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The National Horseracing Authority handicappers have assessed the weekend features and provide their reports per feature, below:

Gr1 Daily News 2000

SAFE PASSAGE has had his merit rating raised from 117 to 122 following his fluent success in the Grade 1 Daily News 2000 for three-year-olds over 2000m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville turf course on Saturday 28 May.

The Handicappers were unanimously of the view that runner-up POMP AND POWER, who stayed on at the finish after making the pace, made for the most suitable line horse, which leaves him unchanged on a mark of 118. In rating the race this way SENSO UNICO confirms the 110 performance he produced when finishing 10th in the Grade 2 Guineas at the same venue three weeks earlier and it seems unlikely that he would have run worse than that here.

In fact, POMP AND POWER beat SENSO UNICO by 3,45 lengths in the Guineas and 4.05 lengths in the Daily News 2000 and as such confirm the Handicappers’ selection of POMP AND POWER as the line horse.

It is very unlikely that both of these horses have run below their Guineas form considering that they were both making their KZN debuts on that occasion.

The Handicappers opted not to raise SENSO UNICO for his 110 in the Guineas as it was felt that he might have been flattered in something of a blanket finish on that occasion, but having in fact confirmed that level of form in the Daily News 2000 SENSO UNICO has been given a rating of 110.

In other increases, 3rd finisher ARAGOSTA goes up from 109 to 118, while 4th placed WATERBERRY LANE was raised from 115 to 117.

There were no ratings drops for any runners in this race.

Gr1 Woolavington 2000

SILVER DARLING has had her rating increased from 105 to 113 after she captured the Grade 1 Woolavington 2000 for three-year-old fillies over 2000m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.

The Handicappers were of the view that 3rd placed SPRINKLES made for the ideal line horse here, which leaves her unchanged on a mark of 110.

Runner-up LIGHT OF THE MOON had her rating raised from 92 to 110, making her the equal of 3rd placed Sprinkles.  4th placed MONASHADA was picked up from 87 to 106 to at least make her the equal of 6th finisher KAILENE, who remains unchanged on 106.

Seventh-placed BYE BYE BOMBSHELL was raised from 90 to 98.  She in fact ran to a mark of 106, but the Handicappers were reluctant to take this figure literally and gave her an increase of half the achieved improvement, 98 being halfway between her old mark of 90 and 106.

There were smaller increases for CAPETOWN BEAUTY, who is up from 83 to 87, for LILLYBELLE, who goes from 79 to 85, and lastly for AERIAL VIEW, who was raised from 76 to 84.  This last trio were effectively rated relative to each other and would meet on the correct terms in a handicap race.

In making these marginal adjustments the Handicappers took into account that this race was run at a slow pace which is evident in the substandard time it produced, being a full 1.84 seconds slower than the Daily News 2000m time.

While it is expected that the Woolavington would produce a slower time than the Daily News, given the difference in the quality of these races, it is unlikely that SILVER DARLING would finish approximately 10 lengths behind SAFE PASSAGE when comparing the race times of these races.

There were no ratings drops for any of the runners in this event.

Gr3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup (Handicap)

SHANGO has had his rating raised from 108 to 111 after landing the Gr3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup (handicap) over 2400m at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.  Here it was 3rd placed ONE WAY TRAFFIC who was considered to make for the most suitable line horse, which leaves him unchanged on a mark of 104.

2nd placed FLYING BULL – who carried 0.5 kg overweight – was picked up from 99 to 101.  4th finisher CHEWBACA, who was fully 18 pounds or 9 kgs under sufferance at the weights (the Lonsdale was benchmarked at 52kg = 97), has had his rating raised from 79 to 96 (beaten 1 pound by the line horse).

DECORATED has had his rating increased from 84 to 88.  He in fact runs to a rating of 94, but the Handicappers were very reluctant to take this literally even though he also ran above his rating when running to a mark of 92 in the non-Black Type Highland Night Cup at the same venue in April.

Lastly, seventh-placed REX UNION was raised from 80 to 86 to keep him in line with DECORATED and thus ensuring that the pair would meet on essentially the correct weight terms were they to cross swords again in a handicap event.

The Handicappers considered, when adjusting the unplaced runners, that the entire field was covered by 2.95 lengths (over 2400m) which is often indicative of a slowly run race.  The race produced a time that is 5.03 seconds slower than the class average which is appreciably slower than the other races on the day when comparing actual race times to the class average times.

There were no drops for any of the runners in this race.

National Horseracing Authority

Listed Milkwood Stakes (Fairview Friday)

GLACIER GOLD has had her rating raised from 95 to 102 following her victory in the Listed Milkwood Stakes for fillies and mares over 1000m on the turf course at Fairview on Friday 27 May.  It was runner-up FRANCA who was considered to make for the most suitable line horse here, which leaves her unchanged on a rating of 102.

There were also increases for 3rd finisher WINTER MOSAIC, who is up from 89 to 99, and for 4th finisher PHIL’S DANCER, who is up to 102 from 99.  Other ratings increases were for 5th finisher GREEN LIGHT GAL, who is up from 93 to 96, and for 7th placed VICTORIA TOWER, who was raised slightly from 84 to 85 to at least make her the equal of the 85-rated 8th finisher AFTERNOON TEA.

Two runners were given a rating’s drop.  JOYFUL NOISE is down from 97 to 95, while SOUND CHECK drops from 101 to 99.

Picture: Muzi Yeni aboard Safe Passage (Candiese Lenferna).