Professor Patrick Yung, Director of the Hong Kong Centre for Sports Medicine and Sports Sciences, orthopedic surgeon and racehorse owner outlined the application of sports science and medicine amongst jockeys in the concluding plenary session of the first day of the 37th Asian Racing Conference on Tuesday in Seoul.

Addressing the conference under the banner of “The Modern Elite Jockey - A Sports Medicine Perspective,” Prof Yung said the application of sports science and medicine, which began in racing with a focus on treatment of jockey injuries, had room for improvement.

“While the application of sports science has increased over the past decade, there is a lot of room to improve. There is a lack of very good scientific research available and we need consistent documentation and analysis to provide the platform for further improvement,” Prof Yung said.

As Prof Yung focused on injuries and associated health issues pertaining to jockeys, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Ms Amy Chan, Headmistress of the Apprentice Jockeys’ School, and Mr Grant Harris, Chief Executive of the British Racing School, outlined improvements in industry training and education with particular relevance to jockeys.

Prof Yung detailed some remarkable statistics on the probability of jockeys sustaining injury through their careers and the risks associated with concussions and inappropriate weight management - the latter an issue which both Ms Chan and Mr Harris said was an important part of their training programs.

“A US study showed that a jockey is likely to have a fall once in every 500 rides and 50 percent of those will require significant medical attention. On average, a jockey will suffer 2.5 fractures through his or her career while 40 percent of jockeys will suffer from a concussion,” Prof Yung said.

However, he reassured the riding fraternity that despite the inherent risks of race riding, the mortality rate was very low at one in 300,000 days of exposure.

“Obviously the most common cause of injury is a fall so one key, for the industry, is to attempt to minimise the chance of a fall occurring. It is also important to focus on the general health and well-being of the jockeys themselves so factors such as strength, balance, flexibility and reaction time are maximised.

“Essential fitness can assist in the prevention of falls but also in recovery and improving overall performance,” he said.

Prof Yung said his research team fitness-tested Hong Kong’s champion jockey Joao Moreira and prominent Hong Kong footballer Lo Kwan Yee with the jockey rating higher in upper body strength and core muscle strength, with the two evenly matched when it came to lower body muscle power.

“Most jockeys are extremely fit, but inappropriate weight management can be an issue. Suboptimal nutrition and hydration can leave them prone to injury, poor recovery, mood problems including depression and Calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies, which may diminish bone quality, especially in the hip region.”

Education on diet and nutrition was outlined as a key part of the training programs conducted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and British Racing School.

“The hope is to better recruit, develop and retain the next generation,” said Ms Chan, a sentiment echoed by Mr Harris who added that one of his School’s key goals was to “recruit, train and retain.”

Both also addressed the need for such training bodies to provide broad spectrum education and career alternatives for those who did not necessarily succeed in becoming jockeys.

“Our program now embraces school-based learning and work-based practice and incorporates physical training, sports and nutrition science, financial management, English language training and music appreciation,” Ms Chan said.

The HKJC’s Apprentice Jockeys School was established in 1972 with the training model based on those in other jurisdictions, particularly in Great Britain, Ms Chan said. “The process now is to develop our next generation of workforce not only in Hong Kong but also in China.” The HKJC will open its landmark Conghua Training Centre this August outside Guangzhou.

Mr Harris detailed Britain’s rider training program and education programs for current and aspiring racing employees - from grooms and work riders to apprentice and conditional jockeys, secretaries and trainers. It also provides administrative and managerial training.

The British Racing School is an independent charity which works with the British Horseracing Authority in training and education with quality-assured qualification, while also providing support services to the racing workforce via the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and Racing Welfare.

“People are this industry’s biggest asset. It’s not a job, it’s vocation for most who are doing highly-skilled and sometimes dangerous work, and doing so for long hours. We are focused on providing the right training and providing our students with life skills,” Mr Harris said.

Mr Harris said the racing industry would likely become a female dominated work place. “We had 70 females and 30 males in our last training intake and the trend is going one way,” he said.


