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Forum - Very Interesting Read

Very Interesting Read

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Original Blog Post:

Reference: https://www.racing.com/news/2019-03-12/comment-do-away-with-stakes-racing

Comment: Do away with Stakes racing
Racing Article Matt [email protected] 12:37pm O
To get the best racing the best, something must change.

There's simply too much Stakes racing. Too many options for aspiring stallions to build their value and fillies to get all-important 'black type'.

How often do you hear a trainer say of a filly, 'She's done her job, she's off to the breeding barn'?

There's no motivation to take on the best. In fact, best practice is to avoid the champions and find the easiest route to securing owners that lucrative Stakes win.

That's not to be critical of breeders, owners and trainers who exploit the current system. Racing's programming does nothing to encourage our superstars to clash.

Who wouldn't dodge Winx with a valuable colt when they can get a Group 1 win against their own age or a lesser-quality open age field when, in reality, the breeding industry doesn't note who you beat, simply the classification of the race.

It's a flawed logic. But it's the legacy we are left with in abiding by a grading system developed for the pre-computer, pre-internet age where gradings were an easy reference for breeders when assessing horses from across the globe.

Why do we need to assign a Group or Listed status to modern-day races? Why should horse racing be dictated to by the breeding industry rather than the other way around?

This isn't to be critical of the breeding industry, it's a vital part of making the industry tick but the reality is the lure of the breeding barn is compromising our racing.

If Group and Listed races were stripped of their grading it would encourage the best horses to tackle the best in an attempt to build their CV ahead of their breeding career.

Using The Autumn Sun as an example, his owners have a plethora of options far more appealing than challenging the world's best racehorse, Winx, in what would be a tantalising match-up.

Both Winx and The Autumn Sun will have their next run at Rosehill on March 23.

Both horses are looking for 2000 metres based on how they raced in their recent 1600-metre wins.

However, despite the 2000-metre Group 1 WFA Ranvet Stakes being an ideal option for both, it's unlikely racing will get the clash it seeks.

There are two other options for The Autumn Sun to get another Group 1 on the same day without tackling Winx. There's the 2000-metre Rosehill Guineas against his own age or the Ranvet Stakes with his stablemate Winx instead heading to the 1500-metre George Ryder Stakes.

The 1500m doesn't look as suitable for Winx given the way she is racing, but she's Winx and she will win anyway.

To me, the thought that The Autumn Sun's stud value would continue to rise while collecting 3YO Group 1 wins but go down if he got beaten five lengths into second (assuming he'd run second) by the greatest horse in the world is rather preposterous.

If he were to run second to Winx and beat home a horse like Happy Clapper his value should increase a great deal more than for winning a lowly-rated Group 1 Caulfield Guineas that has seen one subsequent winner (outside of The Autumn Sun) from 26 more starts with 22 unplaced runs and three placings - in a Class 1 at Ballarat and a BM74 and 76 at Canterbury and Kensington.

Take away Group and Listed races and the game changes, suddenly there's motive for the best to tackle the best.

The impact on punters, trainers and owners would be negligible. Prizemoney would remain the same and the crowds wouldn't be impacted, but the breeding industry would value horses on the quality of a race and who a horse beat rather than leaning on the Pattern.

The time-honoured races would still be steeped in history and tradition. But it would also allow the more recently-added races that our sport needs to encourage the next-generation fan to flourish and, where deserved, attract the best-possible fields.

Horse racing doesn't need the grading system to enhance its product; in fact, it's holding the product back. Do away with it and let those who climb to the top of the mountain enjoy the fruits of the breeding barn, rather than those who have been cunningly placed against their own age group.

Racing makes the breeding industry and as a thank you the best horses are retired as soon as they've ticked boxes required to have a career post-racing. It's time to take our best horses back, keep them racing and force them to beat the best before they can be considered stallion-worthy

Author: West Coast
Subject: Very Interesting Read

Time: 12/3/2019 11:33:11 PM
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Author: Rex
Subject: Re: Very Interesting Read

Time: 13/3/2019 6:03:01 AM

Blog Reply:

Its the same in England.

People keep saying that there are twice as many G1s in Australia as there are England, but forget to mention the flat season only goes for 6 months in England- thus pro rata is basically the same.

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