Guineas weekend sees BHA Handicappers’ performance figures published for first time

09 May 2017 Racing/Fixtures

In a move to increase the data available to racing fans, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today, for the first time, published the handicappers’ official performance figures from Saturday’s Class 1 races.

This will now become the norm, with performance figures from all Class 1 races from the preceding Sunday through to Saturday to be published via the BHA website’s results pages every Tuesday morning. This is separate to the regular posting of all BHA Official Ratings, which are published here.

Performance figures are the figures that the handicapper believes a horse has performed to in any single given race. Performance figures are used as the basis for allotting official handicap ratings, though they will often differ from a horse’s official rating which will be based on the form a horse has produced in all its recent runs, rather than a one-off performance.

Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer for the BHA, said:

“Many racing fans enjoy discussing the merit of performances, particularly following the major races, and the publication of our handicapping team’s performance figures in all Class 1 races will provide an official perspective to add to such debates. Making these figures available will also help with our ongoing efforts to illustrate the general approach adopted by the handicappers to assessing races.”

Churchill’s 2000 Guineas-winning performance has been allocated a figure of 120, which is 2lbs below his official rating of 122, suggesting he may not have performed to his very best despite winning the race. 120 is the same figure allocated to the recent successes of Galileo Gold in 2016 and Cockney Rebel in 2007.

Dominic Gardiner-Hill, Deputy Head of Handicapping for the BHA, said:

“Given that Churchill and Lancaster Bomber not only represented the best of last year’s two-year-old form in the Dewhurst and had a much better passage through the race than others it seems sensible to base the level around them. As such Churchill has performed to 120 (retains his published mark of 122 in Ireland) and Lancaster Bomber to 117, with Barney Roy (2nd) at 118 and Al Wukair (3rd) at 117. It would be fair to say that neither had the run of the race in the way the O’Brien pair did and it would be no great surprise if both improved on those figures in future.”

While full performance figures for Sunday’s Class 1 races will be published next Tuesday, Dominic Gardiner-Hill has also assessed the first three home in Sunday’s 1000 Guineas, with winner Winter receiving a figure of 116. Only Finsceal Beo in 2007 (119) and Minding in 2016 (118) produced better 1000 Guineas-winning performances in the last 10 years. Runner up Rhododendron performed to 112, 4lbs below her official mark of 116, with the handicapper uncertain whether the troubled passage she encountered cost the filly her chance.

Dominic Gardiner-Hill added:

“Not quite so easy to assess using traditional handicapping methods as the 2000 Guineas. After a discussion with Garry O’Gorman of the Turf Club, we have settled upon a figure of 116 for Winter which places her behind only Finsceal Beo (2007) and Minding (2016) in the last ten years and the equal of Homecoming Queen (2012) and Legatissimo (2015). In publishing an official mark of 116 in Ireland, it also puts her on the same figure as Rhododendron who finished 2nd on Sunday (running to 112+) having had a troubled passage.”

Notable performances will be flagged up each Tuesday via the BHA’s official twitter account, @BHAPressOffice, and readers can still look forward to the handicapping team’s periodical Handicappers’ Blog, which can be found on the BHA website’s News and Blogs pages after most major meetings. An edition of the blog discussing the notable performances from Guineas weekend will be published later today.

Notes to editors:

1. The performance figures will be published in the results pages of the BHA website. The results pages can be found here. To access the performance figures from each race the user will need to drill down to the specific fixture and race in question.

2. BHA Official Ratings are published each Tuesday morning here.

3. The BHA’s Handicappers Blog is published after most major fixtures and provides the handicappers view on notable performances or various handicapping issues. The blogs can be found in the BHA’s News and Blogs pages here with the latest edition, regarding the Guineas trials, available here.