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Rascova being led in after her Gr 2 win on Saturday at Hollywoodbets Durbanville (Picture: Wayne Marks). 

Western Cape Fillies Championship (Grade 2) 

RASCOVA has had her merit rating raised from 104 to 110 following her success in the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship for three-year-olds over 1400m at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Saturday 11 November.  The Handicappers were of the view that 4th placed LUNA HALO would not have run below her best ability in this Grade 2 event and accordingly opted to use her as a line horse in rating the Western Cape Fillies Championship.

There were ratings’ increases also for four other fillies.  2nd placed DOUBLE GRAND SLAM was adjusted from 99 to 104, ROYALS received a 9 pounds adjustment from 94 to 103. These adjustments will ensure that all of the 1st four past the post will meet on correct handicap terms in the future, both 2nd and 3rd should not be rated lower than the 103 rated line horse LUNA HALO as they beat her here at level weights in this Grade 2 contest. The only other increase was for JUST BE LEKKER, who went up 2 points from 97 to 99.

The only runner to receive a drop in ratings was FRANCINE, who dropped from 101 to 98.


Cape Mile (Grade 3) 

MONTIEN had his rating adjusted from 99 to 105 after winning the Grade 3 Cape Mile over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Saturday. The Handicappers were unanimous in their view that 4th placed MONEY HEIST made for the most suitable line horse and as such he remained unchanged on his rating of 106. In rating the race this way MONTIEN actually runs to a mark of 108, but had to be capped at 105 due to the specific race conditions that state that the winner may only be increased by a maximum adjustment of 6 points and the placed horses may not be increased.

The following horses were given a ratings’ drop, DOUBLE SUPERLATIVE was dropped from 125 to 120, LINEBACKER from 114 to 110 and FUTURE PRINCE was dropped from 96 to 93.


Laisserfaire Stakes (Listed) 

The 3-year-old filly, BALTIC SECRET, had her rating adjusted from 93 to 101 after landing the Listed Laisserfaire Stakes over 1000m at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Saturday. The Handicappers were of the view that the 4-year-old filly HUNTING TRIP made for the most suitable line horse here, especially as the 1st four positions in this handicap event was dominated by unexposed 3-year-olds. The winner here was fully 8 pounds under sufferance in the benchmarked Handicap (benchmarked 52kg = 88).

The unlucky OCTOBER MORN received an increase of 2 pounds from 103 to 105.  ONI SAN and CANDY TOWN who were both under sufferance received adjustments from 89 to 98 and 94 to 96 respectively.

Two horses received a rating’s drop, PACIFIC GREEN was dropped from 90 to 88 and AMEENA was dropped from 108 to 106.


Summer Pudding Handicap (Listed) formerly the Syringa Handicap (Listed) 

The only 3-year-old filly to participate here, SILVER SANCTUARY, has seen her rating increased from 96 to 107 in the Listed Summer Pudding Handicap over 1600m at Turffontein on Sunday 12 November. EMIRATE GINA was considered to be the most suitable line horse, and she remains on a rating of 105. It should be noted that SILVER SANCTUARY was actually 8 pounds under sufferance hence her ratings increase of 11 pounds.

Five horses received drops – MAGICAL FLIGHT was dropped from 89 to 88, JULIET TANGO was dropped from 94 to 92, CRIMSON PRINCESS was dropped from 99 to 97, TERRA TIME was cut from 92 to 89 and SISTER LIGHT was given a 2-pound drop from 90 to 88.


Sophomore Performances in Handicaps 

It was noted by the Handicappers that 3-year-olds comfortably accounted for the older ‘hard knocking’ horses in the Laisserfaire Handicap (Listed) at Hollywoodbets Durbanville while it was also observed that the only 3-year-old in the Summer Pudding Handicap (Listed) run at Turffontein also comfortably accounted for the older ‘hard knocking’ runners in that event. This further confirms the recent Sophomore Crop Review published on 3 November 2023 by the Handicappers, where the data clearly showed that the 3-year-olds continually outperform their older counterparts at handicap terms. This sort of data should be mentioned by pre-race presenters and racing journalists to inform the betting public with facts rather than perpetuating the myth that somehow and despite the evidence that older ‘hard knocking’ horses are difficult to beat.

“It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance.”

― Thomas Sowell


Deviation from Handicapping Guidelines (Exceptional Performance for a 4yold Maiden Winner) 

The Handicappers deemed that EDWARD RYE put up an exceptional performance when easily beating a Maiden field at Turffontein on Sunday over the 1160m trip. In terms of the Handicapping Guidelines, the Handicappers would usually cap a 4-year-old at a 75 rating. The Handicappers deemed this performance to be exceptional as EDWARD RYE achieved a performance figure of 83 (8 pounds higher than the suggested guideline cap) and won with ease. The time of the race was 1.84 seconds faster than the filly’s Maiden plate on the day and was the only time on the day that was faster than the class average time. The Handicappers further felt that this 4-year-old was not a typically well exposed 4-year-old maiden winner, as this was only his 4th career start. It was further considered that EDWARD RYE was returning from a 236 day lay-off and having his 1st run for a new stable. EDWARD RYE was given a rating of 83 which was his performance figure for his win on the 12 November 2023.