THE FORM OF CHAMPIONS
THE FORM OF CHAMPIONS
Delivering key insights & information behind the Group One races of Australia
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Form Focus has dedicated itself to compiling the history of Australia’s greatest horses, jockeys, races and trainers.
Established in 1998, Form Focus first appeared in Victorian Race-Books for the MVRC G1 Manikato Stakes, which was won by Dane Ripper.
The concept behind Form Focus was to provide, for the first time, detailed and accurate historical data and associated information on all Group One races conducted in Victoria. Form Focus was primarily designed as a Race-Book insert where the three Victorian Metropolitan Race-Clubs, VRC, VATC and MVRC, quickly realised that Form Focus doubled as an invaluable Media and Promotion product. Soon enough, a Media service was established, distributing after Nominations had closed for a Club’s feature race via email.
During the following years, Form Focus rapidly broadened its coverage of Group races in Victoria, expanding to selected Group 2, 3 and Listed races.
The exclusive Ten-Year-Charts, which displayed the past ten winners of the race (with all relevant information), was quickly extended to a twenty-year coverage. Since 2005, the Charts display full statistics relating to the past thirty years of all races and related facts and general information has also been significantly enhanced.
With a growing demand for a full National Group One race coverage, Form Focus was able to fulfil this brief in 2003, and currently provides files on all of Australia’s 72 Group One events.
An additional 110 other Australia feature races are currently covered by Form Focus, providing the Racing Industry with exclusive content, facts and statistics that serves as a multi-functional tool for Clubs, Media, Owners, Trainers, Bookmakers, punters and the racing public.
Prior to the 1979-1980 Racing Season, major Australian races were referred to as “Principal Races”.
Under the Group Race Classification system adopted at this time, Principal races were assigned Group 1, Group 2, Group 3 or Listed status based primarily on criteria relating to prestige, prizemoney, heritage and so on.
Since then, numerous races have undergone review and either been upgraded or downgraded, or in some cases, new races have been introduced into the Group Race Classification system.
For the purposes of recording accurate historical racing statistics, Form Focus first needed to apply a logical and consistent approach in retrospective application of Group 1 status to Principal races conducted prior to the 1979-1980 season.
In the current Racing Season (2017-2018), there are a total of 72 Group One races.
By comparison, there were 54 races assigned Group One status when the Group Race Classification system was adopted in 1979-1980.
Form Focus considered it to be fair and logical to allocate retrospective Group 1 status to these 54 Principal Races that were granted Group 1 status in the 1979-1980 Racing Season.
Races that were not granted Group 1 status in Season 1979-1980, but subsequently upgraded to Group 1, were therefore deemed not to meet this criteria.
Examples include the VRC Lightning Stakes (upgraded to G1 in 1987) and the MRC Orr Stakes (upgrade to G1 in 1993), whilst in New South Wales, examples include the Flight Stakes (upgraded to G1 in 1985) and the Chipping Norton Stakes (upgraded to G1 in 1986).
When researching and collating the Group One winning records of Jockeys and Trainers, (especially prior to 1979), Form Focus considers that this policy provides a consistent platform to operate from.
It must however be emphasised that this approach does result in modern-day records being numerically “inflated”, due of course to the substantial increase in the number of Group One races.
This is essentially no different to the AFL where games played per season have increased over time, or in Test Cricket where so many more Test matches are now being played. This obviously results in current players having more opportunities to improve their games totals and other related statistical records.