Seven races in the United Arab Emirates and four stakes in Hong Kong have been upgraded by the International Cataloguing Standards Committee. As a result of the action, the number of races in UAE achieving black type status has been increased to 20 from 12. The upgrades are effective for the racing season that begins in September of this year and runs through June 2001."By upgrading these races, our committee is giving recognition to the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Emirates Racing Association for their remarkable efforts to promote and develop international racing at the highest level, which is our prime aim," said cataloguing standards committee chairman Louis Romanet.In Hong Kong, the three races upgraded from group II to group I status were the Hong Kong Mile, Hong Kong Vase, and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup. The Hong Kong Sprint was upgraded from a listed race to group III.Two UAE races--the Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Sheema Classic--went from group III to group II status. UAE races that were upgraded from listed status to group III were the Godolphin Mile, Dubai Golden Shaheen, Maktoum Challenge Round III, Dubai City of Gold, and the UAE Derby."All of these races have been fulfilling the criteria required and have justified their new grouping by the quality of their runners," the ICSC said in a statement. The upgrades have been ratified by the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers.