• Victory Moon Stakes (Grade 3)

SOQRAT has had his merit rating raised from 131 to 133 after the Australian-bred import made light work of beating a dozen rivals in the Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m at the Vaal on Saturday 9 November.  Runner-up GREEN HAZE was considered highly unlikely to have run below his rating in a race of this nature and was used as the line horse.  Accordingly, his rating remains unchanged.

Third placed MASTER MAGIC went up from 100 to 106, but fourth placed ROY HAD ENOUGH has been dropped from 118 to 116.  Fifth placed AL MUTAWAKEL goes up from 98 to 103. 

In other drops, SEVILLE ORANGE goes from 112 to 109, SOLDIER ON has been trimmed to 106 from 107, NOBLE SECRET drops to 111 from 114, UNAGI goes from 110 to 107, and SECOND REQUEST drops from 107 to 100.  In fact, SECOND REQUEST had already dropped to 104 after the publication of the weights for this race and was given a further four-pound reduction after finishing last here.


Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile (Grade 2)

BARAHIN has seen his merit rating increased from 122 to 131 after his emphatic success under top weight in the Grade 2 Peermont Emperors Palace Charity Mile (handicap) over 1600m on the Turffontein standside track on Saturday, 2 November 2019.  The Handicappers felt strongly that FLYING WINGER would not have run below his rating in finishing 4th in a race of this nature and used him as the line horse.  As such, his 105 rating remains unchanged.

Runner-up CHIJMES was raised from 117 to 119, while third placed CASCAPEDIA remains unchanged on 117 after a good effort over a distance which was arguably short of her very best.

The only drop was for INFAMOUS FOX, who goes from 122 to 119.

  • Western Cape Fillies Championship (Grade 2)

THIRD RUNWAY has seen her merit rating raised from 97 to 109 after she made a winning seasonal debut in the Grade 2 Western Cape Fillies Championship for three-year-olds over 1400m at Kenilworth on Saturday 26 October.  The Handicappers were of the view that runner-up PRETTY YOUNG THING (who incidentally was beaten 4.25 lengths by THIRD RUNWAY in a maiden juvenile plate over the same distance at Durbanville back in May) was the correct line horse to use in assessing the race and as such, she remains unchanged on 105.

Third placed ROLL IN THE HAY goes up from 99 to 104, while fourth placed DRIVING MISS DAISY also goes up to 104 (from 96.)  Fifth finisher LARENTINA has been raised from 85 to 103, while sixth placed SAILING SHIP goes up from 87 to 98.  DRAMA QUEEN and POINT OF SALE both go up to 95 from 93 and 92 respectively.  The only drop was to SOMEWHERE IN TIME, who goes from 94 to 91.

Michaelmas Handicap (Listed)

BLACKBALL has had his rating raised from 103 to 107 following his fluent success in the Listed Michaelmas Handicap over 1900m at Greyville (turf track) on Sunday, 20 October.  The Handicappers opted to rate this race the lowest way as some of the competitors were returning from lay-offs and deemed to be more effective over further distances.  Consequentially 2nd placed PATHS OF VICTORY was used as the line horse and as such PATHS OF VICTORY’s rating remains unchanged as does that of 3rd placed WEALTHY, who was only a neck further adrift of the runner-up.

Three horses have been given a drop in their ratings following this race.  OUR COYS goes from 89 to 88, ARIANOS SHADOW drops from 95 to 93, and WHITE LIGHTNING drops to 92 after running off a rating of 95.  WHITE LIGHTNING’s rating had in fact been dropped to 94 following his latest start a fortnight earlier, but the Michaelmas Handicap weights had already been issued at that point so his slightly reduced rating did not take effect for this event.

  • Joburg Spring Challenge (Grade 2) – 5 October 2019 

PRINCE OF KAHAL has had his merit rating increased from 116 to 118 after his narrow victory in a tight finish of the Grade 2 Joburg Spring Challenge over 1450m at Turffontein (inside track) on Saturday.

The handicappers were happy to use fourth placed ZOUAVES as the line horse even though he was relegated from second place after an objection on the grounds that his rider had inadvertently struck INFAMOUS FOX across the face with his crop.  This incident in no way prejudiced ZOUAVES’ chances in the race, and the very close nature of the finish means that he would run to the same mark whether he was placed 2nd or 4th.  He is ultra-consistent and arguably at his absolute best over distances around 1400m, so despite the objection he was considered a suitable line horse.