The second half of the third plenary session of the 37th Asian Racing Conference in Seoul was led by Ms Victoria Carter, Deputy Chair of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, who opened with a frank discussion on how racing can respond to a rapidly changing world, with the emphasis on staying relevant and driving diversity. 

If racing wants to expand its participant base and get more fans – the fastest way is through diversity. More women in racing at all levels, not just on-course, will mean that we have a greater chance of innovation, collaboration and transformation. If you can’t see it, how can you be it or believe that it is possible?” she challenged the audience. “Having more women in racing shows all women that it is possible. It means you do not need to be unique, exceptional or chosen and it becomes more of the norm. Remember half the world is women. 

"For racing to gallop ahead we need women in leadership roles. If you want good decisions, good strategies and good outcomes, you need people who are different from you. Hence diversity, or gender-balance, matters. Change will make our industry stronger. There isn’t an industry today that doesn’t need innovation and new ideas; racing is not alone here,” Ms Carter said. 

So if we want more women to participate in racing we need to find a way to get the other 50% involved." 

Ms Susannah Gill, Director of External Affairs for Arena Racing Company provided an insight into British racing’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. British racing, with its rich heritage, excellent growth and leading position in the production of top quality horses, identified a need to realign with modern society, Ms Gill said. This resulted in the formation of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group led by the British Horseracing Authority and included representation from all stakeholder groups. The Group will shortly publish its Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. 

Society still perceives racing to be a ‘white rich man’s sport,’ yet it relies mostly on people who are not white, rich or men. With racing’s administration populated with white middle-aged men, a current staffing shortage, which will only get worse with Brexit and a gender pay gap, British racing was in trouble. So in short, not only do we need to attract the brightest and the best, but we also need to retain them. Hence we have got to be seen to be open for business,” said Ms Gill. 

Ms Anna Seitz Ciannello, Client Development and Public Relations Manager of Fasig Tipton, briefed delegates on the creation and expansion of female racing syndicates, both in the United States and abroad. 

With a lifetime of experience in the sport having grown-up at Kentucky’s Brookdale Farm, the birthplace of 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another, Ms Seitz Ciannello spent several years working with seven-time Champion Trainer Todd Pletcher before shifting to sales at Fasig Tipton.  

In my job I realised how exciting it was for people to be involved in owning a racehorse. Hence I put together my first syndicate and bought a filly named I’m Already Sexy. We were not millionaires, we were just a bunch of young people having fun. From there grew the idea of having syndicates for women, where the aim is simply to have fun,” said Ms Seitz Ciannello 

Partnering with Elaine Lawlor from Goffs, Ms Seitz Ciannello proceeded to expand her syndicates internationally, with runners in Australia, Ireland and the USA. Her Australian syndicate It’s All About the Girls, formed in 2013, has subsequently brought several hundred new female owners to the sport. Global Glamour, the syndicate’s Group 1 winning filly, was offered as a prime example of the international reach of such syndicates, boasting 40 owners from eight countries. 

Ms Megumi Ichiyama, the Chief of Staff of the Japan Racing Association Publicity Department, shared with delegates the strategy of the UMAJO project which commenced in 2012 and is aimed at attracting women to the racecourse. 

The project was launched when the JRA realised that less than 14% of all racegoers in Japan were women. Research showed that women not only wanted to race in comfort, but also wanted to be provided with information and to be guided on racing when attending as a newcomer,” Ms Ichiyama said. 


This led to the creation of the UMAJO SPOT, an area set up exclusively for women at each of the JRA’s Racecourses. Here women are offered concierge services, introductory brochures, refreshments and even educational tours. The JRA also realised that the horse is a key attraction factor for women and have used this successfully in their poster campaigns. To date the project has already shown to be beneficial with female attendance growing to 17% in 2017.

Reaching and expanding racing’s fan base was the topic of the first half of the third plenary session of the 37th Asian Racing Conference in Seoul. Mr Niall Sloane, ITV’s Director of Sport, opened the session with an insightful look into ITV’s approach to racing. 

Mr Sloane’s presentation, titled – “Did I mention it’s supposed to be fun?” – revealed that viewing figures for the famed Grand National have increased by 45% since ITV took over the coverage with the network recently awarded by BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) for best sports coverage in 2017. 

