Michaelmas Handicap (Listed)

BLACKBALL has had his rating raised from 103 to 107 following his fluent success in the Listed Michaelmas Handicap over 1900m at Greyville (turf track) on Sunday, 20 October.  The Handicappers opted to rate this race the lowest way as some of the competitors were returning from lay-offs and deemed to be more effective over further distances.  Consequentially 2nd placed PATHS OF VICTORY was used as the line horse and as such PATHS OF VICTORY’s rating remains unchanged as does that of 3rd placed WEALTHY, who was only a neck further adrift of the runner-up.

Three horses have been given a drop in their ratings following this race.  OUR COYS goes from 89 to 88, ARIANOS SHADOW drops from 95 to 93, and WHITE LIGHTNING drops to 92 after running off a rating of 95.  WHITE LIGHTNING’s rating had in fact been dropped to 94 following his latest start a fortnight earlier, but the Michaelmas Handicap weights had already been issued at that point so his slightly reduced rating did not take effect for this event.

  • Joburg Spring Challenge (Grade 2) – 5 October 2019 

PRINCE OF KAHAL has had his merit rating increased from 116 to 118 after his narrow victory in a tight finish of the Grade 2 Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m at Turffontein (inside track) on Saturday.

The handicappers were happy to use fourth placed ZOUAVES as the line horse even though he was relegated from second place after an objection on the grounds that his rider had inadvertently struck INFAMOUS FOX across the face with his crop.  This incident in no way prejudiced ZOUAVES’ chances in the race, and the very close nature of the finish means that he would run to the same mark whether he was placed 2nd or 4th.  He is ultra-consistent and arguably at his absolute best over distances around 1400m, so despite the objection he was considered a suitable line horse.

Runner-up CHIJMES has had his rating increased from 111 to 117, whereas INFAMOUS FOX remains unaltered on 122.  The three-year-olds PUTONTHEREDLIGHT and EHSAAN, who respectively finished 6th and 7th, have been raised to 110 and 108 respectively, so they would meet on the correct terms in a handicap race.

In other changes, WILL PAYS was dropped from 119 to 116, while ROMI’S BOY drops from 112 to 110.

  • Joburg Spring Fillies & Mares Stakes (Grade 2) – 5 October 2019 

VISTULA’s merit rating remains unchanged on 115 after she narrowly won the Grade 2 Joburg Spring F&M Challenge over 1450m on the Turffontein inside track on Saturday.  Here, it was felt that 3rd placed PERFECT TIGRESS made for a suitable line horse despite returning from an absence of over four months, and as such her rating of 109 remains unaltered as well.

Runner-up GIN FIZZ was raised from 100 to 110 after putting up an excellent performance in her first attempt beyond 1200m, while fellow three-year-old SPIRITOFTHEGROOVE, who finished 4th in what was also her first try over further than 1200m, was raised from 106 to 107.   5th placed SIDONIE, who led for much of the way in what was only the second appearance of her career, goes up from 96 to 105.

In other changes, SCHIPPERS drops from 117 to 116, ROUGE ALLURE goes down to 101 from 102, GREEN TOP drops from 100 to 96, and CARIOCA drops from 100 to 98.

  • Matchem Stakes (Grade 3) – 5 October 2019 

ONE WORLD remains unchanged with a rating of 127 after he made a winning seasonal debut in the Grade 3 Matchem Stakes over 1400m at Durbanville on Saturday.  Here, fourth placed PLEASEDTOMEETYOU was used as the line horse, and by rating the race this way runner-up SEARCH PARTY and 7th placed SACRED ARROW also run to their marks.  As such, their ratings also remain as they were.

In fact, the only change made for this race was to the rating of solitary three-year-old AFRICAN WARRIOR, who had no luck in running after starting from a wide draw.  His eye-catching effort sees him going up from 112 to 115.


  • Diana Stakes (Grade 3) – 5 October 2019 

FRONT AND CENTRE’s rating of 122 remains unchanged after she made a winning seasonal debut in the Grade 3 Diana Stakes for fillies and mares over 1400m at Durbanville on Saturday.  Here, the very consistent 3rd placed HELEN’S IDEAL was used as the line horse, which has FRONT AND CENTRE running below her mark to 118 and which obviously means that HELEN’S IDEAL remains unchanged on 109.  Runner-up FREEDOM CHARTER also stays unaltered on 114.

4th placed SHAMROCK WIND and 5th placed STAR FIGHTER were both raised 106 from 101 and 105 respectively.  Three horses had their ratings dropped.   DYNAMIC DIANA goes from 110 to 108, SUGAR GIRL drops from 108 to 106, and INTOTHELIMELIGHT was trimmed to 95 from 96.

 New Appointments – KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape

The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to announce two senior appointments in the Department of Racing Control:-

Mr Deanthan Moodley has been appointed as the Chief Stipendiary Steward in Kwa-Zulu Natal with effect from 1 November 2019.

Deanthan, a qualified attorney, joined the NHA as a Stipendiary Steward in Johannesburg in 2015.  After demonstrating a sound understanding of the Rules and the ability to lead from the front Deanthan was appointed to the position of the Senior Stipendiary Steward in Port Elizabeth in 2018, where he is a respected figure tasked with upholding the Rules and the values of the NHA.

Mr Langa Douse has been appointed as the Chief Stipendiary Steward in the Eastern Cape with effect from 1 November 2019.

