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Handicapper in Bangalore needs serious training
News: By: Sharan Kumar
November 17 , 2020

The Bangalore Turf Club mandarins have been making a series of mistakes, with the members of the committee being totally ignorant of the importance of the people that they should employ for key positions.

After getting rid of experienced people from important positions for frivolous reasons, the club is taking a risk with inexperienced people. BTC appointed a trainee handicapper who had much less experience than their own assistant handicapper to the key position. The results are there for all to see.

The Managing Committee members don’t believe that they are ignorant. And they don’t make efforts to improve. All that they are capable of is disruptive action. Ignorance is bliss but quite often ignorance is also destiny.


Over a period of time, the handicapping system in India has been a well-established one. The previous handicapper Shiva Prasad who held the post in BTC for a long time was also instrumental in training most of the handicappers working in other racing centres. Handicapping is not a simple mathematical exercise. Understanding of racing is very essential plus a deep understanding of the practices of the past for guidance.

One doesn’t know how well qualified is the Bangalore handicapper who was working as an assistant to Dr Jagannath who is the Secretary cum Handicapper of Mysore Race Course. In fact, when Jagannath was in South Africa attending Asian Racing Conference earlier this year, the club sought the help of BTC’s assistant handicapper Shyam to manage the operations even though Karthik who is the handicapper in BTC was working at Mysore. This perhaps gives a clue to how seriously our mandarins work. It needs an explanation as to why BTC chose to go with Karthik who was an inexperienced assistant handicapper at Mysore as contrasted with Shyam who had worked under BTC handicapper Shiva Prasad for a long period of time?

It has already been pointed out by many how the handicapper dropped Point To Prove to 102 after it had been handicapped at 114 at Mysore after the second-placed effort in the Stayers Cup at Mysore. The handicapper has a right to reassess the handicap of a horse but nobody revises the same without the horse having run in another race after its rating had been published.

The mistakes are continuing to happen. The BTC is not taking the help of a senior handicapper of another centre to help out as they have done in the case of stewarding of races. Ravi Shankar is fairly experienced to manage the show himself but the club is bringing RWITC Chief Stipendiary Steward Sujat Hussain at considerable experience each race day. Why didn’t they think of the same exercise as far as handicapper was concerned? The handicapper they have appointed is totally raw and his inexperience would only make him susceptible to pressure.

Miss Pareil won the 1400 metres Rajyotsava Cup, a terms race for three-year-olds on Saturday. Watchmystars and Ansaldo finished half a length and neck behind respectively behind the winner. Lagarde who was rated at 42 finished down the field and the handicapper was right in ignoring the poor run of the purpose of giving the rating for the first three placed horses.

If he had based the third horse for rating Miss Pareil, he should have given the filly the rating of 34 as Ansaldo who is a colt was already rated 32. This perhaps was what one can make out from years of observing how the handicappers did their rating. However, the BTC handicapper has given a rating of 27 which is very advantageous for the progressive filly to win again while being disadvantageous for those loitering in that weight unable to step out of the rating. The handicapper has given a rating of 24 to Watchmystars while retaining the rating of Ansaldo at 32. When these horses run together in a handicap race, Ansaldo will be giving weight to Miss Pareil who has beaten the former and run almost at the same weight difference. Is this not an absurd situation?

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