The Association’s Greater Canterbury Branch held its’ Annual General meeting at the Yaldhurst Hotel recently, with a small number of licence-holders in attendance.
Matters discussed included standing starts, with P. Nairn questioning when the promised meeting of all starters was to happen, various aspects of Operation Inca and the performance of the RIU, and the rating handicapping system. K. Barron repeated that the system was always subject to change and improvement, however expressed disappointment that most of the complaints were from the connections of a horse that was perceived to be badly treated, with no thought to the overall picture. There would always be occasions where one horse was temporarily disadvantaged, but that would always be offset by advantaging other horses.
Concern was expressed at local Clubs racing over the same weekend selecting fields in the same way, i.e. highest to lowest rating. This was particularly prevalent in the stock standard R40 – 55 races, where R40’s with form were discarded in favour of higher rated horses with poor form. This was considered detrimental to everyone with the first meeting often having below capacity fields, bad for turnover, and made it impossible for R40’s to improve their rating when they were denied a start. Clubs should declare their field selection policy when programmes are published.