European Pattern Committee announces changes to the 2015 European Programme

19 Jan 2015


At its recent annual meeting held on Thursday 15 January, the European Pattern Committee (EPC) considered a number of changes to Flat Pattern and Listed races in Europe for 2015.

1. Upgrades and Downgrades in 2015

 The Committee approved upgrades for five Pattern races, including the granting of Group 2 status to three fillies’ races, the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, the Ridgewood Pearl Stakes at the Curragh and the Baden Racing Stutenpreis at Baden-Baden.  The Baden Meile at Baden-Baden, for three-year-olds and upwards, is also upgraded to Group 2.  The Curragh Stakes in Ireland, held at the racecourse of the same name, is upgraded from Listed to Group 3 and eight new Listed races, including six races for older fillies and mares, have been created for 2015.

The Committee downgraded three Pattern races and nine Listed races following their 2014 renewals.  These included the Ribot at Rome which will be downgraded from Group 2 to Group 3 and two other Italian Group 3 races, the Carlo Chiesa and Mario Incisa, both of which will be run as Listed contests in 2015.  The Svenskt Derby (Listed) at Jagersgro in Sweden will be downgraded from 2016 on account of entries having already closed for the 2015 renewal of this race.

A full list of the races to be upgraded and downgraded in 2015 is below.


2. Changes to the Autumn Two-Year-Old Programme

Reflecting the on-going review of the autumn two-year-old programme by the EPC, a number of changes to the date and distance of some key international races in both Britain and France were approved by the Committee.  It was acknowledged that work on the two-year-old programme would be a staggered process with further initiatives possible for 2016 and 2017.

For 2015, the Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) at Newmarket moves to an earlier slot on 26 September, providing a gap in the calendar of a fortnight prior to the running of the Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1).  Newmarket’s Future Champions Day, featuring the Dewhurst, can revert to the weekend of Saturday 10 October 2015.  Another race in Newmarket’s two-year-old programme, the Zetland Stakes, has had its Listed status reinstated.

In France, the Jean Luc Lagadere (Group 1), run at Longchamp on Arc weekend, will change in distance from 1400m to 1600m.  The Criterium International (Group 1) will now  be run over the shorter distance of 1400m (reduced from 1600m), and it will be run on the same day (1 November 2015) as the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Group 1, 2000m) which is being moved a week earlier.

The EPC also approved changes to the dates of a number of Group 2 and Group 3 two-year-old races in France, the details of which are reproduced below.


3. Quality Control / Races at risk of downgrading in 2016

Europe has always set a high standard in terms of quality control of its Pattern races, and with Listed races now having been fully consumed within the European Pattern Ground Rules, this ensures an even stricter level of quality control.

In accordance with these Ground Rules, races that consistently underperform are identified as at risk of being downgraded, after which the host racecourse is put on notice that if the race fails to achieve the required performance rating in 2015, it could be subject to downgrade the following year.

As a consequence of this monitoring, 48 races, comprising 22 Pattern races (seven Group 1s, nine Group 2s and six Group 3s) and 26 Listed races have been identified as being at risk of downgrading in 2016.  A list of Group 1 races at risk of downgrading is below.


4.  Italian Racing

The Committee was pleased to note some positive progress in relation to the distribution of prize money to both domestic and overseas connections in Italy.  An update had been provided from the Italian Ministry for Agriculture.  It was noted that:

  • All prize money payments owed to overseas connections for Italian Pattern and Listed races run in 2012 and 2013 have now been paid, with the exception of a small number of owners for who it has not been possible to obtain bank account details;
  • A commitment has been made for all outstanding payments to be made to domestic owners by the end of 2015.  The Italian Ministry is continuing to monitor the progress of these payments to assess their ability to minimize this delay; and
  • Prize money payments for Black Type races run in 2014 have been paid within 90 days of the race in accordance with the European Pattern Ground Rules.

The EPC will continue to keep the situation in Italy under review throughout 2015.


5. Weight-for-age scale and middle distance / staying races

A review of the weight-for-age scale had been undertaken by handicappers in Britain and Ireland and their findings were discussed by the International Handicappers in Hong Kong in December.  The subject will be given further consideration by the individual member countries of the EPC at the next EPC meeting in June at which a decision will be made on possible implementation for 2016.

The Committee also agreed to give further consideration throughout 2015 to the programme for middle-distance and staying horses, with particular focus on the responsibility to ensure that races and horses in this category continue to thrive across Europe.

Announcing these changes, Brian Kavanagh, Chairman of the European Pattern Committee, said:

“I would like to thank all the members of the Committee as I believe the outcome of this year’s meeting has delivered significant progress, while recognising that the autumn two-year-old programme, in particular, could be improved further in the years to come.

“It is a challenge balancing the interests and ambitions of individual jurisdictions with those of other member countries, but there is also recognition that a strong European Pattern brings benefits to all.

“In conjunction with the notable changes announced last year to the European three-year-old sprint programme, I am delighted with what we have been able to achieve and implement for 2015.”


