Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh could lose its Group 1 status in 2016

France’s Prix Royal-Oak also under threat

The make-up of this May's Tattersalls Gold Cup will be of major importance to the Curragh authorities after the European Pattern Committee's confirmation it is one of seven European Group One races at risk of being downgraded in status in 2016.

The mile and a quarter highlight has been won by superstars such as Montjeu and So You Think in the past decade and a half, but tends to attract just a handful of runners. Noble Mission beat just four rivals last year.

Another top European Group One that could be downgraded next year is the Prix Royal-Oak, the French St Leger, run over just short of two miles at Longchamp in late October. Ballydoyle’s legendary stayer Yeats won it in 2008.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column