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. 

The National Horseracing Authority is pleased to confirm that on Monday, 2 September 2019, an exciting advance in Racing Control technology was launched, which is vital to maintaining the highest levels of integrity in the sport of horseracing in Southern Africa.

This technology has been termed a “Virtual Boardroom” and is a facility which enables Officials based at the Head Office to have real-time and review access to the live video patrol footage of any racemeeting countrywide and to actively participate as members of a Stipendiary Board at the race meeting.

The facility will also be used for training purposes and to bolster the respective Stipendiary Boards.


PRINCE OF KAHAL and ANGEL’S POWER have had their merit ratings increased by three pounds apiece after they shared top honours in a tight finish to the Grade 3 Spring Spree Stakes (handicap) over 1200m on the inside track at Turffontein on Saturday, 31 August 2019.  The race produced a good handicap finish, with 2.5 lengths covering the first eight finishers and only 6.25 lengths from first to last in a 12 runner field.

Third placed ZOUAVES and fourth placed LA BELLA MIA were used as the joint line horses.  With no second placed horse, this is the lowest way to rate a handicap race and accordingly PRINCE OF KAHAL goes up from 113 to 116, while ANGEL’S POWER was upped from 104 to 107.  As an aside, ANGEL’S POWER has contested this event in all four years of its existence, previously finishing 2nd in 2016 and again in 2017, and 4th in 2018.

Being the line horses, the ratings of both ZOUAVES and LA BELLA MIA remain unchanged on 119 and 109, respectively.  WILL PAYS – winner of this race in 2017 – drops from 121 to 119, BOLD EAGLE (who had little luck in running) was given a small drop from 104 to 103, DOWN TO ZERO (who had a tough draw of 10)  was only marginally trimmed from 113 to 112, and RUSSIAN PRINCE was cut from 110 to 108.

Jockey Club Stakes (Listed)

MERYL’s rating was left unchanged on 101 after her narrow victory in the Listed Jockey Club Stakes for fillies and mares over 2000m at Fairview (turf course) on Friday, 23 August 2019.  In fact, MERYL was by some way the highest rated runner in this conditions event.

The Handicappers were of the opinion that the consistent sixth placed ESTEEMAL was the correct line horse to use in assessing the race and as such, her rating remains unchanged.

Runner-up RAVEN GIRL was raised from 94 to 98, while third placed STUDIO BLUES was upped from 90 to 96.  Fourth placed DELIA’S DELIGHT remains unaltered on 97.

The only other changes were made to RED GINGER (who drops from 96 to 94), WOODSTOCK FAIRY (down to 78 from 80) and to WIDOW’S LAMP, who drops to 90 from 92.

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that it has received notification from The Mauritius Turf Club that Jockey Piere Strydom incurred a fine and a suspension whilst riding in that Country.

Jockey Strydom was fined Rs. 50,000 and suspended from riding in races for a period of 6 (six) weeks in terms of their Rules of Racing. The particulars being that he was found guilty of contravening MTC Rule 160 A (j) in that as the rider of MAN FROM SEATTLE, he failed to ride to the satisfaction of the Stewards from the 400m in Race 2 on Saturday, 3 August 2019.

Mauritius is a Specified Racing Authority in terms of Rule 91.1.2 and as such, the suspension will be reciprocated by The National Horseracing Authority.

Jockey Strydom is suspended from riding in races from 6 August 2019 and may resume race riding on 18 September 2019.



FM 76 HANDICAP (F & M)” : 1000m

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that at the race meeting held at Flamingo Park Racecourse on Monday, 12 August 2019, Judge Mr Nigel Mazibuko erred in entering the incorrect result for Race 9. 

The details of the error are that,  the Judge originally advised the Stipendiary Board of the correct result of the race that being: 2 x 6 x DH 3, 13 x 8.  It was based on this disclosure that the Stipendiary Board gave the “ALL CLEAR".  However, during the subsequent entering of the result onto the system, the Judge erred and entered the dead heat for third position as 3 x 8 x 13.

In these circumstances, that is where the Judge makes an error in declaring the placings in a race, Rule 65.8 makes provision for the correction of this error. In this regard, and after an investigation into the matter, it was established that from the photo finish of the race it was visually evident that there was a 0,50 length difference between the dead heat third position and fifth position.  Accordingly, the Judge’s result was amended to the correct result.

Additionally, in order to ensure that the above application does not result in prejudice to any interested party, the NHA recommended to the Racing Operator that it amended its declared result to read as the correct result. The NHA acknowledged that this would ordinarily come at a cost to the Racing Operator, however, the NHA takes full accountability and responsibility for the error.

Ultimately, the above decision is in the best interest of the sport of thoroughbred horseracing.

Internal disciplinary action will be taken.

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.