Historic Curragh race moved to Group Three status
RACING: Ireland’s Group One flat races are not under threat of downgrading by the European pattern race authorities but the impact of the recession means a couple of high-profile classic trials could yet, in future years, end up following the example of the Royal Whip Stakes.
That historic Curragh event has been moved from Group Two to Group Three status by the European Pattern Committee, which has also downgraded Leopardstown’s 2,000 Guineas Trial from Group Three to Listed class.
The Kilboy Estate Stakes has been promoted to Group Two level on Irish Oaks weekend. Leopardstown’s Breeders Cup Juvenile Trial has been upped to Group Three.
HRI announced yesterday an increase to the fillies’ allowance, which will rise from 3lb to 5lb following an analysis of all fillies in Listed races for the past three years.
HRI’s director of racing Jason Morris said: “HRI is committed to encouraging the greater participation and retention of mares for racing and then breeding in Ireland, with a prime focus always on trying to improve quality. The move to increase the fillies’ allowance by 2lb in Listed races should further this objective.”
Downpatrick Barneys Honour looks best
Gordon Elliott can maintain his good form courtesy of Barneys Honour at Downpatrick today. Co Meath based Elliott sends two runners north to ground forecast to be much better than anything we’ve seen for quite some time.
Barneys Honour ran on far softer conditions at Navan on Saturday when winning so easily he has been hiked 16lb in future by the handicapper.
However, he only has a 6lb penalty for today’s handicap chase and even a monster 12st 4lb on his back shouldn’t stop him.
Elliott also runs Shattered Dream in the novice handicap hurdle but this can go to Shanroe Society while Queen Of The Hill’s long journey from Kerry for the opener could be foiled by Ma Belle Amie.