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Amended Weight Scales for BM58 Races

Racing Victoria (RV), in conjunction with the Australian Trainers Association (ATA), wishes to advise that the weight scale for BM58 races will be increased by 2kg from 1 January 2021. 

The change will mean a minimum 8kg weight spread for BM58 races with older males rated 58 to now be allocated 62kg on a 54kg minimum.

The change to BM58s will coincide with the return to normal weight scales on 1 January 2021, following the special provisions that have been in place since April due to COVID.

The decision to amend the weight scale was made as a result of BM58 races being inundated with horses rated 59 and above, with trainers preferring to run in these races, carrying higher weights, than compete in the higher rated benchmark races (eg. BM64/BM70).

The change to the weight scale will be for BM58 races only, with the weight scale for 0-58s, which are run exclusively on Saturday and Sunday country programs, retaining the normal spread of 60kg on a 54kg minimum.

RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “Following consultation with the ATA, it has been agreed to trial an increase in the weight scale in BM58 races by 2kg from 1 January 2021. 

“We have seen an influx of horses rated 59 and above competing in BM58 races for more than 12 months with their winning strike rate far outperforming their participation rate with a success rate of 60% compared to a participation rate of 46%. 

“By adjusting the weight scale, we hope this will provide greater balance of participation across the BM58, BM64 and BM70 classes, and also improve the opportunities for and competitiveness of lower rated horses.

“We will track the outcomes produced by the changed weight scale for BM58s through until the end of the 2020/21 racing season and if the anticipated results are not achieved, we will consider introducing additional measures with the support of the ATA to help address this issue.” 

RV has also confirmed that the intended date for a return to the pre-COVID weight scale will be 1 January 2021. 

The decision has been made, following consultation with the ATA and Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA), that the 2kg COVID allowance will be removed with riders no longer facing trackwork restrictions and gyms reopened.

The standard scale will return to a 60kg topweight on a minimum of 54kg.