Langa was first licenced as a Stipendiary Steward in Johannesburg in 1998 and subsequently formed part of the Kwa-Zulu Natal and Northern Cape Stipendiary Boards.  He was promoted to the position of the Deputy Chief Stipendiary Steward in Central Provinces in 2010.

Langa subsequently spent some time away from the horseracing industry, before returning to the Central Provinces Stipendiary Board earlier this year.

The NHA wishes both Deanthan and Langa every success in their new positions.

The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Ryan Hutcheson to the position of Deputy Chief Stipendiary Steward (Central Provinces).

Ryan joined the NHA (Central Provinces) as a Stipendiary Steward in 2015, after a career as a Trainer based on the Highveld.  He has exhibited sound leadership skills and the qualities required of such an appointment.

The NHA wishes Ryan everything of the best in his new role, which is effective from 1 October 2019.


Settlers Trophy (Listed)

BELGARION has had his merit rating raised from 105 to 109 after he won the Settlers Trophy (Handicap), a Listed event over 2000m at Durbanville on Saturday, 28 September. This was BELGARION’s third win from as many tries in handicap races, and his second success from as many starts since being gelded in April.

The Handicappers were unanimous in their opinion that 4th placed AMERICAN LANDING was the correct line horse to use when assessing this race. As a consequence, 5th placed PLATINUM PRINCE also runs to his mark and effectively becomes a line horse as well.

Runner-up HERODOTUS has had his rating raised from 109 to 112, while 3rd placed CROME YELLOW goes up from 96 to 98.

The only drops made to the ratings were that of GYRE, who drops from 96 to 95, and of PACIFIC CHESTNUT, who dropped from 100 to 98.


The National Horseracing Authority confirms that our Chief Stipendiary Steward in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mr Shaun Parker, has tendered his resignation and as a result will leave the employ of the NHA on 31 October 2019.

Mr Parker commenced his career with the NHA as a Stipendiary Steward in Port Elizabeth in 1995.  During his 24 year career as a Stipendiary Steward, Mr Parker has held a number of senior positions in this role in the Eastern Cape, Central Provinces and Kwa-Zulu Natal, which was punctuated by a period with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in 2006/2007.

Mr Parker will assume the position of HEAD OF STEWARDING with the BHA and will be based in London.

The National Horseracing Authority wishes Mr Parker every success in his new position abroad.

Sophomore Sprint (Listed) 

THREE TWO CHARLIE has had his merit rating upped from 94 to 102 following his very comfortable win in the Listed Sophomore Sprint for three-year-olds over 1200m at Kenilworth on Saturday, 7 September. 

This rating is a very good fit as, in assessing the race this way, 3rd placed KING OF GEMS, 4th placed CONSTABLE and 5th placed DJOCKOVIC all run to their marks and are therefore effectively all line horses.  Accordingly, none of their ratings have changed, however, runner-up CAPTAIN TATTERS is raised from 96 to 99.

Only two drops were made to unplaced horses, with WARRIOR TIGER being cut from 90 to 87 and GROUND CONTROL dropping from 93 to 90. 

The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to confirm that on Monday, 2 September 2019, an exciting advance in Racing Control technology was launched, which is vital to maintaining the highest levels of integrity in the sport of horseracing in Southern Africa.

This technology has been termed a “Virtual Boardroom” and is a facility which enables Officials based at the Head Office to have real-time and review access to the live video patrol footage of any racemeeting countrywide and to actively participate as members of a Stipendiary Board at the race meeting.

The facility will also be used for training purposes and to bolster the respective Stipendiary Boards.


PRINCE OF KAHAL and ANGEL’S POWER have had their merit ratings increased by three pounds apiece after they shared top honours in a tight finish to the Grade 3 Spring Spree Stakes (handicap) over 1200m on the inside track at Turffontein on Saturday, 31 August 2019.  The race produced a good handicap finish, with 2.5 lengths covering the first eight finishers and only 6.25 lengths from first to last in a 12 runner field.

Third placed ZOUAVES and fourth placed LA BELLA MIA were used as the joint line horses.  With no second placed horse, this is the lowest way to rate a handicap race and accordingly PRINCE OF KAHAL goes up from 113 to 116, while ANGEL’S POWER was upped from 104 to 107.  As an aside, ANGEL’S POWER has contested this event in all four years of its existence, previously finishing 2nd in 2016 and again in 2017, and 4th in 2018.

Being the line horses, the ratings of both ZOUAVES and LA BELLA MIA remain unchanged on 119 and 109, respectively.  WILL PAYS – winner of this race in 2017 – drops from 121 to 119, BOLD EAGLE (who had little luck in running) was given a small drop from 104 to 103, DOWN TO ZERO (who had a tough draw of 10)  was only marginally trimmed from 113 to 112, and RUSSIAN PRINCE was cut from 110 to 108.

Jockey Club Stakes (Listed)

MERYL’s rating was left unchanged on 101 after her narrow victory in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes for fillies and mares over 2000m at Fairview (turf course) on Friday, 23 August 2019.  In fact, MERYL was by some way the highest rated runner in this conditions event.

The Handicappers were of the opinion that the consistent sixth placed ESTEEMAL was the correct line horse to use in assessing the race and as such, her rating remains unchanged.

Runner-up RAVEN GIRL was raised from 94 to 98, while third placed STUDIO BLUES was upped from 90 to 96.  Fourth placed DELIA’S DELIGHT remains unaltered on 97.

The only other changes were made to RED GINGER (who drops from 96 to 94), WOODSTOCK FAIRY (down to 78 from 80) and to WIDOW’S LAMP, who drops to 90 from 92.