Under current rules a novice must either win or run a minimum of three times before a handicap mark
can be awarded.
It's not fair, especially when one of the big stables exploits a handicap mark
at the expense of smaller yards, and I welcome the changes, because I think they will make handicaps genuinely more competitive.
The truth is, however, that the whole system of handicap marks - as distinct from the techniques of handicapping - requires an overhaul.
Amazingly in this day and age, there is a time lag of several days before a horse's new handicap mark comes into effect.
ENTRIES for the William Hill Northumberland Plate (Handicap) close at 11am today, with a committee due to convene in Leeds shortly afterwards to allot the handicap marks
for the pounds 5,000 competition.
LENGTHY absences from the track are unfortunately all too frequent in jump racing and it is common practice for horses returning from such breaks to reappear off significantly lower handicap marks.
Normally in such circumstances punters face a tricky decision, weighing up the positive of the lower handicap mark against the negative of the lengthy break.