“Most people at a racecourse are losing money but they are having an amazing time losing it and it is this concept of having fun that we need to take to the people. Sport is popular and no show reaches a bigger audience than the Grand National. Yet racing needed a fresh, more reachable approach,” he said.  

“Racing has to work out what it wants to be and we the broadcasters are tasked with showing it to the people. The one thing we need is a bigger audience and we need to explain to that audience what racing means, to showcase its unique attributes and to attract more people to attend those fixtures. As broadcasters we are your window to the world. We can show the drama, the passion and the action through what is captured on film at each racecourse.” 

Mr Sloane concluded by saying: “Racing is a complex sport and needs all the help it can get. Make racing fun, make the language easy to understand and simplify the betting. And above all, remember that racing is an extraordinary sport and nothing comes close to it.” 

Dr Oonagh Chan, Senior Consultant, Media, Technology and Content Production at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, has been in the media industry for 42 years and is an expert in television production system design and mega display technologies. Chan shared her views on upcoming television trends and the application of new technologies in sports television coverage. 

She explained to the assembled delegates that changing scenarios in broadcasting would have significant implications for how sport evolves in the next decade and beyond. 

“For the modern fan the experience needs to be immersive and immediate – anywhere, any time, any platform any device. Most people have two or three devices and they want their content available on those content devices,” she said.  

According to Dr Chan, televised sports coverage, including racing coverage, needs to be ready to adapt to changes, aligning with the latest technology, such as the use of a two-point cable-cam system which operated at 128kmph along the backstretch during the 2018 Kentucky Derby. “Such technology brings the action closer to the viewers letting them feel that they are involved. We are constantly looking for new technologies to bring a better experience to the viewer.” 

In conclusion, Dr Chan said she sees the leveraging of technology as the way forward: “For example mounting a 360-degree camera on top of a jockey’s helmet during an actual race, enables viewers to change the camera angle in order to watch the other horses in the race and that changes the way that the race is being viewed.” 

Continuing with the theme of satisfying the viewing customer, Mr Min Ki Shim, Associate Manager of the Marketing Department of the Korea Racing Authority, drew the assembled delegates into the rapidly expanding culture of eSports. The eSports industry has a rapidly growing global fan base, with tens of thousands of fans visiting stadiums to watch league games. With racing in a quest to expand its dwindling fan base, Mr Shim explained what led to the explosive growth of eSports, particularly in Korea, and what lessons the Sport of Kings could learn from the King of eSports. 

Mr Shim highlighted the incredible popularity of Korean eSports star Lee Sang-hyoek, known as “Faker,” with annual earnings between US$3-4 million. The 22 year-old sensation claims millions of social media followers and, in a comparison to racing, generated more than three times the number of Google results relative to 2015 American Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. 

Despite their differences, Mr Shim stressed that racing and eSports could find particularly valuable points of parity, reminding delegates that the retention rate of information at the beginner level is critical. He cited an MIT Game Lab study which showed the most successful, or mega-games, have an effective and engaging tutorial for the newest players. 

“For beginners to engage in eSports, as in horse racing, the provision of information is essential, but it must be easy to understand and concise,” he said.


Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, called for the creation of a global brand for racing and examination of the challenges and opportunities associated therewith at today’s 37th Asian Racing Conference in Seoul.

“What is the global brand of racing and how can we ensure that brand is well received across an ever changing world-wide market place?” Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges asked to begin the session which also heard from Mr Phil Lynch, CEO of Media, Manchester United Football Club, which has sport’s most valuable global brand. 

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges said that horse racing must create a brand identifiable with “world class racing sport and entertainment,” and with a relentless global focus. “Anyone with a mobile device can be engaged anywhere and at anytime. Developing a global racing brand is a major platform for growth and prosperity,” he said. 

“It is my vision that within the next decade, racing can climb back to become one of the world’s top 10 sports,” he said, noting that horse racing, not so long ago one of the world’s most popular sports, now ranks outside the world’s top 20 in the global popularity stakes. “That racing is no longer in the top 20 is a wake-up call for all of us.”

