Queensland – National Handicapping Rule amendment clarification

Following the recent announcement from Harness Racing Australia (HRA) regarding changes to the Australian Handicapping Rules, please find below important information and clarification as to what the changes mean for Queensland horses.


Current yearlings (2023 2YOs)

Will commence with a Rating of NR50.

At the conclusion of the 2023 racing season, 2YOs transition to a 3YO in 2024 by:

  • Retaining their Rating if NR50 or below; or
  • If NR51 or above Rating points above NR50 will be halved and rounded up to a whole number. E.g., NR55 2YO will transition as a NR53 or NR60 transitions as NR55.

Current 2YOs (2023 3YOs)

For the 2023 racing season 3YO horses that transitioned at:

  • NR50 or below will be raised up to 15 points or to a maximum of NR50 e.g. NR30 2YO will commence as a 3YO at NR45, NR44 2YO commences as a 3YO at NR50: or
  • Horses NR51 or higher – Rating above 50 is halved and rounded up to a whole number e.g. NR58 2YO commences as a 3YO at NR54, NR63 2YO commences as a 3YO at NR57.

This will only apply to 2023 3YOs as they will transition under the current rules.


Juvenile concessions

2YO concession = 8 points

3YO concession = 8 points

Commencing January 1, 2023.

Juvenile concession available on most open age races and with age restrictions removed from most rating races and limited win races there will be greater opportunity to find a race for a 2YO if a programmed 2YO race fails to gain enough starters.


Promoting a horse to NR40 upon winning

Any horse with a Rating between NR30 and NR39 to be raised to NR40 minimum upon winning. For example:

  • NR30 horse wins $4,190 race its Rating is raised to NR40; and
  • NR38 horse wins $5,400 race its Rating becomes NR41.

Programming changes include most lower rating races becoming NR30-40, the next step up having a NR40 front with a smaller Rating range and use of more preferential draws such as $L3 or FSP (Field Selection Points).


For more information, contact the Racing Queensland Harness Racing Office on (07) 3869 9775.