European Pattern Committee announces changes to the 2020 European Programme of Flat Black Type Races

31 Jan 2020 BHA Features Racing/Fixtures

Issued on behalf of the European Pattern Committee
At its annual meeting held on Thursday 23 January at the offices of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in London, the European Pattern Committee (EPC) discussed a number of changes to Flat Pattern and Listed races in Europe for 2020.

Following the meeting Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the EPC, said:

“Modest changes were the order of the day as the EPC approved a total of 427 Group and 426 Listed races to be run on the flat in Europe this year.  The quality of the European programme was noted and while numerous races may have qualified for upgrade on their ratings, the changes were limited to 3 new Group 3 and 3 new Listed races.

“A similar number of races were downgraded including two Group 2 races in Germany.  The Committee agreed to a change of the distance of the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère on Arc weekend on a two year trial basis and noted that France will be undertaking a full review of its two year old programme.

“The Committee approved further changes to its ground rules to improve quality control throughout Europe and noted with regret the continuing difficulties in Italian racing.”

  1. Upgrades and new racesThe Committee approved upgrades for 3 Pattern races and 3 new Listed races in 2020.Races listed by date, handle, racecourse/country, age/sex and distance.
Upgraded from Listed to Group 3
23/05/2020 Marble Hill Curragh, IRE 2yo 6f
24/07/2020 Valiant Ascot, GB 3yo+ f 8f
16/08/2020 Francois Boutin Deauville, FR 2yo 1400m
New Listed Races
22/07/2020 TBC Naas, IRE 2yo f 5f
11/10/2020 Peas & Carrots Mile AWT Jagersro, SWE 3yo+ 1600m
Dec-20 TBC AWT Deauville, FR 3yo+ 2500m
  1. Downgrades

A similar number of races were also downgraded for 2020, i.e. 3 Pattern races and 5 Listed races.

Races listed by date, handle, racecourse/country, age/sex and distance.

Downgraded from Group 2
21/07/2019 Meilen Trophy Dusseldorf, GER 3yo+ 1600m
25/08/2019 Goldene Peitsche Baden-Baden, GER 3yo+ 1200m
Downgraded from Group 3
25/08/2019 Polar Cup Ovrevoll, NOR 3yo+ 1370m
Downgraded from Listed
23/05/2019 Coupe de Trois Ans Lyon-Parilly, FR 3yo 2400m
15/08/2019 Copa de Oro San Sebastian, SPA 3yo+ 2400m
25/08/2019 Norsk Derby Ovrevoll, NOR 3yo 2400m
06/10/2019 Norsk Jockeyklubs Sprintlob Ovrevoll, NOR 3yo+ 1170m
20/10/2019 Duque de Toledo Madrid, SPA 3yo+ 2400m
  1.  Quality Control / Races at Risk of Downgrade in 2021

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

As a consequence of this monitoring, 28 races comprising 14 Pattern races (3 Group 1s, 7 Group 2s and 4 Group 3s) and 14 Listed races have been identified as being at risk of downgrade in 2021.  A list of the Group 1 and 2 races which are at risk of downgrade is below.

Races listed by country, date, handle, racecourse, age/sex and distance.

Group 1 and Group 2 races at risk of downgrade in 2021

01/05/2019 Greffuhle Saint-Cloud 3yo c & f 2100m
16/06/2019 Hocquart Chantilly 3yo c & f 2400m
30/06/2019 Eugene Adam Saint-Cloud 3yo 2000m
26/10/2019 Criterium de Saint-Cloud Saint-Cloud 2yo c & f 2000m
09/06/2019 Diana Trial Berlin-Hoppegarten 3yo f 2000m
07/07/2019 Deutsches Derby Hannover 3yo c & f 2400m
31/08/2019 T. von Zastrow Stutenpreis Baden-Baden 3yo+ f 2400m
22/09/2019 Europa Cologne 3yo+ 2400m
19/05/2019 Derby Italiano Rome 3yo c &  f 2200m
08/09/2019 Topkapi Trophy Veliefendi 3yo+ 1600m
  1.  EPC Rules

The Committee agreed that the Ground Rules under which the EPC operates will incorporate some amendments, with immediate effect, such that the quality control of black type races across the EPC countries is tightened even further.

  1.  Italian Racing

The Committee received a report from Dr Paull Khan of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation on the situation regarding Italian horse racing and an ongoing EMHF inspection process.  The Committee noted that the situation had not changed by any meaningful margin from the previous year and reaffirmed its decision that Italy remain as an associated member of the European Pattern Committee with no voting rights.

  1.  French Programme for Two-Year-Olds

The Committee considered a number of proposals regarding the French two-year-olds programme, which will see the Group 1 Jean Luc Lagardere revert to its previous distance (pre-2015) of 7 furlongs, whilst the Group 1 Criterium International will revert to 8 furlongs, both as part of a two-year trial.  France-Galop will also be undertaking a full review of the situation for two-year-olds in France.