If local senior riders last season had enjoyed the two-pound weight claims they will soon have, they may have gained another 31 winners. The Jockey Club's move to increase the competitiveness of the locals is not before time - the club cannot beat the drum about fostering junior riders with overseas training while continuing to preside over a structure that ensures opportunity will disappear around the same time they may be ready to make something of it. The two-pound claim, which leading locals will have from November 1, is generally acknowledged as sufficient to make a difference when the margin is less than, say, three-quarters of a length. There were 31 occasions last season when local riders were beaten less than that margin. Of course, nothing is that simple: it takes no account of when one local rider beat another, or occasions when the winner might have had something in hand and the margin is not a proper assessment. Included, too, were riders, like Way Leung Ming-wai, who will claim more than two pounds when the changes come. Still, you say, even with extraneous factors, 31 wins would be very welcome. True, but apply the calculations to the previous season and the figure drops to 11. It's a start, but the outcome will be in those hands where this problem of opportunities for locals has always been - owners and trainers, and they still have plenty of top expatriates to choose from.