At its meeting last Friday, the Australian Pattern Committee (APC) approved the upgrade of three Australian races to the elite Group 1 level.
> The 1400m Memsie Stakes run at Caulfield (won in the last three seasons by Gr1 winners Sincero, King’s Rose and dual Cox Plate hero So You Think);
> The 1200m A J Moir Stakes (known in 2011 as the Schweppes Stakes) run at Moonee Valley (won in the last three seasons by Champion Sprinters Black Caviar-twice, and Apache Cat); and
>The 1300m Canterbury Stakes run at Rosehill Gardens (won in the last three seasons by More Joyous-twice, and the ill-fated Gr1 mare Hot Danish).
The Chairman of the Australian Pattern Committee Alan Brown commented:
“These 3 races all clearly exceeded the benchmarks set for Group 1 races and thoroughly deserve elevation. The Memsie has been on average the highest rated Group 2 race in Australia and the Moir the second. The Canterbury Stakes was the highest ranking Group 2 race in Australia last year and rated higher than the Doomben 10,000, the only other Group 1 race in Australia over a similar distance.
“The Australian Pattern Committee congratulates the race clubs concerned with these races. They have done an excellent job promoting them over a considerable period of time and have now been rewarded for that effort”
The three races will all carry a minimum of $350,000 from their next running, and brings Australia’s total to 71 Group 1 races befitting Australia’s place as the second largest racing nation in the world (to USA with 112 Group 1 races at a similar ratio of Group 1 to flat races).
The APC will consider applications for upgrading of the Makybe Diva Stakes, the Apollo Stakes and the Schillaci Stakes at its meeting in December.