01/21/2016 1:30PM

Two races in Ireland upgraded to Group 2; two races in Italy downgraded to Group 2


Two races at The Curragh in Ireland have been promoted from Group 3 to Group 2 status, and two races in Italy have been downgraded from Group 1 to Group 2 level for 2016, the European Pattern Committee announced on Thursday.

The Curragh Cup at 1 3/4 miles in June and the Minstrel Stakes at seven furlongs in July were promoted. Four races were promoted from listed status to Group 3 in England, France, and Ireland.

In Italy, the downgraded races are the Grande Premio Di Milano at 1 1/2 miles in Milan and the Presidente Della Repubblica at a mile at Capannelle. They will be run in May as Group 2 turf races. The distance of the Presidente Della Repubblica has been changed from 1 1/4 miles in 2015.

The committee stated that four Group 1 races this year could be downgraded in 2017 – three races in Italy and the Prix de Cadran at 2 1/2 miles in France on the weekend of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The races will retain Group 1 status or be downgraded depending on a performance rating from this year’s runnings.

The group and listed races typically run at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris will retain their status at different venues this year while Longchamp is undergoing redevelopment. The track is scheduled to reopen in September 2017.