WORLD RADAR – Merit Rating Update – 1 August 2019

The National Horseracing Authority’s Handicapping Panel awarded an unusually high Merit Rating for a debut winner of 105 to the two-year-old filly  WORLD RADAR after her emphatic debut win in a maiden juvenile plate for fillies over 1200m on the Fairview turf course on Friday, 26 July.

It is extremely rare for any debut winner to be given a three-digit Merit Rating in any region, but this was an exceptional case.  In a field of 14, the first four to finish were all on debut.  The margin between the winner and the runner-up was 6.75 lengths, with a further 10.25 lengths between second and third, and half-a-length between third and fourth.

Such was the strength of this performance that second placed GLORY DAYS ran to a rating of 89, which in itself is higher than the mark achieved by most two-year-old maiden winners. 

The first previously raced horse to finish, SPEECHMAKER, was beaten a total of 18 lengths into fifth place.  In order to take what in reality is a somewhat conservative view, the Handicappers to rate the race using SPEECHMAKER to the worst of her four previous performances, being the 64 which she achieved when finishing 6th of 9 on her debut in a juvenile plate in February.  This leads to WORLD RADAR achieving a rating of 105, and given that the race was dominated by unknown quantities racing for the first time there was no reason to question it, especially when the race could easily be rated higher.

It is entirely possible that SPEECHMAKER may have run to the 72 which she achieved second time out (which would have WORLD RADAR running to 113) or the 75 which she ran to in her third and fourth starts, which would have WORLD RADAR achieving a mark of 116.   It is in this light that a rating of 105 is considered conservative, but the Handicappers also took into account the fact that it was run on soft going when opting not to go for a higher option.

Note that all Merit Ratings reflected above incorporate the 5 pound increase which was made to the provisional ratings of all 2-year-olds of the 2018/2019 season, effective 1 August 2019.