|Tuesday, May 27, 2008
|Contact: Campbell Moncur
+64 27 432 7718
|NZ introduces new track rating system
A new system of grading track conditions is about to go on trial in New Zealand.
The trial will run from mid June to the end of September and, if supported by the industry, will remain in place from that date on.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has developed the new 11-scale system in consultation with Club and Industry representatives, along with input from Turftech (the original developers of the Penetrometer system).
The current five track grades range from Fast to Heavy and each of these grades is aligned to a band of Penetrometer readings. The Penetrometer number is an average of 30 readings from around the track.
“Given how this reading is calculated, we have found that too much emphasis is generally being placed on the actual Penetrometer number,” explained Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of NZTR. “This can be particularly misleading at certain times of the year and under certain conditions, and inevitably makes a difference to the perception of Punters, Trainers and Riders. We have seen instances of the official reading telling us one thing and the track, from the way it is behaving when galloped on, telling us another.”
“We want to ensure greater accuracy and consistency around track ratings and the information provided to the industry. So twofold, we’re addressing the scale we utilise and also shifting the focus from solely the Penetrometer reading. We’re confident this will be achieved through the trial period.”
“The Penetrometer will still be used, but it will return to its original purpose - that of a guide to the going. The actual reading will not be released, only the rating category and associated scale; for example ‘Dead 6.’ We were cognisant of the method used to rate tracks in Australia, and after considering our local conditions determined this scale was most appropriate for the trial.”
The new rating categories will provide Punters both in Australia and New Zealand with similar grading systems. The full rating description – for example ‘Dead 6: Significant amount of give, worse side of Genuine Dead’ – will also be published to help with the understanding of the new track rating scale. During the trial period, a horse’s form sheet will continue to show the five grades only – Fast, Good, Dead, Slow and Heavy – not the 11-scale system.
In all cases once the first race is run the time of the races becomes the key determinant of the track condition on the day. The new rating system will be displayed on the NZTR website and included in oncourse race books and form guides.
Full details of the proposed new Track Ratings Scale are available on www.nzracing.co.nz
|For additional information, please visit www.nzracing.co.nz