Updated on 09/17/2011 10:02AM

Asian grading panel formed

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Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, on Wednesday, the Asian Racing Conference took steps to establish common ground with racing jurisdictions worldwide, especially concerning the grading of races and the rating of horses.

Representatives from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates have formed the Asian Racing Federation's Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the International Cataloging and Standards Committee concerning promotions and demotions of races on the international calendar.

"Pattern races should be comparable, and this advisory board will harmonize the process by which races are graded," said Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, chairman of the advisory committee.

In addition, the Intercontinental Thoroughbred Classifications Committee, which includes the Asian advisory committee members as well as South Africa and racing countries from South America, laid out long-term plans to merge with the International Classifications Committee, the group that annually rates the leading horses from Europe and North America.

"There is a desire amongst many to widen the International Classifications and introduce consistent criteria for top races," said Ciaran Kennelly, secretary of the Asian grading advisory committee. Asian Racing Federation countries, he said, "will have a louder voice in the overall decision making process."