA Starters had failed to perform and fulfil their functions and obligations respectively. As this is the second offence of this nature, an internal disciplinary process will take place and the appropriate sanction will be given.

The Rules of the NHA stipulate that it is the obligation of the Rider to ensure that his horse is ridden into the correct starting stall (Rule 61.6.3.2). The Stipendiary Board was of the opinion that the error did not affect the outcome of the race and on that basis, the Jockeys in question Mr G Cheyne and Mr K Steyn will be given the penalty of a warning as this is their first offence of this nature.