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges said that horse racing had lost popularity as it became more perceived as a gambling sport only. 

“A global brand is necessary in the fast-changing sport and gaming landscape. Our brand is dominated by gambling and we have to change that perception. We need to position racing in a way which will enable its customers and potential customers to recognise the aspects of the sport that will appeal to them. By doing this, racing will be able to expand its fan base across demographic groups.

“The brand is our promise to our customers on who we are and what they can expect from us. It differentiates us from our competitors. Each brand has an identity – which is how we want our customers to perceive our products and our brand itself – each brand has to have positioning,” Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said. 

Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges called for a master plan which creates “emotional attachment” and targets a broader audience. “In the past we have individually made an effort to increase the awareness of our horses, jockeys and races but we have been preaching to ourselves. We have to change our brand position and broaden our customer base and I ask all major racing organisations to share this global vision,” he said. 

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges was unequivocal in calling for the highest standards of integrity and a commitment to eradicate the use of race day medications and doping and a commitment to high standards in overall horse welfare.

“First, before any push for a global racing brand, we need commitment from all stakeholders on integrity, anti-doping and horse welfare. If we don't have these fundamentals in order we will have no chance. We have too many people who try to bend the rules. It needs a strong commitment to medication-free racing from everybody in the sport, it’s an absolute must. There is no room for ambiguity.”

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges also said that horse racing must push beyond the widely-held perception that it is purely a vehicle for gambling. He argued that its greatest appeal lies in what he termed its “sub-brands,” the racehorses, the jockeys and the races. 

“We have to broaden our fan-base and to do that we clearly have to shift from gaming as the main brand, to leisure and entertainment; racing must be positioned as world class sport,” he said. 

Mr Lynch, CEO of Media at Manchester United, spoke about the need to maintain brand relevance outside of the physical duration of a sports event, and stressed the importance of utilising multiple platforms in uniquely-tailored ways in order to meet the individual expectations of global consumers across demographic groups.  

“We have identified the need to keep fans engaged beyond the 90 minutes of the game and develop platforms of direct dialogue with our consumers wherever they might be,” Mr Lynch said, noting that Manchester United had 659 million followers and a cumulative annual television audience of three billion. 

Mr Lynch said the club’s communication was tailored and targeted to suit the specific demographic of the audience with very little “double up” through various social media platforms. 

“You cannot over post,” he said in reference to a social media strategy. “If you don’t have a presence when the customer is scrolling through any feed at any given time then you miss them. And the message has to be targeted given an average internet attention span of eight seconds.”

Still, Mr Lynch added, “when it comes to content, the overarching question should be – is it compelling enough to push send?”

The plenary sessions of the 37th Asian Racing Conference in Seoul were introduced today with an outline of the conference’s business programme and an examination of racing through the “Asian Century,” focusing on consumer demographics and the opportunities presented by Asia’s rapid economic growth.

Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chairman of the Asian Racing Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, outlined the week’s agenda and reaffirmed that much of the focus would be on racing’s need to engage with the modern consumer. 

“To set the stage, over the next three days we will hear from 50 accomplished speakers and industry experts across 12 individual plenary sessions covering a variety of issues. Key among them will be  recognising that the modern consumer demands a multi-sensory experience and that technology and innovation will play a massive role in an ever changing landscape,” he said. 

Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges introduced Mr Bernard Salt, founder of The Demographics Group (Australia) and expert on social, consumer, generational and demographic trends world-wide, who told the conference of the global trends which underpin the rise of consumer spending in Asia and around the globe, outlining the demographic trends which could stimulate horse racing in growth markets. 

“I have a proposition,” Mr Salt challenged. “Asia is the fastest growing wealth-generating region in the world and, now, throughout history. Asia’s spending patterns are changing with a focus on leisure and entertainment and the (racing) industry needs to grab this opportunity with both hands.”

