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By Epsom Ace
Monday 09 Jul 2018

The Royal Calcutta Turf Club has taken a welcome step by lowering the handicap scale whenever necessary and keeping the top-weight as close to 60kg as possible and (or) the bottom weight at 50kg. While the conditions are the same for all professionals and horses, the shrewder trainers who have a fair grasp of the system of handicapping can at times exploit the situation to their advantage. That’s fair enough and injects a little more competition in the area of mind-games which is such an integral part of the sport.

While there is no room for any professional to complain about the new initiative, some of the heavier apprentices will have to try and maintain a slightly lower body weight if they want to claim an allowance in the bottom half of the field. Most of the top jockeys would be unaffected as they maintain a body-weight between 52 and 54 kg. One of the country’s leading jockeys has a rather high riding weight of 57kg or so and he is the sole senior pro who may be slightly inconvenienced now and again by this new system. But as they say, when you take such a welcome initiative, you can’t please everybody. There will always be one or two disgruntled participants. That is not a cause for concern.