A bounty on mediocrity is all the new griffin regulations are managing to provide. Changes were visited upon these races with the laudable desire to increase competition in the griffin ranks and thus promote betting turnover. Griffins can now win only once before automatic classification to Class Three at a maximum mark of 69 and from the middle of next month, all griffin races become handicaps. It was mentioned here a month or so ago, following the issue being raised on the Jockey Club's television show, that these measures may do no more than remove one particular cohort from the griffin races - namely the better ones. The case for this now appears to be compelling with further evidence from Saturday's opening griffin contest won by Recognition in the kind of Topspeed figure which gives objective credence to the view that this was another decidedly modest affair. The point is, there isn't too much point in winning a griffin race in January and February only to get the same mark in Class Three as would be achieved by winning in April or May when the griffin in question would have improved and strengthened anyway. As for two-year-old winners being forced to race in open company as early as February and thus encounter the ludicrous situation of being asked to give weight to four-year-olds and up, it is worth noting that Alex Wong Siu-tan's two-year-old griffin winner Top Fit finished tailed off in the fifth event on Saturday from the ridiculously high rating of 63. The official weight-for-age scale has an average two-year-old fully 33 pounds inferior to average three-year-olds over 1,200 metres at this time of Top Fit's development. In other words, Top Fit was racing from an effective handicap mark of 96! Admittedly, on Timeform's weight-for-age scale the effect is reduced but we're still talking about a 19-pound inferiority compared to the three-year-olds and 23 pounds to four-year-olds and above. There is no disputing changes needed to be made to make these griffin races more competitive as they were being farmed by one or two trainers, nor is there any dispute that making the right changes is a difficult and complex task. But the evidence is beginning to put it beyond dispute that the changes made are at best not working and at worst ill-conceived. World renowned administrator John Schreck has now officially confirmed that he will not renew his contract as director of racing with the Macau Jockey Club (MJC) when it expires sometime in March. Schreck was loathe to go on record prior to the Asian Racing Conference but he has now confirmed: 'I will be leaving Macau in the middle of next month which is when my current contract ends.' But there is no basis to reports circulating in Australia that Schreck has been approached by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) to replace Les Benton as its racing manager. Senior VRC officials were in Macau for the Asian Racing Conference and did not broach the subject with Schreck. Schreck is likely to be replaced by Lord John FitzGerald who, in stark contrast to Schreck, has yet to achieve anything significant in racing administration despite a good opportunity in Dubai. However, this is not to say he won't be able to and, in all fairness, he should be given time to see how he measures up in Macau. Guy Watkins, former chief executive to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, is almost certain to join the MJC, too, in some lucrative figurehead capacity with the current chief executive, Edmond Wong, likely to become a director of this commercial enterprise. Watkins' presence will go someway towards plugging the credibility gap left by Schreck's departure but the ex-British Army officer has an enormous task ahead of him, the nuances of which will only start to unfold when he has his feet under his MJC desk. Once again the International Cup is working out to be the best Derby trial. That piece of information is all too obvious with respect to this season's Derby, which the David Hayes-trained Resfa, after his facile dismissal of his rivals on Saturday, has at his mercy. But it could well be worth bearing in mind in coming seasons when trying to find the Blue Riband winner. For the record, Resfa ran very well when 4.75 lengths fifth to Midnight Bet in December's Group Two International Cup and looks this season's Derby winner; John Moore's ill-fated Makapura Star ran sixth in State Taj's International Cup prior to his 1995 Derby triumph and Patrick Biancone's Johan Cruyff ran 12th in last season's Cup before progressing to Derby glory. Star French jockey Eric Legrix was warned by the race-meeting stewards on Wednesday night for pre-empting the official withdrawal of his mount Lyphard's Lad by informing starter Michael Tibbatts that he would not ride him after the gelding had burst through his stall prior to the start of the race. Legrix was captured on television telling Tibbatts in no uncertain terms that there was no way he was going to ride the horse and exactly why not. In the cold light of day, it is the officials who run the meeting and strictly speaking I suppose they were right to issue Legrix with this warning. But Legrix was in an extremely difficult position precisely because of the race-meeting stewards' lax policing of such cases in the past. Legrix was protecting his owners, his trainer, himself, the horse and ultimately - and probably most importantly - the betting public which is something the stipes have not always done.