Class Indicator Explanation

Since the launch of our class indicator in the Form Guide we have had a number of questions from users as to how the figures are arrived at.

Class 'down, same or up' assessments appearing in the form guides are provided by our ratings partner AbettorEdge. These class assessments are structured around a traditional-style class/weight table with no allowance for prize money levels in metropolitan races (there is a prize money component for country and provincial racing). Location, day of week, age restriction, sex restriction, and race distance are other factors which are taken into account. The make-up of the 'field of runners' or individual race time etc is not considered. We specifically avoid assessing the 'strength' of the individual race because we have 'other' ratings methodologies which perform this function and are intended to be used in 'concert' with a very 'traditional' weight based class assessment.

The question of prize money as an indicator of race class is an interesting one and not completely without merit. But, a simple review of the Punting Form race tables in the form guide where you can quickly see race class, age/sex restrictions and prize money values, shows instances of races with very different class values, competing for the same prize money. The reason for this is simply that race clubs want to give owners of racehorses an incentive to stay in the industry competing for good prize money, even if their horses are not measuring up to better class. The specific case of fillies and mares races is catering for the breeding industry. If owners were not given an incentive to race female horses, then we could possibly end up with an industry dominated by male racehorses. Where there may be scope for incorporating a prize money factor into our metropolitan class assessments, is within the defined class bands. That is, it would be logical to assume that if all other factors were equal, a group 3 race for $150,000 prize money would be a higher class event than a group 3 race for $75,000. This is something we will put on our 'to-do' list to investigate.

Turning to a spectic example put forward by one of our users:

In race 8 at Caufield # 17 Classy Chloe's last run was in a $70k open 3yo event...... On Saturday she races in a $150k group 3 race against open age for the first time and is assessed as dropping in class!!!!

The previous race was essentially an Open class Saturday Metro race without restrictions…there is very little weight for age improvement from a 3yo Open race held in May, to a 4yo+ Open race held in September (the horses turn 4 in August). The upcoming race is a Group 3 Saturday metro race restricted to Mares (which was not mentioned in the query comments). Races restricted to Fillies and/or Mares are rated as much weaker class than an equivalent race with no sex restriction.

In our next release we will be extending the range of our class indicator to break down the underlying statists into more than the current 3 basic categories.

Please use our feebback forum to pass on any further comments or queries.