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Picture: Captain’s Ransom (left) and Jet Dark are the two favourites for the Equus Horse Of The Year Award (Equus Awards).

 

Public Voting Closes At Midday On Friday.

The public voting for thus year’s Equus Awards has been opened and the relevant URL is https://equusawards.co.za/(CLICK HERE)

The awards system was explained last week in detail by two members of the Equus Awards team, Graeme Hawkins and Jay August.

 
The three components for voting which all carry an equal weight are:
 
  1. A points system based on Graded and Listed race performance.
  2. Voting by an expert panel. This panel used to be the sole judge of the awards and will as usual have a panel of five, although the voting system has been slightly changed.
  3. A public vote.
The system is based on the Cartier Awards (European Racing Awards) after it was analysed the latter system worked well.
 
The initial points log keep interest going throughout the season. It is an objective measure because points are accumulated by winning or placing in certain races.
 
The nominees for the awards were decided by the points system.
 
An advantage of the points system is that it has “a long memory” and horses who have won at the beginning of the season do not disappear into the mist in the face of more recent winners.
 
The points system was updated and audited throughout the season.
 
A “Super Grade 1” race accumulated 48 points for a win and 24, 12 and 6 points for second, third and fourth respectively.
 
The six “Super Grade 1’s” are the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, the WSB Met, the Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes, the TAB Premier’s Champions Challenge, the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge, the HKJC World Pool Champions Cup.
 
They were chosen based on them being open weight for age races and for scoring high ratings as races by the Asain Pattern Commitee handicappers . They also chose two of these races per region.
 
The Hollywoodbets Durban July, as well as an open weight for age Grade 1 that is not a super Grade 1, accumulated 40 points for a win and  20, 10 and 5 points for second, third and fourth.  
 
A Grade 1 open handicap, a Grade 1 age restricted race and a Grade 1 for fillies and mares, earned 32, 16, 8 and 4 points respectively.  
 
A “super Grade 2” earned 24 for a win and 12 and 6 for second and third respectively.
 
The two “super Grade 2s” are the WSB Club Prive Green Point Stakes and the Grade 2 IOS Drill Hall Stakes.
 
An open wfa + penalties Grade 2  earned 20, 10 and 5.
 
A Grade 2 open handicap, a Grade 2 age restricted event and a Grade 2 for fillies and mares earned 16, 8 and 4 points respectively.
 
An open Grade 3 wfa + penalties earned 10, 5 and 3.
 
All other Grade 3’s earned 8, 4 and 2 points respectively.
 
A Listed open conditions event earned 6, 3 and 1 points respectively.
 
A Listed open handicap earned 4, 2 and 1.
 
A Listed open fillies and mares race earned 3 for a win and 1 for second.
 
Jet Dark won a super Grade 1 on the last weekend of the season, which saw him passing Captain’s Ransom, who only won a normal open wfa Grade 1.
 
The points system will always work well in Europe because of the plethora of weight for age events which sees horses competing on level playing fields. The best horses will invariably emerge on top.
 
Therefore the Cartier system weights the points system at 40% and the other two components only get 30% each.
 
In South Africa the points system should, and has, worked well for the Horse Of The Year award.
 
The undoubted two best horses in the country, Jet Dark and Captain’s Ransom, have emerged on top with just four points separating them.
 
However, there will be the odd case of a skewed points table due to the relative sparsity of weight for age races. 
 
The staying division in particular lacks a big weight for age race. 
 
However, in the Equus Awards the points system only gets 33,3% weight, the same as the other components.
 
The humans of the other two components can right any obvious skewing produced by the points system.    
 
The weighting system does not mean a horse who wins in two of the components will necessarily win the award because the weighting method could see a low score from the third component pushing that horse down the ladder.
 
The model decided upon was tested on previous seasons.
 
This means the learning curve part of the system this year will be the public vote.
 
The model might thus need some tweaking after this year’s awards.
 
The expert panel this year consists of Graeme Hawkins, Nico Kritiotis, Ken Nicol, Rouvaun Smit and Deez Dayanand. 
 
There were just over 3600 public votes for last year’s Cartier Awards and the Equus team is expecting about ten percent of that number here.  
 
Nominees:
 

Equus Awards 2022 – Points Tables to 31 July 2022

Horse of the Year Age Sex Pts
JET DARK (SAF) 4 C 152
CAPTAIN’S RANSOM (SAF) 4 F 148
KOMMETDIEDING (SAF) 4 C 108
SPARKLING WATER (SAF) 4 F 107
Champion Three-Year-Old Male Age Sex Pts
SAFE PASSAGE (SAF) 3 G 90
POMP AND POWER (SAF) 3 G 84
ARAGOSTA (SAF) 3 G 52
Champion Three-Year-Old Female Age Sex Pts
RAIN IN HOLLAND (SAF) 3 F 86
CHANSONETTE (SAF) 3 F 72
BIG BURN (SAF) 3 F 64
Champion Older Male Age Sex Pts
JET DARK (SAF) 4 C 152
KOMMETDIEDING (SAF) 4 C 108
MK’S PRIDE (SAF) 4 C 83
ASTRIX (SAF) 5 G 80
Champion Older Female Age Sex Pts
CAPTAIN’S RANSOM (SAF) 4 F 148
SPARKLING WATER (SAF) 4 F 107
PRINCESS CALLA (SAF) 4 F 52
Champion Sprinter Age Sex Pts
CAPTAIN’S RANSOM (SAF) 4 F 72
BIG BURN (SAF) 3 F 46
ALESIAN CHIEF (SAF) 3 C 45
MASTER ARCHIE (SAF) 3 C 40
BOHICA (SAF) 5 G 40
Champion Miler Age Sex Pts
MK’S PRIDE (SAF) 4 C 83
AL MUTHANA (AUS) 4 G 68
JET DARK (SAF) 4 C 60
Champion Middle Distance Age Sex Pts
JET DARK (SAF) 4 C 92
SPARKLING WATER (SAF) 4 F 79
KOMMETDIEDING (SAF) 4 C 72
ASTRIX (SAF) 5 G 66
Champion Stayer Age Sex Pts
BLACK THORN (SAF) 4 G 21
SPARKLING WATER (SAF) 4 F 20
NEBRAAS (SAF) 5 G 20
SHANGANI (SAF) 4 G 18
Champion Two-Year-Old Male Age Sex Pts
COUSIN CASEY (SAF) 2 C 48
THUNDERSTRUCK (SAF) 2 C 32
Champion Two-Year-Old Female Age Sex Pts
CANADIAN SUMMER (SAF) 2 F 32
SWEET PEPPER (SAF) 2 F 32
AMEENA (SAF) 2 F 24