Handicap Rules & Regulations

THIS IS THE NEW RATING SYSTEM THAT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED FOR 2021

National Ratings Based Handicap System 2021

Introduction.

What is a handicap rating?

In essence a handicap rating is a numeric representation of a horse’s form and, therefore, its perceived level of ability at any given time.

This system is designed to help provide a fluid racing environment so horses can compete against those of similar ability. It is loosely based on the NZ system, where it was introduced due to a dwindling horse population which led to their old system causing many horses to become uncompetitive (that was a very similar system to our current one and we have the same problem with horse numbers).

The principles of the National Ratings Based Handicap System (NRBHS) are that it is fair, consistent and transparent and provides for the highest levels of integrity at all times. It is also extremely user- friendly and offers the opportunity to provide a more appealing racing product.

Under the NRBHS, a horse will receive an automatic numeric rating based on its finishing position after every race. Therefore, an owner, trainer or any interested party would be able to easily update a horse’s rating using the simple matrix that follows below, which details the ratings points applicable to each finishing position within a particular prizemoney band.

The rating of each horse should be published on the website and on the race card next to the horse’s name.

The minimum possible rating would be 10 and the maximum possible rating would be 120.

This system would favour preferred racing but for races with a wide spread in the ratings one rating point would equate to one yard.

The following table shows how to convert the current BHRC system to the NRBHS.

BHRC Handicap grade NRBHS equivalent
Maiden 18
Novice 26
Grade 1 34
Grade 2 42
Grade 3 50
Grade 4 58
Grade 5 66
Grade 6 74
Grade 7 82
Grade 8 90
Grade 9 98
Grade 10 106

The following tables show the Ratings Points Matrix and the Place money penalties on a sliding scale.

Win Points Matrix

Prizemoney

1st

Racehorse

1st2 yr. Old approx40

%

1st

3 yr. Old approx70

%

10 yrs. & older 75% 2nd & 3rd 4th & 5th with money 4th & 5th no money 6th to 10th 11th & 12th

Up to £300

+8

+3

+6

+6

* * -1

-2

-3

£301-£600

+10

+4

+7

+8

* * -1

-2

-3

£601-£1000

+12

+5

+8

+9

* * -1

-2

-3

£1001-£1500

+14

+6

+10

+10

* * -1

-2

-3

£1501-£2500

+16

+7

+11

+12

* * -1

-2

-3

£2501-£5000

+20

+8

+14

+15

* * -1

-2

-3

£5001 or more

+24

+9

+16

+18

* * -1

-2

-3


Place money Matrix
(can be for 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th place)

Racehorse

2 year old 40%

3 year old 70%

10 year old & older 75%

£0-£100

0 0 0 0

£101-£200

+1 0 0 +1

£201-£350

+2 0 +1 +2

£351-£500

+3 +1 +1 +2

£501-£700

+4 +1 +2 +3

£701-£900

+5 +2 +3 +4

£901-£1200

+6 +2 +4 +5

£1201-£1500

+7 +3 +5 +5

£1501 +

+8 +3 +6 +6

 

General information.

  1. Maidens/Qualifiers enter the system on a rating of 18 points
  2. 2 year olds enter on a rating of 14 points
  3. 3 year olds shall not begin the season rated below 18 points
  4. All BHRC horses will be imported to this system using the conversion chart above.
  5. A non-winning horse will carry the letter M next to its rating number.
  6. Any points are added to or subtracted from a horses existing rating. See the Win Points Matrix table above for the win points relevant to each race.
  7. Penalise placed horses only for place money in excess of £100, see the Place money Matrix above.
  8. The lowest rating will be 10 points
  9. The highest rating will be 120 points.
  10. One point equals one yard for handicapping purposes.
  11. Once a horse achieves one win it cannot drop below a rating of 18
  12. Once a horse achieves two wins it cannot drop below a rating of 26
  13. 2 year olds get penalised 40% of the total points accumulated in 2 year old only races.
  14. 3 year olds get penalised 70% of the total points accumulated in 3 year old only races.
  15. 10 year olds and older get penalised 75% of the total points accumulated.
  16. 10 year olds will receive a deduction of ten points and for each birthday thereafter.
  17. Claiming race winners would receive no penalty but non-placed would lose points in line with the matrix.
  18. Dead heaters. The relevant points would be totalled and divided by the number of dead heaters and rounded down to a round number.
  19. Mares can receive up to a FIVE point allowance at the promotor’s discretion if advertised in advance.
  20. Mares only races with a first prize of £450 or less get a 50% penalty reduction
  21. Veteran horse only races (ten years and older) with a first prize of £300 or less get a 50% penalty reduction.
  22. Non-winners races with a first prize of £300 or less get a 50% penalty reduction limited to non- winners in the last 6 or more starts.
  23. Downward handicap freeze for 5 races, if a horse is found not running on their merits.
  24. C-Class drivers
  • a) C class drivers only races. For four year and older horses rated 26 or higher. Horses are entitled to one c-class win penalty free in their career (to be marked with a * next to the horses rating).
  • b) C class drivers will get a concession point’s lift in races with a first prize of £1000 or less and only on a 4 year old or older horse rated 26 or higher. 16 points for 0 to 3 wins, 8 points for 4 to 7 wins. A horses rating cannot be dropped below 26 irrespective of the drivers points claim.
  • c) When a C-class driver wins the final permissible concession claim race at a meeting where the driver has further driving engagements, the driver will be permitted to claim the relevant concession for the remainder of the meeting and any other meeting on the same day.
  • d) When a C-class driver claiming a concession is unable to fulfil a race engagement he/she shall only be replaced by a driver who is eligible to claim a concession of equal or greater rating points.

