The increase in Black Type races and prizemoney over the past 5 years has highlighted the ongoing commitment of the Australian Thoroughbred industry in improving the national quality of racing.
Racing Australia Chair, Frances Nelson QC, said that, between 2011/12 and 2016/17, the number of Group and Listed races across Australia grew from 575 to 592, while prizemoney for these races increased by $36.5M to $161.7M last year.
“While Black Type races represent just 3% of total races run across the nation in 2016/17, they are the pinnacle events of Australian racing and showcase the quality of our Thoroughbred industry to the world,” Ms Nelson said.
Ms Nelson, who also chairs the Australian Pattern & Development Committee, paid tribute to its past and present members for their efforts in developing and maintaining the high standard of Australian racing.
“The Australian Pattern & Development Committee brings together representatives from across the racing industry to focus on improving and protecting the integrity of Australia’s national racing Pattern,” Ms Nelson stated.
“This year the Board of Racing Australia introduced reforms to strengthen the Committee and refresh its membership.
The Australian Pattern & Development Committee comprises three directors of Racing Australia – Greg Nichols, Russell Balding & myself.
We are ably assisted by Greg Carpenter, who brings extensive international experience, as a representative of the Australian Classifications Committee in addition to industry representatives – Vin Cox, Jon Freyer, Adrian Hancock, Oliver Tait and Sam Hayes.”
Reporting to the Board, the Committee is charged to:
* Assist the provision of a coordinated program of quality races in each age, sex and distance category within each State and Territory through:
* Considering races for possible inclusion, upgrade or downgrade in the pattern;
* Assessing the pattern to ensure adequate opportunities exist in each category and to maintain the agreed level of quality; and
* Reviewing the procedures used, including criteria and working guidelines.
* Minimising any variance between the effective operation of a national racing industry and Racing Australia’s international commitments to the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities through the International Grading & Race Planning Advisory Committee (IRPAC), and to the Asian Racing Federation (ARF).
“The reforms also included amending the Committee’s title to ensure that, in addition to its work assessing races for upgrades and downgrades, it also looks to further develop the Pattern when opportunities arise.
Continued maintenance of quality in national racing through the efforts of the Australian Pattern & Development Committee not only provides benefits for industry participants and punters, but is also important in maintaining Australia’s international standing.
Racing is a global sport and Racing Australia is keen to continue the tradition of Australian racehorses not only competing overseas, but of international horses also attending our carnivals.
The maintenance of our Pattern assists this by ensuring the quality of our racing is consistent with international standards,” Ms Nelson concluded.

IMAGE: Raiment will be targeted at black type races during the autumn Image: Bradley Photographers

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