At the Australian Racing Board’s meeting held on Thursday 18 August, the following decisions were made with regards to the Australian minimum riding weights:
(1) That the minimum weight in general handicap flat races be increased from 53kg to 54kg.
(2) That the minimum weights for the Melbourne & Caulfield Cups remain at 50kg.
(3) That the minimum weights for Group 1 handicap flat races other than the Melbourne & Caulfield Cups be increased from 51kg to 52kg.
(4) That the minimum weights for Group 2 handicap flat races be increased from 52kg to 53kg.
(5) That for Group 1 handicap flat races and those handicap flat races in which only 2YOs may run the minimum top weight be increased from 57kg to 58kg and that the minimum top weight allocated for all other handicap flat races be increased from 58kg to 59kg.
(6) That AR.103(2) providing for weights at the declaration of acceptances be retained within the Australian Rules and that the minimum top weight at declaration of acceptances be increased from 57kg to 58kg.
(7) That the changes outlined above in 1-6 come into effect from 1st January 2012.
(8) That no change be made to the WFA scale.
The Board has made this decision because the incidence of 3YOs competing in WFA races and being allocated less than the proposed new minimum riding weight of 54kg is extremely small and to a large degree restricted to one or two 3YOs that compete in the Cox Plate in October (3YO males are allocated 49.5kg) and a similar number in the Kingston Town Stakes in November (3YO males are allocated 51kg).
Moreover an increase in the WFA scale across the board of 1kg would require older males to carry 60kg in most WFA races during the season when there are no 3YOs competing and the Board does not believe an increase is warranted at this time.
(9) That the National Chairmen of Stewards, RISA and other relevant groups be asked to consider the feasibility of changing the way in which rider weights are published.