25. Preferred races can only be ran with a spread of 30 points or less, (unless clearly advertised by the promotor in advance of the entries being taken). If a spread of more than 30 points occurs the race shall be ran as a handicap, using the top rated horse in the event to form the yardage bands.

26. Race clubs and promoters who wish to run a handicap shall take the yardage bands from the top horse entered in that particular event in increments of ten yards e.g. if the top horse entered is rated 120 the bands would be 120,110,100,90,80 etc. but if the top horse entered was 87 the yardage bands would be 87,77 67,57,47 etc.
27. Horses have to achieve a rating of at least 32 to compete in handicap heat and finals.
28. Race clubs or promotors who run one or more heat and final events are to advertise, that the runners for the top handicap, are being taken from the top of the ratings and working downward to find the advertised amount of entries. With the exception being if a FFA or OPH race is ran. If a promotor does run a FFA/OPH alongside a heat and final then it is at the promotors discretion whether that race is comprised of horses that choose to enter that specific event or to take the top rated X number of horses to make up that race. The heat and final will then be comprised of X number of horses taken from the top of the handicap ratings downward. (X is the advertised number of horses required to make up that event).
29. Finals ran with a qualifying heat on the same day will be classed as one race when calculating the penalty to be applied. The win matrix will be used to calculate the penalty for a horse that wins either a heat or final or both but the place matrix will be used for a horse that places in a heat or final or both. E.g. a horse winning £100 for 2nd in a heat and £2000 for 1st in the final will be penalised for a total of £2100 using the win matrix. But a horse winning £100 for 2nd in a heat and £500 for 2nd in the final would be penalised for a total of £600 using the place matrix.
30. Race clubs and promotors will have the ability to programme races based on conditions e.g. non-winners, winners of one race, non-winner last five, unplaced last 5 starts etc.
31. Heats having a final run on the same day, with the final carrying a first prize of £1001 or more must be framed in correct ratings order from the top rated horse to the bottom. No O/T/D splits.
32. Splitting for Owner/Trainer/Driver It is recommended under this system that all races be framed around the ratings of the horses entered rather than the O/T/D of the horses as this will enable the ratings system to work at its optimum level in terms of providing a fair handicapping system based on a horse’s ability and current form. However it is recognised that this is not always possible in some circumstances when promoters are framing a card. To ensure as much fairness as possible in this situation a promotor should ensure where splits for O/T/D do occur that they retain the essence of the handicap.
33. The best horses race for the most money. It is recommended promotors use a tiered system when calculating total prize money per race. E.g. for a regular meeting the highest rated race would carry a purse of at least 50% more than the lowest rated race on the card.
34. Purse distribution. No more than 70% of the total race purse will go to the winner.
35. Draws for starting position. Promotors are encouraged to develop a track grid for preferred races. Races can be drawn using the following.
  • A random ballot.
  • Preferential using the horses rating.
  • On the horses winnings last 5 starts.

36. Non BHRC Horses

  • a) Horses coming from W&BC would need to provide a detailed lifetime history of all races and monies won to get a rating. See the accompanying chart. A horse that has previously raced with the BHRC cannot return on a lower rating than that which they left with, for a minimum of 2 racing seasons. A horse who has raced as Grade B or higher with W&BC can enter this system with a rating no lower than 34.
  • b) Horses coming from the IHRA would need to provide a detailed lifetime history of all races and monies won to get a rating. See the accompanying chart. If the horse in question has previously held a BHRC handicap grade, this would be converted to NRBHS using the conversion table and any subsequent runs from the date of their last BHRC race would be factored into calculating its current rating. The exchange rate on January 1st of the current year will be used for currency conversions.
  • c) Horses coming from USA /Canada would need to provide a detailed lifetime history of all races and monies won to get a rating. See the accompanying chart. Horses that have not won a race will remain a maiden. The exchange rate on January 1st of the current year will be used for currency conversions.

