7th August 2014

I, perhaps naively, thought Simon Holt was a commentator but I see now, from his column in the Weekender that he is also a journalist and a radical thinker to boot.

Last week he discussed the damage that the handicap system does to British racing (see Straight Talking in the Klarion) and now he is questioning the weight-for-age scale which has been used since 1860. His ideas, if nothing else, are worthy of serious consideration but I think he goes slightly astray when he suggests that, perhaps, we should abandon 2yo racing and move everything back a year. I think he is maybe thinking that this would reduce the imbalances due to varying levels of maturity but, overall in his piece, he claims that the weight-for-age scale is now defunct because horses mature so much more quickly than they did 150 years ago. He probably also hasn’t considered that, if you moved the time that horses enter training back by a year, you would probably delay their maturity, at least in terms of their skeletal conditioning, by a similar amount of time.

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