The British Horseracing Board today announces a significant programme of upgrades to the Flat Pattern for fillies and mares in 2004.
The Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July, run over a mile for three year old and older fillies, will be upgraded to Group 1 status from Group 2, and the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock Park and Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster will both become Group 2 races from Group 3.
In keeping with the aim of encouraging high-class fillies to stay in training at the end of their three year old careers rather than being retired for breeding purposes or exported to race in the United States, a new Group 2 race at Royal Ascot, over a mile for four year old and older fillies, has been created.
The announcement comes after the European Pattern Committee’s decision to enhance the spread of opportunities for quality older fillies and mares across Europe.
The Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom is one of a number of races to attain Group 3 status from Listed class, along with the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket, and both the Oak Tree Stakes and Gladness Stakes at Goodwood.
Ruth Quinn, BHB Racing Director, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce these considerable improvements to the Race Programme for fillies and mares. We want to offer every encouragement to fillies to extend their racing careers in Britain.
“It is already encouraging to see some of the best fillies from the current season remaining in training, and we will look to achieve further enhancements in 2005 for the benefit of British Racing.”
For further information, please contact BHB Racing Director Ruth Quinn on 07798 828792 or Communications Manager Alan Delmonte on 020 7343 3318.