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Thread: The New Ratings Based Handicapping System

  1. #11
    Senior Member Stallion aussiebreno is just really nice aussiebreno is just really nice
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlington View Post
    A bit of crossover here with the APG Sales Syd & Melb commentary.

    In regards to mares claiming both concessions. Sure it can stifle betting but the other consideration is honouring a commitment you've made to an owner when they've purchased a filly at the sales...or bred one. Wise to consider cause and effect when thinking about dishing out, quote, "a few blood noses".

    No question a lot of C1 fields aren't any stronger than some C0's and in the case of the C3 mare drawing well in a C1...hard to gauge how this has helped with increasing, or curbing the decline in, the horse population (it's intention along with building up a broodmare's credentials for her progeny at the sales).

    In my case, I have purchased at the sales with the mare's concession in mind, as well as obtained another two females. But on the flip side I've also owned males. Can't have my cake and eat it too and I'm fully aware of the punting dollar aspect.

    If wiser heads think this should be changed I'd hope any introduction wouldn't dishonour the current obligation.

    Talking for myself as a possible comeback buyer and small breeder to race, an example of changing the goal posts that makes me say possible is the Vicbred Homegrown Series. No coincidence Empire have naming rights and I imagine this little series is an example of David's state based sires racing. However the maximum stake money allowed to be earned to be eligible changed from 6 to $ 10,000. Not that on the fall of the hammer my "Tailamade Lombo" purchase was targeted for this series but if she didn't have "it" this series was introduced for the likes of her, as a 2 & 3yo.
    It's little, or not so little(?), things like this that makes me wary of heading back to the sales as I don't envisage ever competing with Emilio and Mark.

    Btw, there are some vendors who are happy with the prices they receive for the lower tiered stallions.
    If removing the mares concession it would need to be phased out eg we set a 2021 date. Maybe hard with declining horse pool but need more mares only races especially in the 2yo and 3yo ranks which gives all owners a better crack. Mares owners have their races and C1s dont end up racing C5s. Of course a drawback is if a mare wins 5 against her own sex and is all of a sudden thrown in against boys or forced to race in a M0-M3 mares (cos need that range for field sizes usually) but at least the owner can hang their hat in getting those first 5 wins that they otherwise may not have got.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Colt alphastud will become famous soon enough
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    Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

    However, I’m confused. I’m based in NSW and so will discuss the HRNSW handicapping only for now.
    I understand that Handicapping in NSW is successful when reviewing the excerpt below from the HRNSW 2015/2016 annual report:

    The programming during the 2015/16 racing season combined with prizemoney increases provided viability to a higher percentage of horses and gave more owners the exhilaration of winning a race. Furthermore, a better utilisation of the horse pool through “like for like” racing and an increase to the maximum field sizes at Tabcorp Park Menangle and Newcastle led to more individual horses racing, larger field sizes and an increase in total turnover and average turnover per race. (p28)


    So then, is the HRA review of handicapping a call to make further improvements or is it a result of a hidden handicapping problems or other factors?

    HRNSW (p27) says that the current model aims to:
    a) Make a higher percentage of horses viable, which will keep them racing and maintain their connections in the sport.
    b) By making horses viable it is hoped that owners will be able to further invest in other horses.
    c) If owners invest in other horses there will be demand for horses at yearling and ready to run sales. d) If there is demand for horses at sales then commercial breeders may breed more horses.
    e) If hobby owner/breeders have viable race horses then they may have money to breed more horses as opposed to leaving their mares barren


    Does anyone know?
    x - how the current HRNSW handicapping system is tracking against these aims?
    x - if there are any other measures that are used to determine the success of the current HRNSW handicapping system?
    x - how HRNSW defines its benchmark or “optimised” handicapping system? i.e. what are the targets or criteria for this optimised system?

    Now, I understand that many of us have valid ideas on how to improve handicapping. And it seems that some of the fixes are common sense and clear. However, please support me on working through this if you can help. Thanks, Richard
    m. 0417 227 768 or richard@alphastud.com.au
    Last edited by alphastud; 03-10-2017 at 10:21 AM.

  3. #13
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    Good luck Richard.* At first, I was thinking that the average horse earnings per season would be an indicator but realized that it means nothing as there could be as little as 50 horses winning the majority of the money and thus skewing this average as meaningless. Also the more horses that compete the smaller that average will be unless prizemoney is increasing.

