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Posted 2021-04-23 10:42:09  
BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE VODACOM DURBAN JULY WEIGHTS

The Vodacom Durban July is not a true handicap as there are some conditions.

At the time of publication of the weights the following rules apply:

"The weights shall not exceed 60kg and shall not be less than 52kg."

"The maximum weight for four-year-old and older females is 59kg and the maximum weight for four-year-old and older males is 60kg."

"The minimum weight for females is 52kg and the minimum weight for males is 53kg."

"The maximum weight for three-year-old females is 56kg and the maximum weight for three-year-old males is 57kg."

The weight for age allowance for a three-year-old at the time of the VDJ is 2kg (equals four merit rated points).

Therefore, if the highest rated horse Rainbow Bridge remains on 134 and presuming that will be the highest merit rating in the race then:

1) the three-year-old females will carry half-a-kilogram more than 52kg for every point their merit rating is above 122.

2) the three-year-old males will carry half-a-kilogram more than 53kg for every point their merit rating is above 124.

3) the four-year-old and older females will carry half-a-kilogram more than 52kg for every point their merit rating is above 118.

4) the four-year-old and older males will carry half-a-kilogram more than 53kg for every point their merit rating is above 120.

5) a three-year-old male who is rated 132 or more (and not above 134) will carry 57kg.

6) a three-year-old female who is rated 130 or more (and not above 134) will carry 56kg

7) a four-year-old or older female who is rated 132 or more (and not above 134) will carry 59kg.

There is one scenario in which a three-year-old female, three-year-old male or four-year-old or older female can carry more than 56kg, 57kg or 59kg respectively and that is if they are the highest rated horse in the race.

The relevant clause in that case is:

"Notwithstanding 2 and 3 above (i.e the weight minimum and maximum rules), the Handicapper will raise all weights proportionately to 60kg."

This happened in 2016 when three-year-old Abashiri on 117 was the highest rated horse in the race, two points higher than the 115 of the highest rated four-year-old or older horse French Navy.

The handicappers therefore had to allot Abashiri the maximum weight of 57kg for a three-year-old and then calculate the rest of the weights from that starting point.

This meant French Navy ended up with 58kg after the three-year-old weight for age allowance had been factored in.

The weights were then all dragged up to 60kg, meaning Abashiri had to carry 59kg.

However, this year the key merit ratings, presuming Rainbow Bridge stands his ground at the time of the publications of the weights and is still merit rated 134, are:

118 for older females;
120 for older males;
122 for three-year-old females;
124 for three-year-old males.

Trainers would ideally want their charges to be on those respective merit ratings or below because otherwise they are going to have to carry more than the minimum possible weight for their respective age and gender.

As things stand the horses who will be carrying more than the minimum possible weight for their age and gender are:

Rainbow Bridge (134) 60kg;
Belgarion (130) 58kg;
Do It Again (129) 57.5kg;
Summer Pudding (129) 57.5kg;
Golden Ducat (128) 57kg;
Jet Dark (3yoc) (130) 56kg;
Got The Greenlight (124) 55kg;
Sovereign Spirit (124) 55kg;
Captain's Ransom (3yof) (126) 54kg;
Malmoos (3yoc) (125) 53.5kg;
Running Brave (119) 52.5kg

The horses who will be carrying the minimum possible weight for their age and gender without being under sufferance are:

Cirillo (120) 53kg;
War Of Athena (122) 52kg;

Common terminology which would describe the above two cases is:

"War Of Athena/Cirillo sneaks into the handicap with the minimum weight".

So as it stands only 13 horses are "in the handicap".

The other 41 are all "under sufferance."

Of course a lot can change as the merit ratings will be affected by the many big races between now and June 15, the day on which the weights are published for the big race.

The weights can not change between June 15 and the big race date, July 3.

Gold Circle Online 

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