The core of Mr Salt’s presentation was that rising prosperity, new individual freedoms and corporate success is driving demand for leisure and sporting activities across the emerging and established markets of Asia and beyond. Mr Salt argued that a new generation of millennials are motivated to showcase their professional success via activities including horse racing and that, at the other end of the spectrum, increased average life expectancy has baby boomers altering their spending patterns. 

Mr Salt noted that China, Japan, India, Australia and host nation South Korea are projected to be in the world’s top 12 nations based on GDP by 2028 and economic growth and maturity drives consumer spending. 

The key factor for horse racing, according to Mr Salt, is that Asia’s growing middle class will demand leisure and entertainment products which promote self-esteem, and cited a recent study demonstrating that luxury spending is on the rise in Asia. 

“Rising prosperity delivers more leisure time and discretionary spending with an emphasis on products which are ‘taggable’ via social media and the new generation of millennials demand 24/7 screen engagement with tailored products that enhances their brand and self-esteem.”

Mr Salt drew the link between prosperity and sporting success with China, Japan and South Korea in the top 10 in the gold medal count at the Rio Olympics of 2016, while only host nation South Korea managed a top 10 spot nearly three decades earlier when the Olympics were held in Seoul. 

Despite competition from other leisure activities, Mr Salt said that horse racing can fill a niche for aspirational customers looking for a premium experience given that it is male and female inclusive; offers a premium fashion and dining experience and corporate entertainment. 

“Racing’s opportunity centres on capturing the growing middle classes if it can improve global broadcasting and embrace and develop technology-enhanced experiences. Consumers are spending less on standard entertainment and more on tailored experiences with sports lessons leading the way. 

“Horse racing can capitalise on the consumer view that it is a marquee symbol of economic and personal success and that the growing corporate culture through Asia presents the opportunity to sell racing to sponsors and potential owners as a premium leisure experience.”


The 37th Asian Racing Conference (ARC) commenced in Seoul on Monday night with a colourful opening ceremony. After the chief delegates of the Asian Racing Federation (ARF) members took to the stage, the CEO and Chairman of the Korea Racing Authority, Mr Kim Nag Soon welcomed delegates and invited guests to Korea and delivered the opening address. 

“In the last 13 years since the previous ARC conference in Korea, we have strived for excellence and we have been successful, with the achievement of being promoted to Part II status. Open door and international competition policies have, in return, resulted in Korean horses running in reputable international races such as those at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.  

“Our aims for the near future is for Korea to be elevated to Part 1 of the Blue Book and the promotion and the production of Group 1 horses. This conference is a true celebration of Asian racing. Korean racing will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2022 and we are committed to becoming one of the best racing authorities in the world. I am looking forward to intriguing discussions in the upcoming sessions of this Asian Racing Conference.” 

Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, ARF chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, welcomed assembled delegates and invited guests to the conference on behalf of the ARF.  

“I am pleased to welcome you all to Korea for the 37th Asian Racing Conference. I would like to begin by thanking the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Mr. Kim Nag Soon, and all of his many colleagues from the Korea Racing Authority for their tireless efforts to ensure a wonderful week. From our experience at the races on Sunday and today’s bureau meetings, it is quite clear that we are set for an excellent Conference.” 

Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges commended Korea on the incredible progress made since hosting the conference 13 years ago, and highlighted the substantial achievements within the Asian Racing Federation since the 36th ARC in Mumbai, especially in the areas of anti-doping and ant-illegal betting. The ARF’s policy position on anabolic steroids was adopted by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) in October 2017, and recently a formal IFHA Reference Laboratory programme was established. Further achievements include the establishment of the ARF’s Anti-Illegal Betting Taskforce and the major progress made in overcoming barriers to horse exports. 

Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges set the stage for the upcoming week. “We have a great deal of ground to cover over the next three days, but with history as our guide from past ARCs, I have no doubt that the 37th ARC will provide fruitful discussions and a path towards progress. We gather this week under the theme – ‘Innovate, Collaborate, Transform’ – words that resonate here in Korea, a country synonymous with innovation and energy. In the past two years, we have witnessed the accelerated growth of Korean racing, making serious efforts to internationalise, and succeeding in welcoming horses from all corners to compete. 