    The median (middle earner) would be more relevant and other points such as the 20th percentile (the horse with only 20% of those to race below him)

    The simple fix of course is to make the emphasis on just having a horse good enough to compete and for authorities to keep increasing the percentage of prizemoney that goes to every starter. Unless we are growing the size of the cake, it does after all require today's big winners to be getting less and today's losers to be getting more.

    Once upon a time HRNSW'S Adam Fairley used to post on here and although I think they still monitor us ,for when we make a mistake, it seems they strangely no longer see any value in communicating with the rank and file on here
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  4. #14
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    A couple of comments I received in an email from an expert on the topic:
    *

    An increase in total turnover and average turnover per race. (p28) – just wondering how HRNSW have deduced that this minor turnover increase (1.5%) on previous year can be directly be attributed to programming – could it be the result of a general improvement in the economy – benchmarking against thoroughbred and greyhound turnover would provided an insight?*

    Larger field sizes – whist the numbers are small and may well be insignificant I wonder whether 18 less race meetings and 54 less races has contributed to this

    *

    It seems to me that whilst programming has a* worthwhile tactical role to play in potentially helping to sustain the sport in the short term unless the industry can strategically secure product* availability in the future the long term decline trend that has been evident for the past* three decades will continue albeit at a slower rate
    *

    The industry seems to spend more time and energy focussing on tactical initiatives rather than strategic fundamentals to me – Strategy development requires a far greater degree of thinking (hard work) than does tactics and maybe this is the reason why

    *

    *
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  5. #15
    Senior Member 4YO Fan of Jate will become famous soon enough
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    This started out as a review and then a proposal in the document


    Accordingly, HRA invites interested parties to submit a ‘Ratings Based Handicapping System’ proposal, addressing at least the following criteria:
    • Method and system of rating horses;
    • The effect of the RBHS on ‘concessions’ – i.e. junior drivers, fillies and mares;
    • The effect of the RBHS on trotters; and
    • Impact and consequence of a RBHS between different states and international competitors.
    Nothing strategical about it but depends on the authors views and experience on what is tactical and what a strategy is. Kev, your expert is correct, the tactical thinking approach is much easier and gives short term gain only. The headline of this document was basically wanting a review-far short of a strategy.


    Each of Mr Browns points in his proposal request need to be drilled down as some of our posters have done and get to the bottom of why the systems is failing. And as you can read , most individuals have their own agenda depending on what type of horse they have bought and where ( which state & which country) and the cost.


    For an individual or group to come up with a proposal to meet the four points requires a great deal of resources which has to include subject experience/administrative experience and a strategic mind which are not easy qualities to find in one spot. At the moment I see individuals putting in their 2 bobs worth, there may be a lot more going on behind the scenes but I finds Richard's ideas of good value but how will groups from WA for e.g meld in with this. I think someone totally independent, a clear thinker with strategic ability and marketing expertise needs to be bought in- this is a once only opportunity.


    My opinion:


    *A horse only has a finite life in racing- why do we want to keep them racing if they have no ability at all? Why do we want to create a losers "class"
    *Why do we keep breeding horses with limited pedigree?, this creates a class of Co's all of their own. I understand the hobby breeder/owner doing this and I appreciate it but can someone clearly explain to me how many horses don't even make it to the races and what happens to them? I never hear anything regarding this subject.
    * We have rehomed a couple but happens to the rest? Is this sustainable?
    * If a group cant promote their own product and increase "gambling turnover" and create good social atmosphere they should cease to exist i.e a race track or club.
    * If some-one wants to sit at home watching Fox and complaining about odds on faves, get to the race track and have a good time. Support the local industry.
    * Are we short of racing horses? Another one that intrigues me. International horses arrive by the dozens each month, so is this to fill the void? No, it is a way to try and pick up 5-6 wins/good prizemoney before the horse comes back to the field. Most of us have all done it.
    * Local Horse owners complain when people go overseas to buy a horse because you are putting a ridiculous price on a local horse which has won 2 races from 40 starts. Its called cutting your own throat.
    * Why are international horses allowed to come her on easy marks and racing against very good horses especially trotters and win easy local money-no other sport in any other country allows this.
    * Why are 2yo & 3yo international horses allowed to enter into each states big money races especially when these "international horses" are the pick of the crop? Now that's a tactic and a strategy. Try doing that in another country.
    * I think mares should get certain advantages for a certain length of time in their racing careers, the reasons are obvious.
    * There should be more races for fillies to encourage the their breeding and help with sales which are on a downward trend generally
    * The view that " local plodders" aren't good enough. This term came from a thoroughbred commentator actually in relation to upgrading the Caulfield cup to get more international horses here. I think all Australian horses should be given first spot in any race unless international horses are specifically invited to enter a big race.
    * If we are short of horses -International horses should only be allowed to come over here when they have reached say C5/9 or MO in their own country and that rating is equal to Australia's or bought here as unqualified 2 y/o's. This increases the risk of buying an overseas horse and this allows the local product to develop.
    * Review the NZ ratings system and see if it works or investigate other countries systems- but we have to fix some of the other problems as well.
    *It looks like HRNSW are going alright according to Richards data- What can we learn then? One thing we know is that they have a shedfull of money more than anyone else.


