Turn Me Loose’s Makfi hopes boosted

Turn Me Loose and co-trainer Andrew Forsman at the stables last week. (Photo: Wally O'Hearn)

Turn Me Loose and co-trainer Andrew Forsman at the stables last week. (Photo: Wally O’Hearn)

A fresh assessment of Turn Me Loose’s rating has all but guaranteed the four-year-old his place in the Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes.

An approach from Cambridge co-trainer Murray Baker to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has resulted in the Gr. 1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas winner elevated now to equal 16th in the order of entry for the Hastings feature on August 29.

Turn Me Loose was originally on a rating of 86 and languishing in 25th spot for the Makfi, but handicapper Dennis Quirke has reassessed the horse to 94.

“It’s an unusual situation and I’m happy with my re-rating,” he said. “People generally want their horses reassessed down and not up and the process is the same as any other request.

“The entry conditions for these races raises the issue of how we rate our three-year-olds and the order of entry into these big races. It’s something that needs to be looked at.

“We’ve gone through the process with Turn Me Loose and, yes, he was under-rated.”

Turn Me Loose hasn’t raced since he won the Guineas at Riccarton last November and he had also previously won the Gr. 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

“It is more difficult to assess the quality of early season three-year-old races than as the season progresses and those horses have more disclosed form,” said Quirke.

“Turn Me Loose has therefore been disadvantaged by not having raced beyond November in his three-year-old season.

“I am of the view that the domestic rating of Turn Me Loose is not representative of the horse’s ability in comparison with higher rated three-year-olds of 2014-15.

“The Free Handicaps have not been released yet, but my initial thoughts are that in the up to 1600m category Turn Me Loose would be rated above Mongolian Khan and comparable, or maybe ahead of Volkstok’n’barrell.”

– NZ Racing Desk.