The Members of Harness Racing Australia (HRA) have approved two changes to the Australian Handicapping Rules.
The two amendments were recommended to the Members by the Ratings Review Team (RRT) after a combination of analysis, industry feedback and critical review.
The first of these changes has altered the Ratings Matrix slightly, with the initial base race stake threshold increasing from $2,500 to $3,000 and horses finishing 6th to last losing 1 point. In turn, this necessitates the next race stake threshold to start at $3,001.
The change to the matrix is as follows:
|Race Stake $||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th – Last|
|0 – 3,000||2||0||0||0||0||-1|
|3,001 – 4,999||3||1||0||0||0||-1|
|5,000 – 8,499||4||1||0||0||0||-1|
|8,500 – 14,999||5||1||0||0||0||-1|
|15,000 – 49,000||6||2||1||0||0||-2|
The second change deals with the ratings points transitioning of horses when they turn three.
With all two year olds starting at 40 national ratings points, previously two year old’s that ended the season at less than 50 points would automatically be re-rated to 50 points when they turned 3.
This change will now see two-year old’s with low points provided a softer transition at three as those who finish the season with less than 50 points will increase by ten points to a maximum of 50 points when they turn 3.
Some examples are set out below:
A horse that finished the 2YO season with 35 National Rating Points would commence the 3YO season with 45 National Rating Points.
A horse that finished the 2YO season with 45 National Rating Points would commence the 3YO season with 50 National Rating Points.
A horse that finished the 2YO season with 59 National Ratings Points would commence the 3YO season with 55 National Ratings Points.
The new rule will read:
5.2 A horse aged 3YO or older that has raced as a 2YO shall thereafter commence racing with a Rating re-calculated by:
(a) adding 10 points, to a maximum of 50 points, to horses whose Rating did not exceed 50 points; or
(b) for horses in which their Rating exceeded 50 Points, halving the number of points over 50, and in this instance rounding up half points to a whole number.
The two rule changes will come into effect on 1 September 2019.