Asian Conference supports uniform medication rules

There was an overwhelming agreement among delegates to streamline medication rules for black-type racing at the Asian Racing Conference in Hong Kong this week.

A poll revealed that 82% were in favour of standard medication rules being enforced on an international basis for the Pattern system.

“I believe that the IFHA (International Federation of Horseracing Authorities) must move to a single worldwide set of rules relating to medication and we simply must find a way of ensuring that these rules can be enforced in all member countries,” Brian Kavanagh, chairman of the European Pattern Committee, said.

“In order to have value and integrity for our global rankings and our black-type system in sales catalogues, it is simply where we must go.”

Kavanagh outlined the development of the Pattern race system since its implementation in 1971.  He noted that there are too many races in the world carrying a grading which would not be justified under a single global ranking system.

He told delegates that in 2013, there were 146,649 flat races run worldwide, with 3.3% of those classified as black-type races (4,889), 1.3% as Group races (1,895) and 0.3% as Group I races (459).

Hong Kong Jockey Club’s executive director of racing Bill Nader aired his support for a new concept tentatively called Super Group I races.  “I think it is a good idea because there are 459 Group I races, which is a big number,” he explained.  “Certainly, the 459 are not equal in terms of quality – we all know that.   So it would good to recognize Super Group I events.

“Whether we highlight 20, 50, or 100 races, we have a pretty good idea which ones those are and I believe they should be recognized.”