Friday, August 30, 2013Contact: David Jewell, Secretary, NZPC
(+64) 4 5766262
New Zealand Pattern Committee completes 2012-13 Review

New Zealand Pattern Committee completes 2012-13 Review

30 August 2013, 2:51 p.m.

The New Zealand Pattern Committee (NZPC) has undertaken its annual review of Group and Listed races run in New Zealand in the 2012-13 season. A copy is attached.

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

  1. The Auckland Racing Club’s Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) has been upgraded from Listed to Group 3 for the 2013-14 season.
  1. The Manawatu Racing Club’s Manawatu Breeders Stakes (2000m) was upgraded from Listed to Group 3 for the 2013-14 season.
  1. Two new Listed races were confirmed - the Auckland Racing Club’s  Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m), a race  for three year olds in late November and Hawkes Bay Racing’s Open 1200m Handicap, which was  run as the Ocean Park@Waikato Stud 1200 on Hawkes Bay Cup day in April, were both promoted to black type status.
  1. The Counties Racing Club’s Counties Cup was downgraded from Group 2 to Group 3.

As a result of these changes the following number of Group and Listed races will be scheduled in 2013-14:

  1. 22 Group One races;
  2. 21 Group Two races (one less than in 2012-13 and two less than in 2011-12);
  3. 39 Group Three races (3 more than in 2012-13 with one race having been downgraded from Group 2 and two races upgraded from Listed); and
  4. 65 Listed races (no change).

In total there will be 147 Group or Listed races scheduled, an increase of two on 2012-13 and one more than in 2011-12. The NZPC will review the schedule of Prestige Jumping Races (PJR’s) in October when the results for the 2013 jumping season are available.

The Committee also considered a request from the Levin Racing Club and the RACE Group to shift the G1 Levin Classic from November, with the race to be run at Trentham in January on the first day of the Wellington Racing Club Cup carnival. The G3 Wellington Stakes, which is run over the same distance and with the same conditions, is proposed to be moved back to November to replace Levin Classic at Otaki. 

The Committee agreed to retain a second warning on the Levin Classic and subject to a recommendation from the Pattern Review Committee and appropriate approval from the Asian Pattern Committee and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, the Committee confirmed its support for the Levin Classic to be moved to Trentham in January with a second warning.

Chas Amon, Chairman of the New Zealand Pattern Committee said: “The Committee conducted its review of the 2012-13 season for the second time utilising 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 member countries 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 added that the APC was not concerned with Listed races at this time.

The ANZ Race Classifications confirmed earlier this month for the 2013-14 season were again the basis for the review undertaken by the New Zealand Pattern Committee.  Consistent with Rule 506 (8) of the New Zealand Rules of Racing, the NZPC continues to utilise its warning system as provided in the rules, with a first warning being issued where any race has failed to attain the minimum race rating required. Such a failure in consecutive years is likely to attract a second warning.

Two second warnings were maintained by the Committee – the Group 1 Levin Classic and the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes for two year olds.

A further 12 second warnings were issued –  the Group 1 WRC Thorndon Mile;  the Auckland Racing Club’s Group 2 ARC Championship Stakes,  City of Auckland Cup  [Queen Elizabeth]  and the   Rich Hill [George Adams]  Mile were all issued with second warnings, together with the Wellington Guineas (G2); the Japan Trophy (G2), the White Robe Lodge Handicap, Hawkes Bay Cup and Rotorua Cups – all Group 3 and the Listed Riverton Cup, CJC Spring Classic • Easter Classic] and the Dunedin Gold Cup.

First warnings were maintained on six races, including five Group One races, while a further nine first warnings were issued. Second warnings were removed from two Listed races and 14 first warnings were removed.

Chas Amon said the Committee had maintained a second warning on the Group 1 Levin Classic for another year in advance of any recommendation from the New Zealand Pattern Review committee, which is due to report shortly on proposed changes to improve the Group race pattern. “While reluctant to downgrade a Group One three year old race, the Levin Classic has continued to struggle.”

He concluded: “The New Zealand Pattern Committee has noted the relatively low quality of a number of our major handicaps, which are likely to continue to trend down under the new regimen imposed under the ANZ rating system. The Waikato Cup was downgraded to Group 3 last year and the Counties Cup has also now been dropped to that status. First warnings were issued on the Auckland Cup, the Wellington Cup, the Avondale Cup and the Manawatu Cup, which reflects a general lack of quality in those races. This trend mirrors the situation in the Australian pattern. With quality of place-getters being the over-riding factor in determining black type status, there is likely to be a continuing emphasis on set weight races, especially those run for three-year-olds and for fillies and mares.”

Further information:

Chas Amon, Chairman, New Zealand Pattern Committee:

David Jewell, Secretary, NZPC c/- New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (+64) 4 5766262

For additional information, please visit

E-Mail :