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Purple Pitcher defeats Sandringham Summit for the second time in three meetings when winning the Gr 1 TAB SA Classic over 1800m at Turffontein Standside on Saturday (Candiese Lenferna Photography)

Karel Miedema is one of SA’s leading racing analysts and his ratings were propelled in two different directions by the respective performances of two star three-year-olds on Saturday at Turffontein Standside.

He gave Main Defender a stratospheric 119 Ability Rating (AR) for his Gr 1 weight for age Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes victory.

This is two points higher than the 117 he gave to Charles Dickens for his Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge victory last season and one point lower than the 120 he gave to See It Again for his Hollywoodbets Durban July runner up finish last season.

Those were the two highest ratings he gave to three-year-olds last season.

This season the two initial stars of the three-year-old crop on the Highveld were Sandringham Summit and Main Defender.

After they had fought out a ding dong tussle in the Gr 2 Betway Graham Beck Stakes over 1400m and were over three lengths clear of the seemingly classy Gimmeanotherchance, despite giving the latter weight, Miedema gave the winner Main Defender a 115 AR and the short-head runner up Sandringham Summit a 117 AR, as the latter gave the winner 1kg.

However, after Saturday’s Gr 1 TAB SA Classic in which Gr 2 Jonsson Workwear Dingaans winner Purple Pitcher beat Sandringham Summit for the second time in three meetings, this time by 0,75 lengths and in the Dingaans by two lengths, he decided to re-rate the Graham Beck and downgraded it by ten points.

He has thus given Main Defendeer only a 105 for the Graham Beck win and Sandringham a 107 for the narrow loss.

He said he had for some time had reservations about the high ratings he gave Sandringam Summit and Main Defender for their  October clash in the Graham Beck.

He pointed out that Sandringham Summit had never run anywhere near his 117 AR since then.

Saturday was the clincher which led to him making the adjustment, even if the 1800m of the SA Classic, he admitted, might have been a touch too far for the Gimmethegreenlight colt.

The subsequent runs of the other particpants in the Graham Beck had also given him reason to believe he had overrated that race.

Main Defender, on the other hand, has gone the other way and put in his best performance on Saturday, which saw him going up in AR dramatically.

Miedema said ratings were derived from a ‘best-fit’ for all horses in races and were not “an isolated thing”. Hence, the ‘other horses’ in the Horse Chestnut make for Main Defender’s high rating.

Miedema’s tables of the SA Classic and the Horse Chestnut below show his thinking:

Meanwhile, he awarded Gimme A Nother a 105 AR for her win in the Gr 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic.

She is beating the fillies around her easily and it will be interesting to see what raceform AR she can achieve when fully tested.