Assessment of Imported Horses - Ratings Exempt Races

17 September 2019

Following a meeting of the Harness Racing Australia (HRA) Executive on 16 September, the assessment of imported horses from New Zealand under the National Ratings Based Handicapping System has been clarified in order to provide certainty to the industry.

From 1 July 2019, imported horses will have their best finishing position performance in a ratings exempt race deemed as ratings exempt in Australia for the purposes of assessing rating points in the Australian racing system – but only for one of these types of races in its lifetime.  Any other international exempt races will be assessed as per the ratings matrix for a normal race in Australia.

For example, upon importation, if a horse has had five starts in ratings exempt races in New Zealand, for one win, a second place and three non-placings, this one win will be considered exempt under the National Ratings Based Handicapping System.

The same applies for a horse that has a best finishing position performance of second in a ratings exempt race in New Zealand – the points earned for second will be exempt when considering its Australian ratings points.  This applies for all performances through to last placing, including where negative points might otherwise be applied.

In a circumstance where a horse has equal best finishing position performances, (i.e. its best performance is second in an exempt race and it has finished second on two occasions), the first race performance will be exempt.

Ratings exempt races held in Australia will continue to be exempt as usual and this policy change does not affect races held in Australia.