The quality of Britain’s Flat racing programme was recognised at the 2007 meeting of the European Pattern Committee (EPC) in Italy last week, with one race within the Pattern upgraded and a Listed race promoted to Group 3 status.
The Sony Summer Mile, run in July for four-year-olds and upwards, has been upgraded from Group 3 to Group 2 status. The race reverts to Ascot in 2007, having been run at Lingfield Park on its All Weather Track for the last two years and having achieved Group 2 ratings on both occasions. The race was the only upgrade from within the Pattern in Europe for 2007.
The Finnforest E.B.F. Oh So Sharp Stakes, over 7 furlongs for two-year-old fillies and run at Newmarket in October, is promoted to Group 3 from Listed status. It has consistently delivered ratings above Group 3 standard and will now provide a complement to the Group 3 Somerville Tattersalls Stakes over 7 furlongs for two-year-old colts and geldings at the same meeting.
Britain will have 31 Group 1 races in 2007, 43 Group 2 and 65 Group 3. In a further reflection of the strength of British Racing’s Pattern, no races were downgraded at the EPC meeting, and none will be liable for downgrading in 2008.
BHB Racing Director Ruth Quinn said: “Britain’s Pattern race programme remains very robust, and the strong records of two progressive races have been recognised with deserved upgrades.”
Ascot Clerk of the Course Chris Stickels said: “The Sony Summer Mile is really establishing itself now and growing in stature every year, attracting excellent fields in a good time slot between the Queen Anne and Sussex Stakes.”
Newmarket Director of Racing Michael Prosser said: “The Finnforest E.B.F. Oh So Sharp Stakes has fully justified its upgrading. It invariably attracts a strong, quality field of fillies and its elevation to Group status will nicely enhance the autumn two-year-old Pattern race programme at the Home of Racing.”