Stranger Danger’s time to battle Bigdaddykool

September 13, 2019
STRANGER DANGER (Anthony Thomas) gallops away from the field to win The Ash Wednesday Trophy over 1300 metres at Caymanas Park on March 6, 2019.
STRANGER DANGER (Anthony Thomas) gallops away from the field to win The Ash Wednesday Trophy over 1300 metres at Caymanas Park on March 6, 2019.

STRANGER DANGER makes his grade one debut in Saturday's Governor General's Stakes with 121lb, five pounds under top handicapper BIGDADDYKOOL, after carrying 115lb in overnight allowance and open allowance races, getting weight from vastly inferior opposition such as SECRET TRAVELLER.

Such is the fiasco that permeates a system of racing that operates without official ratings for all horses, which would, if in effect, allow for proper classification and allotment of weight, based on performance, instead of 'conditions', which 'consider' horses 'equal', based on the number of races they have won.

Conditions are void of the human element, which is used under a proper handicapping system to adjust and publish after each race meet, ratings for every horse in their respective races, taking into consideration weight carried, opponents faced, time clocked, class displayed, winning or losing margin, track condition or bias, as factors to adjust their 'rankings' in a particular class.

Therefore, any number of points added to a horse's rating is equivalent to the same number of pounds added, or vice versa, which would give trainers, owners, jockeys, and all concerned, even the betting public, a basic idea of how much weight a horse would carry in its next race within the class (rating group) or whether the animal has been promoted to a higher class, or demoted, based on having been adjusted above or below the prescribed rating for the class in which it had raced.

Therefore, STRANGER DANGER making his grade one debut with 121lb suggests that, based on the handicapper/s unpublished ratings, he is only five pounds worse off than BIGDADDYKOOL, who is considered among the top three horses in the country, a rating ridiculing the condition system which allowed him to race among the likes of HEY CHAMP and SECRET TRAVELLER, carrying 115lb, after posting a grade one time in his previous race.

Highest-rated opponent

It is, indeed, bemusing that, facing his highest rated opponent ever, STRANGER DANGER is now considered almost his equal, yet while he was clocking grade one times in previous races, 'conditions' made him inferior to SECRET TRAVELLER, who had to allow him weight.

So, having shown, by performance, that he has long been the best horse in the country, unbeaten in seven starts, all grade-one times, STRANGER DANGER takes on stablemate SHE'S A MANEATER's beating stick, BIGDADDYKOOL, who allows him five pounds at 10 furlongs.

As per the norm in grade one, under a system of racing which locks topweight at 126lb and the lightest horse at 110, bar an apprentice claim, a difference of only 16lb, giving no lighter and talented horse a realistic chance against the two or three best horses in the country, the betting will be between two runners, BIGDADDYKOOL and STRANGER DANGER.

Poor BIGDADDYKOOL, just when he thought he might have got a break from SHE'S A MANEATER, who turns six next year and might make a good broodmare prospect, here comes STRANGER DANGER ready to dish out another year of walloping.

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