Notes to editors:

Changes to the European Pattern for 2015

1. For more information contact Brian Kavanagh: [email protected] or +353 (0) 45455 640.

2. 2YO Programme


Race Racecourse Conditions Distance From To
 Middle Park (Group 1)  Newmarket 2yo c&f  6f 16 Oct 26 Sept
 Dewhurst (Group 1)  Newmarket 2yo c&f  7f 16 Oct 10 Oct*
 Fillies’ Mile (Group 1)  Newmarket 2yo f  8f 16 Oct 10 Oct*
Cornwallis (Group 3)  Newmarket 2yo  5f 16 Oct 10 Oct*
 Challenge (Group 2)  Newmarket 3yo+  7f 16 Oct 10 Oct*
 Darley (Group 3)  Newmarket 3yo+  9f 16 Oct 10 Oct*
Zetland (Listed) – Reinstatement  Newmarket 2yo  10f 22 Oct 10 Oct*

* Confirmation subject to ongoing discussions between British Horseracing Authority and Newmarket Racecourse


Race Racecourse Conditions Distance From To
 Prix d’Arenberg (Group 3)  Chantilly 2yo  1100m 9 Sept 2 Sept
Prix des Chênes (Group 3)  Longchamp 2yo c&g  1600m 20 Sept 13 Sept
 Prix Eclipse  (Group 3)  Chantilly 2yo  1200m 10 Oct 21 Sept
Prix de Condé (Group 3)  Chantilly 2yo 1800m 19 Oct 5 Oct
Critérium de M-Laffitte (Group 2) M-Laffitte 2yo  1200m 4 Nov 16 Oct
 Critérium International (Group 1)  Saint-Cloud 2yo c&f  1600m* 26 Oct 1 Nov
Critérium de St-Cloud (Group 1)  Saint-Cloud 2yo c&f  2000m 8 Nov 1 Nov

*also see change of distance


Race Racecourse Conditions 2015 Date 2014 Distance 2015 Distance
Jean Luc Lagardere (Group 1)  Longchamp 2yo c&f  4 Oct 1400m 1600m
Prix Thomas Bryon (Group 3)  Saint-Cloud 2yo 8 Oct 1600m 1400m
Prix Thomas Bryon (Group 3)  Saint-Cloud 2yo c&f 1 Nov 1600m 1400m


3. Upgrades/Downgrades

Upgraded from Group 3 to Group 2 

Date Race Racecourse Conditions Distance
03/05/15  Dahlia Stakes Newmarket 4yo+ f 9f
23/05/15  Lanwades Stud Stakes(Registered as Ridgewood Pearl) Curragh 4yo+ f 8f
04/06/15 Badener Meile(Change of date from 29/05/14) Baden-Baden 3yo+ 1600m
05/09/15  Baden Racing Stutenpreis Baden-Baden 3yo+ f 2400m*

Change of distance from 2,200m


Upgraded from Listed to Group 3

Date Race Racecourse Conditions Distance
23/08/15  Curragh Stakes Curragh 2yo 5f


New Listed Races

Date Race Racecourse Conditions Distance
14/05/15  As yet unnamed York 3yo 5f
10/10/15 Zetland Newmarket 2yo 10f
01/04/15 As yet unnamed Saint-Cloud 4yo+ f 2100m
04/05/15 As yet unnamed Chantilly 4yo+ f 1600m
27/06/15 As yet unnamed Deauville (AWT) 4yo+ f 1900m
01/04/15 As yet unnamed Saint-Cloud 4yo+ f 2000m
14/04/15 As yet unnamed Cork 4yo+ f 12f
18/10/15 As yet unnamed Naas 3yo+ f 12f


Downgraded from Group 2 to Group 3

Date Race Racecourse Conditions Distance
25/10/15  Ribot Rome 3yo+ 1600m

(Change of date from 02/11/14)


Downgraded from Listed

Race Racecourse Conditions Distance
 Braveheart (Handicap) Hamilton 4yo+ 12f
 Kolner Zweijahrigen Trophy Cologne 2yo 1400m
 Kronimus-Rennen Baden-Baden 2yo 1400m
 Preis der Besitzerveringung Hannover 3yo+ f 1400m
 Alberto Giubilo Rome 2yo c&g 1100m
Baggio Milan 3yo f 2000m
Emirates Airline Rome 4yo+ 1400m
Margareta Wettermarks Jageersro  3-5yo f 1700m


Downgraded from Listed (in 2016)

Race Racecourse Conditions Distance
Svenskt Derby Jageersro  3yo 2400m


4. Date and/or venue changes in 2016 (Group 1 & 2 races only)


Roma (Group 1) – Rome, 3yo+, 2000m

Change of date from 2 November to 8 November

Carlo Vittadini (Group 2) – Milan, 3yo+, 1600m

Change of date from 25 May to 31 May

Oaks d’Italia (Group 2) – Milan, 3yo fillies, 2200m

Change of date from 25 May to 31 May


5. Group 1 Races at risk of potential downgrade in 2016


26/10/14 Longchamp – Royal Oak

08/11/14 Saint-Cloud – Criterium de Saint-Cloud


25/05/14 Curragh – Tattersalls Gold Cup


11/05/14 Capannelle – Presidente Della Repubblica

08/06/14 San Siro – Milano

19/10/14 San Siro – Jockey lub

02/11/14 Capannelle – Roma