What Is Group Level Racing?

Caitlin O'Sullivan
28 September 2020

Auckland Cup Day, Derby Day, The Melbourne Cup - some racedays have a heightened feeling of anticipation and excitement around them. But why?

These are all Group 1 racedays and within the racing industry, it doesn’t get any bigger! Let us break down the levels of racing in New Zealand... 

Group 1 Races

While small country meetings are important for racehorses development, every trainer, owner and jockey are gunning for the big races. Group 1 races are the best of the best! They have a minimum stake of $200,000 in New Zealand - the richest being the New Zealand Derby, which has a huge prize of $1,000,000. There is a lot of prestige surrounding these races and winning them is the pinnacle for racing folk.

Group 2 Races

Group 2 races are just below group 1 standard and have a minimum stake of $100,000. These are still incredibly exciting races for those connected to horses and attract quality racing fields.

Group 3 Races

Group 3 races are often used as key lead-in races for horses heading to Group 1 and 2 races and have a minimum stake of $70,000. Group 3 races are often run on the undercard of Group 1 or 2 racedays, meaning you are in for a day of racing action like no other!

Listed Races

Below group level races are listed races. While listed races do not hold the same prestige as group races, they still attract superior fields and have a healthy minimum stake of $50,000.

Black Type

Group and listed races are referred to as ‘black type’ races. When a horse wins or is placed in one of these races they then gain ‘black type.’ This is very important for breeding and dramatically increases the value of a horse.

What does this mean for you?

If there is black-type racing, dress to the nines! These days hold great significance for the racing industry and the raceday will reflect this. If you find yourself lucky enough to head along to a group 1 raceday, you can be assured the hospitality, entertainment and fashion will be nothing short of spectacular.

Best of all – there’s plenty of Group 1 racing this Spring! Find an event near you and experience the buzz for yourself.

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