19 Jan 2004 Pre-2014 Releases

The quality of Britain’s Flat racing has been recognised with the approval by the European Pattern Committee of eighteen race upgrades for 2004. Nine of these upgrades are part of a programme to enhance the opportunities for three-year-old and upward fillies and mares, with the remaining nine in other areas of the Pattern.

The latter nine promotions include the upgrade of the Lonsdale Stakes at the York Ebor meeting from Group 3 to Group 2, strengthening the Pattern of British Staying races. The race also changes its name to the Lonsdale Cup with effect from 2004.

The Coventry Stakes and Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot both also gain promotion from Group 3 to Group 2, as does the Park Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger Meeting which enhances the programme of 7 furlong Pattern races.

Other promotions agreed include a first Pattern race for Salisbury in the shape of the Sovereign Stakes, which is raised from Listed to Group 3. The Firth of Clyde Stakes at Ayr, which is also upgraded from Listed to Group 3, becomes Scotland’s first two-year-old Pattern race.

BHB Chief Executive Greg Nichols said: “I am delighted with the approval of these significant upgrades, which recognise a sport going from strength to strength. We have the most diverse Pattern in the world in Britain, providing the ultimate test for horses of all ages, over all distances.

“Fifty-two per cent of all European horses in the 2003 International Classifications were trained in Great Britain, and I look forward to the sport building on its pre-eminent position in Europe.”

The full list of upgrades is attached.

Coventry Group 3 to Group 2

15th June 2004 Ascot 2yo 6 furlongs

Queen Mary Group 3 to Group 2
16th June 2004 Ascot 2yo f 5 furlongs

Lonsdale Cup Group 3 to Group 2

17th August 2004 York 3yo+ 15 furlongs 195yds
(Formerly the Lonsdale Stakes until 2003)

Park Stakes Group 3 to Group 2

9th September 2004 Doncaster 3yo+ 7 furlongs


Sprint Listed to Group 3

3rd July 2004 Sandown Park 3yo+ 5 furlongs

Sweet Solera Listed to Group 3

7th August 2004 Newmarket 2yo f 7 furlongs

Sovereign Listed to Group 3

12th August 2004 Salisbury 3yo+ c&g 8 furlongs

Firth of Clyde Listed to Group 3

18th September 2004 Ayr 2yo f 6 furlongs

Arc Trial Listed to Group 3
18th September 2004 Newbury 3yo+ 11 furlongs

Note: The European Pattern Committee met in London on Thursday 15th January 2004.
Dates for 2004 races are subject to change.