Champion miler Good Ba Ba may have won seven more Group One races and nearly three times the prize money, but Egyptian Ra is the 'handicapper's tip' for the HK$8 million Group One Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin tomorrow - or is he? 'Well, not really,' said Jockey Club chief handicapper Nigel Gray yesterday. 'If I was to be tipping one of them to win the Stewards' Cup, it would be Good Ba Ba - it's just a quirk of system that Egyptian Ra is rated higher than Good Ba Ba.' Yes, the ugly truth is Egyptian Ra was recently hoisted to a domestic rating of 134, or three points superior to Good Ba Ba, who has so much more gold and silverware and a head-to-head record of 6-4 against his rival. They will race off level weights tomorrow, theoretically giving an edge to Tony Cruz's bold frontrunner over Good Ba Ba, the triple Hong Kong Mile hero seeking a third successive Stewards' Cup. But Gray (pictured) wasn't backing domestic ratings as a guide, pointing out the situation is reversed by the same margin when international ratings are considered. 'The difference in the two is that domestic ratings are designed to equalise horses which will actually run against each other in handicap races in Hong Kong,' he explained. 'The international ratings have another intention - to accurately reflect the relative merits of high-class horses from different parts of the world.' Horses' international ratings might normally be tested only under level-weights conditions, if ever, in head-to-head combat, while the rise above Good Ba Ba domestically has come about because Egyptian Ra has continued to be tested in handicaps. 'Good Ba Ba reached 131 in what I believed was his peak win - the Hong Kong Mile in 2008, when he was just devastating and I don't believe he's ever gone better than that, though he has won other races since,' Gray said. 'Egyptian Ra established his best in the 2009 Queen's Silver Jubilee at 126, beating Good Ba Ba, and held that this season. But in October he won the National Day Cup off that figure and, in fairness to the horses he beat - which might meet him again at handicaps - I had to put him up the minimum of four points to 130. 'Then when he won again on New Year's Day off 130, again he had to go up four points, which is where he is now.' In both cases, Gray pointed out Matthew Chadwick took a weight claim of five pounds, but that it wasn't relevant to the ratings. 'Horses are handicapped off the rating, disregarding the claim, and that is the same policy all over the world,' he said. 'But obviously in an environment like Hong Kong, where the best horses do run at handicap conditions and with apprentice claims at some times and not others, then it must throw up anomalies. This is one of them.' And that's why Egyptian Ra is now rated two points 'better' than Silent Witness at his peak domestic figure of 132 and four better than the hero of Dubai, Vengeance Of Rain. Recent greats like Fairy King Prawn (135), Electronic Unicorn (138) and Viva Pataca (134) fare better by comparison because they continued to contest and win handicaps even after making it to the top of the pile. What would happen if Good Ba Ba ran against Egyptian Ra in a handicap now, particularly if Chadwick was claiming on Egyptian Ra? 'Well, I'd love to see that but I don't expect we will,' Gray mused. 'We'll just have to see what happens [tomorrow] at level terms instead.'