IHRA and Wales & Borders conversion chart (place penalties are the same as the earlier chart)

Prizemoney

1st

2nd 3rd 4th & 5thwith prizemoney 4th & 5th noprizemoney 6th- Last

£0-£50

+2

* * * -1 -2

£51-£125

+4

* * * -1 -2

£126-£200

+6

* * * -1 -2

£201-£300

+8

* * * -1 -2

£301-£600

+10

* * * -1 -2

£601-£1000

+12

* * * -1 -2

£1001-£1500

+14

* * * -1 -2

£1501-£2500

+16

* * * -1 -2

£2501-£5000

+20

* * * -1 -2

£5001 or more

+24

* * * -1 -2

Prize money bands for USA/Canadian imports based on overseas earnings

Lifetime earnings Rating
£500 to £5,000 40 points
£5,001 to £10,000 50 points
£10,001 to £20,000 60 points
£20,001 to £30,000 70 points
£30,001 to £40,000 80 points
£40,001 to £50,000 90 points
£50,001 or more 100 points

 

 

 

BHRC HANDICAP SYSTEM USED FROM 1st JANUARY 2018 TO 31st DECEMBER 2020

1. All racing under BHRC rules must adopt the following system from 1st January 2018.

2. Prize Money

  1. System includes any place money or prizes (all non-monetary prizes above £100 in value to be included)
  2. Every race will have a value of £250 to the winner. Promoters may pay less as first place prize money but a minimum of £250 will be calculated under the handicap.
  3. Promoters are encouraged to offer prize money on a staggered scale increasing for high grades
  4. It is recommended that Promoters allocate a maximum of 70% of total purse per race to the winner (including any non-monetary prizes and particularly where the purse exceeds £1000). Remainder of purse to be allocated at the Promoters discretion.

3. Grades

Handicap Grade Grade Conditions Money Range
Maiden Maiden horses on race win horse moves to Novice grade
Novice horses with one win Race Win

After Novice race win all horses enter Grade system as Grade 1 [£0] (save for section 10)

Grade 1 1 race win and £0-299 £299 max
Grade 2 1 race win and £300-699 £399
Grade 3 1 race win and £700-1099 £399
Grade 4 1 race win and £1100-1499 £399
Grade 5 1 race win and £1500-1999 £499
Grade 6 1 race win and £2000-2499 £499
Grade 7 1 race win and £2500-3099 £499
Grade 8 1 race win and £3100-3699 £599
Grade 9 1 race win and £3700-4449 £749
Grade 10 1 race win and £4450-5199 £749
Grade 11 10 race wins and over all other monies

All horses must be over the win and money threshold in each grade to advance (save for section 4)

4. Cap

  1. Horses winning a final of £2000 and over will automatically advance two grades (i.e. if not a heat winner, 2 grades advance. NB. Horse winning heat and final advance two grades)
  2. Horses winning a final of £2000 and over will automatically be excluded from any Lift System under section 13[B] for that season.

5. Juvenile Racing

  1. Two Year Olds competing in Two Year Old races within the UK and Ireland will have the penalty value imposed reduced by 70%
  2. Three Year Olds competing in Three Year Old races within the UK and Ireland will have the penalty value imposed reduced by 50%
  3. Four Year Olds competing in Four Year Old races within the UK and Ireland will have the penalty value imposed reduced by 50%.

6. Claiming Races

  1. Claiming Races will be held under the conditions set out in the BHRC Rules and Regulations (Appendix VIII)
  2. Claiming Races will be offered as Penalty Free
  3. Preferred draw based on money
  4. Races run in lines with £500 division for each line
  5. Horses permitted to win a maximum of three races under current owner. Once claimed the horse can continue to win three races under new owner
  6. Minimum first prize to be £300
  7. Claiming Races will not be considered eligible for the lift system in place
  8. Promoters are encouraged to utilise claiming races where possible to keep horses competitive
  9. All Promoters are encouraged to advertise claiming races in advance of close of Entries

7. Condition Races

  1. Conditioned racing can apply to any grade or mixture of grades. It may refer to races won, monies won or race times, or a combination.
  2. Race condition will dictate any handicap or gate position.
  3. Races for Non-Winners in the last eight (8) outings will be offered as Penalty Free.
  4. Horses will only be permitted to win two of such races in any one season.
  5. Minimum first prize £300
  6. Preferred Draw with the lowest money inside. Races may be run in lines for each Grade.
  7. General Non-Winners race will not be Penalty Free
  8. Non-Winners races offered as Penalty Free will not be considered eligible for the lift system in place
  9. Promoters are encouraged to utilise conditioned races where possible to keep horses competitive.
  10. Conditions for races must be clearly advertised in advance of entry being received or accepted

8. Mixing of Grades and Gait

  1. No limit on number of grades that can race together
  2. Trotters and Pacers are not permitted to race together under any circumstances.

