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Question for Mardi - ratings?


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There has long been criticism about our ratings system - with justification, IMO.

The comment has been that our system is 'race-based'  which necessarily leads to anomalies.

Your observation is that in the UK [ for example ]  ratings are pool-based, which gives a much fairer and more accurate assessment across the board.

How is this managed in a practical sense..?  is there a computer model,  or is it a personal and subjective opinion ?

And,  in Australia -  is it managed in the same way as ours?  or not...I imagine, without having the means to go into a great deal of research,  that the tiered system that they run very well over there means that there are, in effect, pools of horses that can remain quite separate from each other, although promising types can and do venture into better company.  Do those horses get a separate assessment from provincial to city, for example?

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Hi Freda, the ratings in the UK are updated I think it is on a Tuesday each week. They have a large team of handicappers responsible for doing that, likely due to the amount of work potentially involved. I think it is likely a combination of subjective opinion coupled with some computerised information especially around things like historical standards. But a lot more subjective than in NZ/Oz.

Australia is done like us I believe - although to deal with things like the tiered structure, they adjust a country rated horse when it races metro. Certainly in NSW they do this, I'm not 100% sure what the variance is - it may be 4 points. Of course they wouldn't have to do this form of contrived rating if they simply rated every horse relative to each other properly.

The major issue with our system imo is that it the ratings are largely pre-ordained and driven by relative performance compared to a horses relative rating - in that single race. No real analysis of performance. Nearly all maiden winners go to a rating of nearly the same mark - as if that means all maiden winners are equal. Which is absurd.

As to the British system, this from their guide relates to the re-handicapping of horses that haven't started since the last release of ratings. The two sections 

Why a handicap rating might change before a horse runs again  

Collateral changes (or back handicapping)

found on this page https://www.britishhorseracing.com/regulation/adjusting-handicap-rating/ will give some insight into adjusting past ratings due to new evidence.

They have a reasonably detailed guide for handicapping which highlights they tend to use things like speed ratings and historical standards of races to try and gauge performance metrics of horses.

This is found here.https://www.britishhorseracing.com/regulation/guide-to-handicapping/

 They also don't tend to even give a horse a rating until it has had 3 starts. And unlike NZ, after three starts, the rating could be 80 even if the horse hasn't won or even placed. And others will get a rating in the 50s. It is so different to here, they are largely incomparable.


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