From January 1 Thoroughbred Racing SA will trial a new type of Ratings Band race in the metropolitan area - Rating 68 & Over races.
During consultation with the ATA (SA Branch), trainers expressed concern that a small number of horses are being deprived of racing opportunities as they are locked out of the top restricted rating band (Rating 0-94).
This is particularly true for mares and staying horses, when the available pool of Open horses cannot support the programming of Open races.
Aligned with the Rating 0-94 band, the new Rating 68 & over events will provide opportunities for horses that are currently rated above 94, as such horses will be eligible to run in these new rating band races, and will be weighted accordingly.
The Handicappers will rate the field subject to the quality of nominations received, while also satisfying the Australian top weight rule of 58.0 kg.
While these races will generally be scaled similar to a 0-94 rating race, they will be handicapped more aggressively should the strength of the race warrant, at the discretion of the handicapper.
The only restriction to entry in such races will be that at time of nomination, all horses must have a South Australian Rating of 68 or greater.
The new 68+ rating band races will be trialed early in January, and their success and effectiveness monitored by Thoroughbred Racing SA.