    These points all meet the HRA Proposal and some go further. They also align with the agreed Philosophy.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    Good thought provoking opinions Pat

    Remembering the trotter (how could I not - they are all that is racing at Melton tonight), they have the huge advantage of still having Standing Starts and thus true handicap racing if they get serious about it.
    I may be diverging a little but I would have loved to have seen some of those races where champs of the past made up huge handicaps - I have been a bit of a follower of athletics and with the pros, watching whether the backmarker can get up is 90% of the interest factor.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member 4YO Fan of Jate will become famous soon enough
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    Kev, I agree with the standing starts of yesteryear, it would have been good to see. One thing that sparked my interest in the way that handicapping works is athletics and also pro bike riding where any hint of ability more than your opponents and you are on a handicap, the Stawell gift is one such event in athletics where you are handicapped on who you have raced against, where and your race record. It is rare that someone gets under the handicappers guard, unfortunately I don't see those strict protocols in Harness racing. There is quite a bit of money involved in athletic meetings especially overseas and they I believe they manage the running heats well especially based on form, there are no easy races to get to a final.

  8. #18
    Member Filly DRUIDRACING will become famous soon enough
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    With all systems for ratings /classes / mares concessions and driver concessions will never be a perfect system. All trainers owners will study the rules or rating system to squeeze out the maximum results for their horses. When the drop back system was brought in horses were not at there peak at start 10 but peaked the next start down in class however this factor does not seem to be as prevalent as it was maybe $$ was a factor.

    I have a database (5000) of mainly NSW horses and have found that of these horses that start 14% actually win a single race. 27% never win a race. 23% win 2 races probably improved when conditioned racing came in.

    In my opinion the system at the moment is good however I think its designed to a degree to force country horses who reach C5+ to race at Menangle by restricting the open class races in the country. With $30k country cups it attracts the city to the country has to be good for turnover.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Colt alphastud will become famous soon enough
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    Thanks Kevin, Pat and Steven.

    A few comments and notes below in response and to take the discussion further.

    x - current HRNSW Handicapping + Race Programming - 1. Bettting Revenue and 2.Larger Field Sizes seem to be the only measure of success. Both have increased under the current Handicapping system for HRNSW. However, it's caused significant other industry problems. Will discuss another time.

    x - current HRNSW Handicapping + Race Programming - Increasing betting Betting Revenue is the only real priority. HRNSW measure, track and work towards this outcome way ahead of any other. This is for the PUNTER. There is no or limited strategy to improve factors for the BREEDER, OWNER or TRAINER in Handicpaping + Race Programming. Will discuss another time.

    x - Steven Pile - Hi Steven, thanks for your input. Do you know the % of C0 and C1 horses in the population? This is a significant bottleneck and example of the system not working as well as what it can. Furthermore, the satisfaction of the customers of HRNSW i.e. PUNTERS, BREEDERS, OWNERS, TRAINERS etc. provide the ultimate measure of whether the system is working or otherwise. Will discuss another time.

    x - Major problem with any new Handicapping, Race Programming etc. System - if the strategy remains the same then any new Handicapping system probably won't help the other customers of harness racing. If the strategy's focus stays on the PUNTER, then we shouldn't expect too much improvement for the BREEDER, OWNER etc.

    We've summarised some problems discussed in the list below. Note that you may not agree that all below are problems and may disagree with some. Remember, that they may be a significant problem for a different customer i.e. TRAINER.

    Do we need or want a more holistic approach? i.e. a strategy and activities that supports more interests of key customers beyond PUNTERS

    Can you please add any further problems or issues that you feel are important and should be addressed? Here is the current list.

