Wednesday, June 19, 2024

European Pattern Committee announces new Chairman and changes to the 2022 European Programme of Flat Black Type Races

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Issued on behalf of the European Pattern Committee

At its annual meeting, held virtually on Friday 21 January, the European Pattern Committee (EPC) reviewed all Pattern and Listed races staged in Europe in 2021 and approved a limited number of changes to the 2022 European Flat racing programme. The Committee sanctioned a total of 851 Black Type races (854 in 2021) to be held in Europe in 2022, comprising 425 Group races (427 in 2021) and 426 Listed races (427 in 2021)  – a decrease of 3 on 2021.

Departure and new appointees

Last month’s meeting was the last to be chaired by Brian Kavanagh, who chaired the EPC since 2005, before stepping down on Monday 31 January. The Member Countries of the EPC unanimously agreed that Jason Morris, Director of Racing at Horse Racing Ireland, will take over as Chair of the EPC with immediate effect, for a term of five years. The EPC thanked Brian Kavanagh for his excellent leadership during his tenure as Chair, and for dedicating so much time and passion to the responsibility.

Brian Kavanagh said:

“It has been a privilege to serve as Chairman of the EPC and to work with a group of dedicated and passionate individuals. The strength of the European Pattern is reflected annually in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings and while its work is regulatory in nature, the Committee has overseen many positive initiatives in European racing, for example in relation to opportunities for top class fillies and mares, the development of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, Qatar Prix de l’Arc weekend and QIPCO British Champions Day, the three-year-old sprint programme and opportunities for stayers.

“The authority of the Committee comes from the participation and buy-in of all of the major racing nations in Europe and is one of the best examples I know of international racing authorities working together towards a common objective.

On the appointment of Jason Morris, Brian Kavanagh added: “The Committee has chosen wisely in selecting Jason Morris to take over the role as Chairman. He has great expertise in this area and a lifetime interest in the development of quality racing throughout Europe. I wish him and the entire Committee all the best in the future.”

The EPC has agreed to nominate Dominic Gardiner-Hill, Head of Handicapping for the BHA, Garry O’Gorman and Eric Le Guen, Senior Handicappers in Ireland and France respectively, as the European nominees to the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The committee has agreed to undertake a full review of the progress made on developing and enhancing the Black Type programme for the staying horse at its next meeting, to be held during the summer of 2022. Finally, the EPC also agreed new measures to aid the emerging racing nations in the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation to have the chance to stage a Listed race, providing the race in question meets an agreed set of criteria.

Upgrades, downgrades and additions

In Ireland, two races have been upgraded: the Listed Silken Glider Stakes, an eight-furlong race for two-year-old fillies at the Curragh in October has been upgraded to Group 3, as has the Listed Savel Beg over fourteen furlongs at Leopardstown in May. Meanwhile, the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes, staged at Navan in April, has been downgraded voluntarily with a view to creating a better sequence for Ireland’s two early season Black Type races for staying horses. Ireland will also stage a new Listed race for fillies aged three years and older over six furlongs at the Curragh in October. Across Europe, a total of five Pattern races have been downgraded in 2022, with a further four Listed races losing that status. Those races are:

  • Germany
    • Group 2 Diana Trial downgraded to Group 3
    • Group 3 Silberne Pietsche downgraded to Listed
  • Ireland
    • Group 3 Diamond Stakes downgraded to Listed
  • Italy
    • Listed Citta di Napoli loses Listed status
    • Listed Archidamia loses Listed status
    • Listed Chiusura loses Listed status
  • Norway
    • Group 3 Oslo Cup downgraded to Listed
  • Sweden
    • Listed Stockholm Fillies’ Stakes loses Listed status
  • Turkey
    • Group 2 Topkapi Trophy downgraded to Group 3

Races at risk of downgrade

A total of 41 Pattern and Listed races will be at risk of potential downgrade in 2023 depending on their performance in 2022. By nation and/or region, the spread of races is as follows: GB – 1France – 10Germany – 12Ireland – 3Italy – 14Turkey – 1Scandinavia – none

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