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British 2yo Racing - Paddock & Sales Review Ratings Explanation

    B2yoR attends the yearling sales and race meetings to be able to view and assess the current season's 2yos as physical specimens. The relatively simple system that is used is outlined in the "Paddock Review" section on this site.  The ratings that are produced will be included on the individual Horse Summary pages for the 2006 2yos and therefore an overview of the ratings is in order. The text below is an edited version of the information in the Paddock Review section.

Paddock Review Ratings :

    B2yoR uses a rating scale between 50 to 90 to assign an expected best performance level rating after the physical review. Exceptionally poor individuals are occasionally given ratings below 50 and outstanding physical types are, very rarely, rated above 90.

    The use of the range between 50 and 90 has been chosen to give some alignment between the rating and the expected 'actual' performance rating of the yearling on the racecourse (as defined by their Official Rating by the BHB 2yo handicapper). This system is still developing and experience has shown that the agreement between review rating and actual performance is best in the 50-75 section of the BHB scale.

    Note that B2yoR publishes its own performance ratings (referred to as 'Estimates') and these show a better correlation because both systems are built on the same groundwork and requirements. If you have read some of the articles on the site you will be aware of a number of misgivings B2yoR has with the thinking behind the BHB ratings.

    B2yoR uses a paddock review (and/or sales) rating of 70 as the benchmark of a 2yo that is worth following and has a higher probability of being able to compete well in open maidens. Those with ratings between 64-69 may be competitive in lower quality auction and maiden races and will include a few better quality winners. In summary a Paddock Review rating in the following ranges equates to :
Rating Range Likely Racing Performance
50-59 Poorest physical specimens. Those rated between 50-55 are likely to be competitive, if at all, in only the poorest quality races. Those rating between 55-59 may be capable of competing in selling/claiming races. 
60-69 Moderate to average physical specimens. Likely to be able to achieve ratings in the 60s (low 70s at best, probably in early season). Better types should be capable of competing well in sellers, claimers, auction races and lower quality nurseries off light weights.
70-79 Above average physical specimens but not obviously superior runners. Should be capable of competing well in open maidens. Those rated 70-72 likely to be limited to 70s ratings. Ratings 73-79 will include better types capable of achieving ratings in the 80s.
80-90 Above average and superior physical specimens. Should be capable of achieving ratings in the 80s at least. Better types will be capable of 90+ ratings and be part of the relatively small group of superior 2yo runners.

    An example of the use of these performance ratings would be in quickly analysing nursery handicaps. With these performance estimates related to physical abilities available the usual process of form analysis becomes a secondary concern. The first step in looking at the race would be to compare each horse's Official Rating with it's review rating. Only those horses whose review rating suggested they could win off that Official Mark or higher are considered for the shortlist.

    In many races this approach identifies one or two horses and they are rarely the favourites because they are targeting ability to perform at a higher level than the official handicapper believes. Races which show no horses with a 'positive' rating can then easily identified as 'tight knit' handicaps probably between horses whose abilities are well known. These are races to avoid betting in.

Additional Sales Review Rating Notes

    The Sales Ratings produced for yearlings are based on the same rating range as that described above for Paddock Reviews. The yearlings may be anywhere from 6 months to a year or more younger and less physically mature than the 2yos seen at the racecourse. Therefore, the ratings will be less accurate although it should be noted that the average yearling does not change its basic framework greatly as it matures. A few individuals may improve notably but these are relatively rare occurrences.

    However, when going to a yearling sale it should be remembered that the young horses on offer will be across the whole spectrum of precociousness and race distance requirements. They will not just be those that are likely to run, and be competitive, as 2yos. They will include those that require 8f+ as 3yos and older to show their full racecourse ability. When looking at a field of 2yos before a race until around mid-September you can usually assume they have demonstrated enough readiness to show a solid amount of their ability (at whatever level) at 2yo.

    Therefore an extra rating figure is given at the yearling sales termed "2yo Potential" in an attempt to identify those horses which are most likely to express their physical capabilities fully at 2yo. To give an example from the 2005 season the 2yo runner Hot was reviewed at the 2004 yearling sales and looked like he was already well developed and fit enough to run in 2yo races. He was therefore given a high '2yo Potential' rating and performed well at that age.

    Conversely, you might see a good physical specimen as a yearling but it is clear that they are not very mature and their muscle and geometry strongly suggests they will need 10-12f as 3yos to show their best performance. This type of individual may rate highly as a physical specimen but it is probably odds against them even running at 2yo and therefore they will get a low '2yo Potential' rating.

    Multiplying the basic Sales Rating (i.e. on the 50-90 scale) by the 2yo Potential figure gives a Full Rating for the yearling designed to try to identify the best physical types that will also be effective as 2yos. The Horse Summary pages will carry both Sales & Full Rating figures in 2006 where available.

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