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The NHA Handicappers are tasked with ensuring that all horses in handicaps have an equal chance of winning as per the rules of the NHA (Rule: 47.3.2 a handicap, which shall be a RACE in which the weights to be carried by the HORSES are allocated by the handicapper for the purpose of equalising their chances of winning). It is, however, a trend that the three-year-old crop consistently outperform their older rivals in benchmark handicaps. This is likely due to their freshness in racing, their propensity to improve more rapidly than older horses, and the likelihood that trainers take advantage of the favourable WFA for the more mature three-year-old’s early in the season. This trend flattens as the months progress as the Handicappers are able to gain better insight into the merit of each three-year-old, and as the WFA allowance reduces.

 The Handicappers have reviewed the handicap performances of the three-year-old crop after the last Southern Hemisphere season ending 31 July 2022.  This review is done regularly to ensure that a balance between crops is maintained and that handicaps remain competitive. 

Please contact the Senior Handicapper Mr Lennon Maharaj at lennon@nhra.co.za for any queries.

Picture: The Glen Kotzen-trained Famous And Rich has been one of the first three-year-olds this season to win a handicap against older horses and he was raised from an 84 to an 88 merit rating.