Letter: Ratings iniquity.
CAN a horse rocket scientist explain why chasers returning to hurdles are allowed to run off an ancient hurdles ratings, whereas debutant chasers with hurdles form only can be allotted a handicap mark?
Although I have never ridden a horse, I would have thought that experienced chasers who have had hurdling experience in their earlier days would be much more likely to transfer their speed ability back to hurdles than a hurdler trying the more severe obstacles for the first time would be to carry it forward.
If Dempsey runs in a valuable hurdle at Ascot off a mark 33lb lower than his chase rating (Racing Post, September 17), it will be unfair to the other owners and probably spoil the market in such a rare, valuable and high-profile event.
I suggest that if connections want to return a chaser to hurdling, when the chase rating is more than 7lb higher than his hurdle mark the first run back should be in a handicap hurdle worth no more than pounds 3,000 to the winner.
P Caldecote London SW15