9. Draw for Starting Position

  1. It is advised that under this system all races should be staged with preferred draw – lowest money to inside.
  2. If Promoters or Race Framers split for Owner, Trainer or Driver then all horses must ballot for position within grades. If no split is made for Owner, Trainer or Driver then preferred draw may be used.
  3. Race Framers may frame races to best suit their circumstances

10. Imported and Visiting Horses

  1. Imported or horses visiting the UK for the purpose of racing, will need to provide a detailed lifetime history of races and monies won, and will be graded as per section 3
  2. Horses from America, Canada and Australasia. All earnings will be included in working out a handicap mark. The horses total earnings will be converted to £ sterling, and this will determine the horses position within the handicap system
  3. Horses from mainland Europe (generally speaking Trotters) – All earnings will be included in working out a handicap mark. The horses total earnings will be converted to £ sterling, then divided by 5, and this will determine the horses position within the handicap system
  4. Horses from B or C above that have not won a race, enter the system as Maiden but the figure calculated using B or C will be banked. This figure will then be added to a horses mark when it wins its Novice race to determine its future handicap mark
  5. For the purpose of conversion the current rate of exchange on the 1st January in the year of racing will be used
  6. Horse will be ineligible for entry until the BHRC have reassessed its mark (maximum 28 days)

11. Horses Previously Running with Other Organisations
Horses previously running with other organisations (i.e. unaffiliated) will need to provide a detailed lifetime history of races and monies won. No relief will be applied and horses will be graded as per section 3. Horse will be ineligible for entry until the BHRC have reassessed its mark (maximum 28 days).

12. Young Drivers, Driving Championships
BHRC C Class drivers may seek drives in any handicap race not exceeding £1000 first prize:

  1. Horses will receive a relief of two grades with a driver that has three or less wins
  2. Horses will receive a relief of one grade with a driver that has between four and seven wins
  3. Promoters are advised such horses are to be included in the draw in Ballot for Position races or in position determined by handicap earnings in preferred draw races
  4. Not available in heats that qualify for a final of £1000 or more first prize
  5. Horses will only be permitted to win two of such races when under claim in any one season
  6. Driver must be declared at point of entry. Driver may only be replaced with one that meets the same criteria. If no driver available on raceday then the horse will be declared as a non-runner

For the avoidance of doubt, the driver allowance of one grade can only be claimed on horses Grade 2 and above and the allowance of two grades can only be claimed on horses Grade 3 and above.

13. Allowances/Lift System

  1. All horses on reaching their 10th year (and subsequent years) will have their handicap reduced to the bottom of grade below
  2. Horses will receive a one grade relief for every completed ten runs. Relevant handicap will be reduced by one grade per ten runs, handicap earnings remain the same. These will be applied at the end of the season
  3. Only one run per horse can be banked per day
  4. Runs in Maiden and Novice races are not eligible towards the lift system
  5. Horses in Grade 1 will revert to Grade 1 [£0] on application of allowance
  6. Horses must complete races for the run to be eligible towards lift system (any performance pulled up, fallen or disqualified will not be eligible)
  7. Performances deemed as unsatisfactory or uncompetitive by Race Day Stewards or Officials will not be eligible towards the lift system and the number of runs applicable to the horse will automatically be reset to ’0′
  8. Where a licence holder is penalised under section M3b or M4k of the BHRC Rules and Regulations, the horse named on the Racetrack Stewards Enquiry Report shall have all banked runs removed and reset to ’0′
  9. Horses winning a final of £2000 and over will automatically be excluded from any allowance under section 13[B]

14. Saddle Racing
Saddle Racing will be handicapped under the national system.

15. Retirement
Horses must retire by 31st December of their 14th year (Owners/Trainers can request, in writing to the BHRC, an extension to a horses racing career).

16. The BHRC have attempted to cover all possibilities in the above rules and regulations. Should a situation arise that is not covered, the Raceframer should contact a member of the BHRC for clarification.

17. The BHRC reserve the right to review and alter conditions of the system