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Graded Stakes Committee's Annual Review released

The New Zealand Graded Stakes Committee has undertaken its annual review of the Group and Listed races run in New Zealand in the 2010-11 season.

In accordance with the Rules of Racing the following decisions have been made:
1. The Canterbury Jockey Club's Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) has been downgraded from Group Three to Listed status.
2. The Waikato Racing Club's James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) 3YO has been upgraded from Listed to Group Three status.
3. The Auckland Racing Club's Karaka 3YO Mile (1600m) has been introduced as a black-type race with [Restricted] Listed status.

Graded Stakes Chairman Chas Amon said the Committee continues to have concerns about the 'pyramid' structure of black-type races currently being run in New Zealand. This has led the Committee to issue First Warnings to four Group One races. Six of New Zealand's 22 Group One races now carry warnings.

In 2011-12 there will be 146 black-type races scheduled, made up of 22 Group One, 23 Group Two, 33 Group Three and 68 Listed races.

The Committee issued First Warnings to four Group One races run by the Auckland Racing Club:
1. Railway Stakes (1200m)
2. Easter Handicap (1600m)
3. Second Century WFA Stakes (2000m)
4. Auckland Cup (3200m)

A Second Warning was issued to the Levin Racing Club's Levin 3YO Classic (1600m) and a Second Warning remains on the Waikato Racing Club's WFA International Stakes (2000m).

"The quality of our racing is coming under increased scrutiny by other major racing jurisdictions and there is a gathering momentum to have all black-type racing, worldwide, subjected to one single international standard, namely the World Thoroughbred Rankings. If that comes to pass it will be very difficult for New Zealand to defend its current 'pyramid'," Amon said.

"In this increasingly challenging international environment, the Committee must adopt tough measures to maintain the worldwide credibility of New Zealand black-type races. The success of New Zealand-trained horses in Australia along with international performances by New Zealand-bred thoroughbreds, which have raced in New Zealand, must be the measure used to determine the overall quality of our domestic pattern of racing."

The full report of the Graded Stakes Committee for the 2010-11 season will be available next week.

Further information:

Chas Amon, Chairman, NZ Graded Stakes Committee: chasa@arion.co.nz
David Jewell, Secretary, NZ Graded Stakes Committee (+64) 4 576 6262

- NZTR