Mike Moon
Horse racing correspondent
2 minute read
6 Apr 2022
2:51 pm

As you were: Derby day barely stirs big horse MRs

Mike Moon

Durban July-Cape Met hero Kommetdieding, who finished third and might have found the 1600m a tad sharp, is also unchanged – on 129.

Britain's Queen Elizaberth II has nine horses entered for 11 races at the 35-race Royal Ascot meeting. Picture: Getty Images

Racing’s handicappers will be quietly smug after events of the Derby meeting at Turffontein on Saturday.

Relatively few adjustments have been made to horses’ merit ratings after Aragosta won the SA Derby, MK’s Pride the Horse Chestnut and Rain In Holland the Oaks – and the Triple Tiara. All three victors’ MRs remain unchanged, as do the ratings of most of the other runners in those races.

That means the handicappers of the National Horseracing Authority got their sums right. Of course, the handicappers themselves assess the ratings, so they’re critiquing their own work. But, hey, give the guys a break – they get a rough ride most of the time and deserve the occasional pat on the back.

MK’s Pride stays on a mark of 122 after his memorable win in the Grade 1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m. The handicappers decided MK’s Pride himself was the most appropriate line horse – meaning he was the horse that performed most closely to his assessed potential.

In assessing the race this way, fourth placed Astrix ran to his mark of 112, making him a second line horse.

Durban July-Cape Met hero Kommetdieding, who finished third and might have found the 1600m a tad sharp, is also unchanged – on 129.

The only ratings increase is for runner-up Puerto Manzano, who goes from 111 to 120, and the only drop is for unplaced Bingwa, who is down from 118 to 117.

Aragosta stays on 109 after his Grade 1 WSB SA Derby triumph, while second-placed Zeus is up from 99 to 108 and third-place London Roads from 80 to 100. Both the latter horses were relatively unexposed before this race.

Rain in Holland is unchanged on 118 – even though she only performed to a 93 rating, according to the line horse, third-placed Evening Primrose (81). Go figure.

Man O’War Sprint victor Master Archie has his rating upped from 114 to 120, while Caradoc Gold Cup winner Nebraas rises from 104 to 110.