AFTER his sensational win in the Grade 2 Dingaans on Saturday, undefeated Hawwaam has had his official merit rating raised from 90 to 100.
Which on the face of it seems to rather undervalue the Silvano colt.
He is likely to go off just about favourite in the Grade 1 Cape Guineas three weeks from now where on official ratings he will have to make major further improvement to even compete with the likes of One World (117), Chimichuri Run (116) and even Twist Of Fate (112).
But this picture is very misleading.
When contacted, Senior Handicapper Mathew Lips explained.
“We used National Park to 96 as the key, which he achieved in his last PE win.
“That means we have Hawwaam running to 111, Thanksgiving to 104, and Green Haze to 101.”
But our handicappers’ hands are tied by many guidelines, one of which reads as follows:
“The winner and placed horses in a Grade 2 or Grade 3 race is capped at a 10 point penalty for the winner, 5 points for 2nd place and 3 points for 3rd place.”
Which means the obviously top class Hawwaam could only be adjusted to 100, runner up Thanksgiving (previously 88) to 93, and third placed Green Haze (89) to 92.
So the first three in Gauteng’s premier spring race for three-year-olds are now all undervalued by nine merit rating points or more if the handicappers are on the mark.