3YOS STILL MASSIVELY ADVANTAGED!
Early signs suggest 3yo race horses are still massively advantaged at longer distances in UK all-age handicaps even after the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA)'s modifications to the weight-for-age (WFA) scale in 2017.
Following a study of WFA race results over a 6 year period (2010 to 2015), the BHA reduced WFA allowances for 3yos by between 1 and 3lbs depending on distance and time of year (1lb for 10f in July / 3lbs for 20f in December). The new WFA scale came into effect in 2017. Reductions to 4yo allowances (1 to 3lbs) were also introduced in 2018.
Significance* in All-Age Handicaps 2010 to 2015
The table above shows 3yos were 1.59 times as likely to win than the average runner in all-age handicaps of 14 furlongs or more between 2010 and 2015. 3yos' advantage was clearly increasing with distance. Evidence similar to this prompted the BHA to reduce allowances for 3yos in WFA races of 10 furlongs or more.
Significance in All-Age Handicaps 01/01/18 to 29/09/20
|5f||6f||7f||8-9f||10-11f||12-13f||14f+||ALL||3yos|| 1.04||0.96||0.98|| 1.18|| 1.32|| 1.41|| 1.86|| 1.18||4yo+||0.98|| 1.01|| 1||0.89||0.76||0.75||0.64||0.9|
The table above represents significances since the new WFA scale came into effect. Changes to the WFA scale appear to have had little effect so far, with 3yos still massively advantaged at longer distances.
*Significance is expressed as how many times as likely a runner will win compared to the average runner (a significance of 1.00 means equally as likely to win as the average runner).