“Our dynamic industry, which spans many sectors of the global economy, faces a series of modern challenges and ever-growing threats from agile competition. Racing must be moving ever forward – we must innovate, we must collaborate, and we must transform. Over the next three days we will discuss the strategies and opportunities being pursued by the wagering industry, how to better reach and expand our fan base, and how racing is addressing a series of threats to the integrity of the sport, – from gene-doping to illegal betting. We will explore issues of safety and welfare, both for our equine and human athletes, during and after their careers, and discuss how our sport connects with popular culture.” 

Mr Park Joo Sun, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of South Korea, and Mr Kim Hyun Soon, Vice Minister of Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs offered welcoming remarks to the assembled delegates, which hailed from more than 40 jurisdictions.  

The evening concluded with a gala dinner and a celebration of Korean culture through music and dance. 

For more information on the 37th Asian Racing Conference, visit 


Following further in-depth analysis and discussion, the Handicappers have opted to re-rate the Grade 1 Premier’s Champion Challenge, run at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday 5 May 2018. 

It was the unanimous opinion of the Handicappers that this was a particularly awkward race to assess, with two horses finishing four lengths and more ahead of the balance of the field.  Initially, the Handicappers took the view that by finishing a close second, ABASHIRI was very unlikely to have run worse than when he finished sixth in the Grade 3 Victory Moon Stakes over 1800m on 9 November 2017.  Accordingly, the Premier’s Champions Challenge was rated using ABASHIRI to the level of 117 which he had achieved in the Victory Moon Stakes and also earlier on in his career. 

This level for the race had the winner CORAL FEVER running to 120, ABASHIRI to 117, and every other horse in the race from 3rd place downwards running below his/her rating.  However, after considerable further reflection, the Handicappers decided to reconsider the race.  The fact that the first two finishers beat the rest of the field by a wide margin was probably skewing the numbers and it was decided after much debate to reduce the level of the race by 2 pounds, even though most of the field was already running below their rating on the original, higher level. 

It was decided that the 3rd placed SILVAN STAR would be used as a Line Horse, not to her rating of 108 (which she has achieved racing against fillies and mares), but to a rating of 108 minus the 5 pounds sex allowance which a filly receives in the race.  Rating the race using SILVAN STAR to a level of 103 drops the level by 2 pounds and accordingly CORAL FEVER has had his rating reduced from 120 to 118 and ABASHIRI has had his rating cut from 117 to 115.  The balance of the field retain the adjustments as originally assessed. 

The Handicappers are fully satisfied that this is the better of the two options, and have opted to err on the side of caution given the tricky nature of the race.  However, it was unanimously agreed that the race level would be far too low if either CORAL FEVER or ABASHIRI were used as the line horse/s and would not be fair in relation to other beaten runners in the race. 

The Handicapping Panel of The National Horseracing Authority


The National Horseracing Authority has pleasure in announcing the composition of the Stipendiary Board that will officiate at the Champions Day Meeting at Turffontein Racecourse on Saturday, 5 May 2018: 

Lyle Anderson - Chief Stipendiary Steward (Central Provinces)

Shaun Parker -  Chief Stipendiary Steward (Kwa-Zulu Natal)

Lennon Maharaj

Ryan Hutcheson

Louis Nhlapo

David Rahilly

South Africa is a signatory to the Asian Racing Federation (ARF).  The Asian Pattern Committee (APC) is a division of the ARF. The APC reviews the Graded and Listed races of each affiliated Country on an annual basis.

South Africa’s International Ratings for the previous three years were reviewed prior to the assessment in August 2017 by the APC.

After evaluation by the APC, the SA Nursery (Grade 1) fell short of the requirements in terms of the APC guidelines and was downgraded to Grade 2 for 2018.  The shortfall was based on the Average Annual Race rating for the race over a four year period. The Annual Race Rating is determined on the best rating achieved in a Graded or Listed race of the first four finishers during the season. 




Annual Race Rating

Pattern Race Rating

Rating Parameter







SA Nursery

    104.00             104.75            102.00            103.50





Should circumstances change and the quality of the runners improve over the next few years, an application may be made to upgrade the race.