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Italy will have no internationally recognised Group races after being removed from the European Pattern after failing to pay outstanding prize money.

Italian racing has been plagued by funding issues in recent years and a final ultimatum from the European Pattern Committee had been presented to the authorities stipulating certain conditions including the payment of all arrears by the end of March 2014.

The EPC met at Newmarket on Tuesday and, while noting some progress had been made in settling outstanding amounts, said “regrettably the conditions which had been placed on Italy’s continued participation in the European Pattern had not been met by the deadline of March 31”.

The committee decided that with effect from January 1, 2015, Italy would cease to be a member of the EPC.

The committee will recommend to the International Federation for Horseracing Authorities that all Italian black-type races be demoted.

“It is extremely regrettable that the committee has had to take this course of action,” EPC chairman Brian Kavanagh said.

“We have advised the Italian representatives that the only circumstances in which the committee could reconsider this decision would be in the event of total compliance with all of the conditions previously set, including those in relation to arrears due to Italian based owners and the implementation of a new system of payment for current and future races.

“This entirely a matter for the Italian authorities to address.”

 
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