Friday, 21 January 2011

Upgrades to British Pattern Confirmed including the Hampton Court Stakes

Afsare (yellow silks) wins the 2010 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot 2010

From the British Horseracing Authority.

• Newmarket’s Joel Stakes upgraded to Group 2 status
• Royal Ascot’s Hampton Court Stakes and Doncaster’s Sceptre Stakes upgraded to Group 3 status

Britain has been successful in securing the upgrade of Newmarket’s Joel Stakes from Group 3 to Group 2 status following the European Pattern Committee’s annual meeting in Ireland on Friday 14th January. The race is for three-year-olds and upwards and run over 8 furlongs (1600m). It will be run one week earlier than usual in 2010 on 23rd September 2011 as part of the British Champions’ Series.

The British Horseracing Authority has also managed to secure both of the applications it made for upgrades to Group 3 for 2011 through its representative on the European Pattern Committee, Director of Racing, Ruth Quinn.

Royal Ascot has secured an additional Group 3 contest in the form of the race traditionally known as the Hampton Court Stakes, for three-year-olds run over 10 furlongs (2000m). From 2011 this race will be known as The Tercentenary Stakes, in honour of the anniversary of the first racing taking place at Ascot in 1711.

The St Leger Festival at Doncaster in September is boosted by the upgrade to Group 3 status of the Sceptre Stakes. The race is run over 7 furlongs (1400m) and is for fillies and mares aged three-years-old and over. Its promotion further strengthens the programme of Group races in Europe for older fillies.

Ruth Quinn, Director of Racing for the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“All three races are fully deserving of the respective upgrades and are credible enhancements to Britain’s Pattern programme.

“The Joel is a race that consistently provides great strength in depth. As a Group 2 event on a revised date, it has been positioned to provide an opportunity for quality milers on the weekend where the QEII was previously sited. It will have an important role to play in the programme and I am sure it will live up to expectations.

“The Hampton Court, to be retitled the Tercentenary Stakes, has clearly been a strong addition to the Royal Ascot Meeting since its inception in 2000.

“The European Pattern Committee has done much in recent years to enhance the programme for fillies and mares to encourage them to stay in training and compete beyond the age of three. Rewarding the fillies being placed in the Sceptre with Group 3 status can only assist this evolving process.”

Newmarket's Director of Racing Michael Prosser said:

"The Joel Stakes, the last leg of the one mile element of the British Champions’ Series before British Champions’ Day, has consistently performed to a high level and we are very pleased that this has been recognised with its upgrading to Group 2 status.

"Our three-day Cambridgeshire meeting is traditionally very strong but the Joel Stakes upgrade further enhances its overall stature. The decision also reflects Newmarket's desire to strategically improve its racing programme when appropriate and possible."

Charles Barnett, Chief Executive of Ascot racecourse, said:

"We've been delighted with the progress that the Hampton Court Stakes has made and this promotion recognises that and brings the total number of Pattern races at Royal Ascot to 18.

"This is a very special year for Ascot as we commemorate 300 years of racing. The race now becomes the Tercentenary Stakes to mark this important historical landmark."

For more information please contact: Paul Struthers, BHA Media Relations Manager, on 020 7152 0166, 07966 590105 or at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This