    1. 12 horse fields.
    2. False Preferential Barrier Draw (PBD). i.e. Horses preferenced in sequential order (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. ) versus them orderered by the most successful barrier. (Penrith 3, 4, 2, 1, etc. if this was the case)
    3. Concession horses getting equal opportunity to enter a race. e.g. C2 horse getting into a C1 only race ahead of other C1 horses.
    4. Concession horses getting equal opportunity to draw as well as or better than non-concession horses. e.g. C2 horse drawing better than a C1 horse.
    5. Out of class horses e.g. A 3C5 horse who's won $100k racing in a C0 race against C0's without a LTW.
    6. Multiple runners. e.g. Trainers getting 2 and 3 runners in a race and balloting other trainer runners.
    7. Lack of opportunities for lower grade horses to compete with similarly graded horses. e.g. 4YO + with 0 LTW
    8. The system giving the same preference in barrier draw regardless of life time stakes. e.g. a C0 that's won $100k can draw as good as a horse that hasn't won a race.
    Last edited by alphastud; 03-14-2017 at 01:39 PM.

  10. #20
    Super Moderator Horse Of The Year teecee has a spectacular aura about teecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphastud View Post
    Thanks Kevin, Pat and Steven.

    A few comments and notes below in response and to take the discussion further.

    x - current HRNSW Handicapping + Race Programming - 1. Bettting Revenue and 2.Larger Field Sizes seem to be the only measure of success. Both have increased under the current Handicapping system for HRNSW. However, it's caused significant other industry problems. Will discuss another time.

    x - current HRNSW Handicapping + Race Programming - Increasing betting Betting Revenue is the only real priority. HRNSW measure, track and work towards this outcome way ahead of any other. This is for the PUNTER. There is no or limited strategy to improve factors for the BREEDER, OWNER or TRAINER in Handicpaping + Race Programming. Will discuss another time.

    The two statements above appear to be quite definitive/factual ??? If you wish to make sweeping statements such as these and are relevant to the issue of the thread please supply substantiating evidence within the post rather than leave us to suss it out elsewhere thanks. MOD

    x - Steven Pile - Hi Steven, thanks for your input. Do you know the % of C0 and C1 horses in the population? This is a significant bottleneck and example of the system not working as well as what it can. Furthermore, the satisfaction of the customers of HRNSW i.e. PUNTERS, BREEDERS, OWNERS, TRAINERS etc. provide the ultimate measure of whether the system is working or otherwise. Will discuss another time.

    x - Major problem with any new Handicapping, Race Programming etc. System - if the strategy remains the same then any new Handicapping system probably won't help the other customers of harness racing. If the strategy's focus stays on the PUNTER, then we shouldn't expect too much improvement for the BREEDER, OWNER etc.

    We've summarised some problems discussed in the list below. Note that you may not agree that all below are problems and may disagree with some. Remember, that they may be a significant problem for a different customer i.e. TRAINER.

    Do we need or want a more holistic approach? i.e. a strategy and activities that supports more interests of key customers beyond PUNTERS

    Can you please add any further problems or issues that you feel are important and should be addressed? Here is the current list.

    1. 12 horse fields.
    2. False Preferential Barrier Draw (PBD). i.e. Horses preferenced in sequential order (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. ) versus them orderered by the most successful barrier. (Penrith 3, 4, 2, 1, etc. if this was the case)
    3. Concession horses getting equal opportunity to enter a race. e.g. C2 horse getting into a C1 only race ahead of other C1 horses.
    4. Concession horses getting equal opportunity to draw as well as or better than non-concession horses. e.g. C2 horse drawing better than a C1 horse.
    5. Out of class horses e.g. A 3C5 horse who's won $100k racing in a C0 race against C0's without a LTW.
    6. Multiple runners. e.g. Trainers getting 2 and 3 runners in a race and balloting other trainer runners.
    7. Lack of opportunities for lower grade horses to compete with similarly graded horses. e.g. 4YO + with 0 LTW
    8. The system giving the same preference in barrier draw regardless of life time stakes. e.g. a C0 that's won $100k can draw as good as a horse that hasn't won a race.
    Are these not the issues and anomolies that HRA is trying to address by looking to a PBHS or other handicapping system to implement nationwide supposedly. It is HRA looking to this issue rather than the individual state bodies.?

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