Qatar Jean Prat shortened to 7 furlongs, Qatar Royallieu extended and promoted Gr1

06 February 2019

Photo scoopdyga.com

The European Pattern Committee (EPC) held its annual meeting on 24th January to consider a number of changes to Flat Pattern and Listed races in Europe for 2019. France Galop was represented on the committee by its president, Edouard de Rothschild, and Henri Pouret, deputy general manager, operational director of racing.

At the end of this meeting, the EPC accepted the principle of a Group 2 promotion to Qatar Group 1 Prix de Royallieu, whose distance was extended from 2,500 to 2,800 meters. This race for 3yo and up females is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, the day before the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Gr1), the best race in the world, at ParisLongchamp. 

“The Committee was pleased to support France’s request to provide an end of season opportunity at Group 1 level for fillies at longer distances as part of the Europe wide initiative to improve the programme for staying horses", said Brian Kavanagh, Chairman of the EPC.

This brings to 28 the number of Group 1 races run in France.

The Qatar Prix Jean Prat (Gr1), for its part, remains scheduled on July 7 on the Deauville straight course but its distance has been shortened to 1 400 meters. It thus becomes the only race of this level in Europe for 3 years-old only. In the wake of the French and English Guineas, it becomes a tempting championship for a large population of top 3yo flyers.

In addition, two races were promoted to the Listed level, a race for 3 years-old over 6 furlongs on August 4th in Deauville, and a 4 years-old and above race on August 9th at Clairefontaine over 9 furlongs. The Prix des Sablonnets, however, lost its Listed Race status.