Runner-up CHIJMES has had his rating increased from 111 to 117, whereas INFAMOUS FOX remains unaltered on 122.  The three-year-olds PUTONTHEREDLIGHT and EHSAAN, who respectively finished 6th and 7th, have been raised to 110 and 108 respectively, so they would meet on the correct terms in a handicap race.

In other changes, WILL PAYS was dropped from 119 to 116, while ROMI’S BOY drops from 112 to 110.

 New Appointments – KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape

The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to announce two senior appointments in the Department of Racing Control:-

Mr Deanthan Moodley has been appointed as the Chief Stipendiary Steward in Kwa-Zulu Natal with effect from 1 November 2019.

Deanthan, a qualified attorney, joined the NHA as a Stipendiary Steward in Johannesburg in 2015.  After demonstrating a sound understanding of the Rules and the ability to lead from the front Deanthan was appointed to the position of the Senior Stipendiary Steward in Port Elizabeth in 2018, where he is a respected figure tasked with upholding the Rules and the values of the NHA.

Mr Langa Douse has been appointed as the Chief Stipendiary Steward in the Eastern Cape with effect from 1 November 2019.

Langa was first licenced as a Stipendiary Steward in Johannesburg in 1998 and subsequently formed part of the Kwa-Zulu Natal and Northern Cape Stipendiary Boards.  He was promoted to the position of the Deputy Chief Stipendiary Steward in Central Provinces in 2010.

Langa subsequently spent some time away from the horseracing industry, before returning to the Central Provinces Stipendiary Board earlier this year.

The NHA wishes both Deanthan and Langa every success in their new positions.

The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Ryan Hutcheson to the position of Deputy Chief Stipendiary Steward (Central Provinces).

Ryan joined the NHA (Central Provinces) as a Stipendiary Steward in 2015, after a career as a Trainer based on the Highveld.  He has exhibited sound leadership skills and the qualities required of such an appointment.

The NHA wishes Ryan everything of the best in his new role, which is effective from 1 October 2019.


Settlers Trophy (Listed)

BELGARION has had his merit rating raised from 105 to 109 after he won the Settlers Trophy (Handicap), a Listed event over 2000m at Durbanville on Saturday, 28 September. This was BELGARION’s third win from as many tries in handicap races, and his second success from as many starts since being gelded in April.

The Handicappers were unanimous in their opinion that 4th placed AMERICAN LANDING was the correct line horse to use when assessing this race. As a consequence, 5th placed PLATINUM PRINCE also runs to his mark and effectively becomes a line horse as well.

Runner-up HERODOTUS has had his rating raised from 109 to 112, while 3rd placed CROME YELLOW goes up from 96 to 98.

The only drops made to the ratings were that of GYRE, who drops from 96 to 95, and of PACIFIC CHESTNUT, who dropped from 100 to 98.


The National Horseracing Authority confirms that our Chief Stipendiary Steward in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mr Shaun Parker, has tendered his resignation and as a result will leave the employ of the NHA on 31 October 2019.

Mr Parker commenced his career with the NHA as a Stipendiary Steward in Port Elizabeth in 1995.  During his 24 year career as a Stipendiary Steward, Mr Parker has held a number of senior positions in this role in the Eastern Cape, Central Provinces and Kwa-Zulu Natal, which was punctuated by a period with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in 2006/2007.

Mr Parker will assume the position of HEAD OF STEWARDING with the BHA and will be based in London.

The National Horseracing Authority wishes Mr Parker every success in his new position abroad.

Sophomore Sprint (Listed) 

THREE TWO CHARLIE has had his merit rating upped from 94 to 102 following his very comfortable win in the Listed Sophomore Sprint for three-year-olds over 1200m at Kenilworth on Saturday, 7 September. 

This rating is a very good fit as, in assessing the race this way, 3rd placed KING OF GEMS, 4th placed CONSTABLE and 5th placed DJOCKOVIC all run to their marks and are therefore effectively all line horses.  Accordingly, none of their ratings have changed, however, runner-up CAPTAIN TATTERS is raised from 96 to 99.

Only two drops were made to unplaced horses, with WARRIOR TIGER being cut from 90 to 87 and GROUND CONTROL dropping from 93 to 90.