Trainers frustrated by Handicapping system
The current benchmark system is a common point of discussion for trainers in as many are finding horses are being forced to step up in a grade they may not be suited to after being penalised for running places in their previous starts. Trainer Gary Portelli is feeling the frustration of the system with promising three year old Straturbo who runs at Canterbury on Friday night “it’s a funny situation where we are one of the few sports where you are penalised for being beaten, everytime he comes second he gets more weight” the trainer commented. The gelding has ran second at his past four starts and has gone up 3kgs in that time without winning a race. Portelli is hoping to overcome the weight rise by engaging the services of talented apprentice Lester Grace who’s three kilo claim brings the gelding back down to the weight he won at his second start at Wyong.
Portelli is not the only one feeling the effects of the system with many trainers finding horses are penalised for performing consistently well despite not winning with many asking the question “if they aren’t winning in the current grade with their current weight, how can they win then with more weight at their next start?”
By Gabrielle Englebrecht