The Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) Board has endorsed the engagement of Dominic Beirne to undertake an independent review of the thoroughbred handicapping and race programming system in WA.
Mr Beirne has experience conducting a similar review for Racing NSW and was recommended for the appointment by the newly formed Thoroughbred Racing Committee (TRC) due to his past experience and niche area of expertise.
The independent review process is welcomed by RWWA and will commence this month, involving extensive consultation with industry stakeholders to ensure WA is employing a best practice model for industry.
Any recommendations for policy changes to the programming system will be communicated with industry, with a view to implementation from the beginning of the new racing season on August 1, 2018.
RWWA Thoroughbred Code Director and Chairman of the TRC, Bob Pearson said handicapping is fundamental to ensuring thoroughbred racing presents competitive race fields.
“Any recommended changes to the current handicapping and race programming policies will be communicated extensively with industry,” Mr Pearson said.
“Policy changes must deliver benefits to industry revenues via wagering turnover while also being conscious of maximising owners’ returns.”
A handicap rating is a way of expressing the merit of a horse’s performances on the race track; the higher the number, the better the handicapper thinks the horse’s performances are likely to be. A ratings-based handicapping system is accepted internationally as the most competitive method of handicapping and race programming.
Improving the commercial competitiveness of WA thoroughbred racing and growing revenue streams to put back into the industry is a key strategic objective of the Thoroughbred Racing Strategic Plan.