New Zealand Pattern Committee Completes 2011-12 Review

Tuesday 28 August

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The New Zealand Pattern Committee (NZPC) has undertaken its annual review of the Group and Listed races run in New Zealand in the 2011-12 season.

The full report of the NZPC for the 2011-12 season is available on the website -

In accordance with the Rules of Racing the following decisions have been made:

1. The Waikato Racing Club’s Waikato Guineas (1600m) has been upgraded from Group 3 to Group 2 for the 2012/13 season.

2. The Auckland Racing Club’s Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m), Sunline Vase (2100m) and the Westbury Classic (1400m), which are all conducted as part of the Auckland Racing Club’s March Cup carnival, have been upgraded from Listed to Group 3 status.

3. The Waikato Racing Club’s Waikato Times Gold Cup (2400m) was downgraded from Group 2 to  Group 3.

4. The Auckland Racing Club’s Concorde Handicap (1200m) was downgraded from Group 2 to Group 3.

5. The Canterbury Jockey Club’s Easter Cup [George Adams (Tattersalls) H] (1600m) was downgraded from Group 3 to Listed.

6. Racing Tauranga’s Amcor Kiwi – LRK Kiwifruit Cup [Owens Trophy] (2100m) has been demoted from Listed status.

The Chairman of the NZPC, Chas Amon, said the Committee conducted its review of the 2011-12 season utilizing for the first time the strict guidelines for qualifications for Graded (G1, G2, G3) status and the movement of races within that framework that had been established by the Asian Racing Federation’s Pattern Committee (APC), which now oversees the work undertaken by the countries that are members of the Asian Racing Federation.

The APC Ground Rules provide for automatic downgrades for Group 2 and Group 3 races to be enforced after three years and Group One races after four years, where those races have not met the minimum race rating benchmarks in successive years. Amon said that the APC was not concerned with Listed races at this time.

The ANZ Race Classifications issued earlier this month for the 2011-12 season were the first set of ratings to be utilized by the NZPC since New Zealand agreed to accept the APC Ground Rules last December. The NZPC has resolved to continue to utilize its warning system as provided in the Rules of Racing (Rule 506 (8)), with a first warning being issued when any race fails to attain the minimum race rating required. Such a failure in consecutive years is likely to attract a second warning.  As a result there have been changes to the warning status of a number of races in the NZPC Annual Report issued today.

In total there will be 145 black-type races scheduled in 2012-13, one less than in 2011-12. The schedule will comprise 22 Group One, 22 Group Two, 36 Group Three and 65 Listed races. The NZPC will review the schedule of Prestige Jumping Races (PJR’s) in November,

Together with the four upgrades and four downgrades detailed above, the Committee maintained five races on Second Warnings, 10 races reverted from Second Warning to First Warning after improved runnings, nine First Warnings were maintained and a further 11 First Warnings issued. Thirty six First Warnings were removed from races which had met their respective new race rating Benchmarks.

The Committee maintained its second warning on the Group One Levin Classic (1600m). The Waikato Racing Club’s (G1) International Stakes (2000m) reverted from a Second Warning to a First Warning, while a First Warning was maintained on the (G1) Railway Stakes (1200m). The Committee also  issued First Warnings to the Auckland Racing Club’s (G1) Diamond Stakes (1200m), the Canterbury Jockey Club’s (G1) New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (1600m), the Wellington Racing Club’s (G1) Telegraph Handicap (1200m) and (G1) Thorndon Mile (1600m). At the same time, First Warnings were removed from the Group One Auckland Cup (3200m), the Second Century Weight For Age [New Zealand Stakes] (2000m) and the Easter Handicap (1600m).

The NZPC acknowledged that while its initial concerns around the potential impact of the strict guidelines and automatic downgrades, which had been proposed when the Asian Pattern Committee Ground Rules were first mooted, had in part been allayed by some changes requested by New Zealand and Australia and subsequently adopted by the Asian Racing Federation Member countries, the New Zealand Racing industry needed to be aware that our black type system, in particular our Group One races, are now required to meet the international standard.

“For a Group Two race in New Zealand to be considered for upgrade to Group One in the future, that race must have exceeded the International Group One 115 rating benchmark for two consecutive runnings. Of the 22 Group One races conducted in New Zealand last season, only the three Hawkes Bay Spring Weight For Age events achieved the 115+ mark,” said Amon.

“The APC Ground Rules, under which the NZPC operates, does provide a five point tolerance margin for Group One races, which means a race that achieves a benchmark of 110+ is not at risk. The six New Zealand Group One races that are under warning failed to achieve the minimum benchmark, which is adjusted down for Two Year Old and Fillies or Mares races, given the sex allowance that is available to them.”


Further information: Chas Amon, Chairman, New Zealand Pattern Committee:[email protected]
David Jewell, Secretary, NZPC c/- New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (+64) 4 5766262[email protected]