The Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers, which is an association of the world's leading bloodstock auction houses, has approved the promotion of Japan to Part I of the International Cataloguing Standards.The promotion was recommended by International Grading and Race Planning Committee and International Cataloguing Standards Committee. A total of approximately 60 graded races which are international and open races and comply with international quality parameters based on 2004-2005 and 2006 ratings will be assigned graded status in Part I as part of the promotion.Other currently graded or black type races will be recognized as black type only. A condition of the promotion is that no new races will be upgraded as long as the ownership criteria in Japan have not been radically changed.
"Our members believe that the promotion reflects the quality and world standing of the horses and racing in Japan," said Matt Mitchell, managing director of Goffs Bloodstock Sales and chairman of SITA commented. "Japanese racing and the JRA (Japan Racing Association) have, by increasing the number of races open to any horses trained outside Japan and owned by non Japan-based owners, demonstrated their desire to be a member of the international racing community. The limitations of ownership in Japan remain a serious issue. However, we believe that the JRA commitment to review the situation in respect of foreign owners having horses in training in Japan should deliver a radical change within the earliest time-frame".