The International Cataloguing Standards Committee voted June 18 to upgrade 10 races in Dubai, three each in Japan and Singapore, and one in Hong Kong.
Dubai World Cup Day has always had the purse money to attract good horses. Now, besides the large pots, they will also run for higher grades. The Dubai World Cup was already group I, and the committee elevated two group II races and one group III to group I: the Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Sheema Classic, and Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Also, the UAE Derby, Godolphin Mile, and Maktoum Challenge Round III were elevated from group III to group II. Four Dubai races were moved for the first time to group III: UAE 2000 Guineas, Maktoum Challenge Round I, Maktoum Challenge Round II, and the Jebel Hatta.
Three races which have been open in Japan have received group status: the Takarazuka Kinen, group I, the Keio Hai Spring Cup, group II, and the Mainichi Okan, group II. The races are the first to be given group status in that country since the Japan Cup in 1992.
In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Sprint was uprgraded from group III to group II. In Singapore, three races will receive group status: the Singapore Airlines International Cup, group I; the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Sprint, group III; and the Singapore Cup, group III.