More Time to Prepare Eagle Farm

uyjstjiksn.jpg

Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) have allowed additional time for the Eagle Farm track remediation process to ensure the track performs to Group One standards into the future thereby returning Eagle Farm to its rightful place as Queensland’s premier race track.

The decision, which will see horses on track for testing and gallops mid-year ahead of trials, was made after extensive consultation with independent racing surface consultants and industry stakeholders.
In order to provide sufficient time for thorough testing prior to racing and to provide certainty to all stakeholders, Eagle Farm has been removed from the Winter Racing Carnival.

RQ Chief Executive Officer Dr Eliot Forbes said the decision is the right one for all involved. “We are on schedule to begin laying turf in December despite delays associated with adverse weather, challenges sourcing the necessary high-quality materials and securing the availability of contractors to undertake the remediation process.

“All those involved in the project have taken a ‘best practice’ approach to every step of this project in relation to materials and methodology, including extensive testing and quality assurance of materials. The approach has been necessary to provide an enduring solution and to maintain a high performance racing surface for animals and riders.”

BRC Chairman Neville Bell said the announcement will assist all stakeholders to plan their campaigns. “The decision to call it now provides certainty for all participants planning carnival campaigns in the first half of next year and to ensure we give the Eagle Farm track every opportunity to perform to the highest of standards which our stakeholders, members, patrons and punters deserve,” Mr Bell said.

“The BRC is part of the Project Control Group for this redevelopment of the Eagle Farm track. At every step, we have said that this track must be rebuilt very carefully to ensure we have an outstanding surface.”

The author of the report on the Eagle Farm surface, Dale Monteith said he is responsible for recommending the best solution for the track and he takes that responsibility seriously. “I have been fully involved in this process and in deciding the best plan for rectification at each stage. I know that the steps undertaken will see Eagle Farm again become one of the best racing surfaces in Australia.”

All turf has been removed from Eagle Farm and work on the sub profile has been completed. The new profile for the track is currently undergoing a stringent testing regime to ensure improved stability and necessary filtration rates are met. Further testing will be carried out prior to the course proper being turfed.

The spring return to Eagle Farm will mean a new-look Brisbane Racing Carnival for 2018, featuring four Group 1 race days at Doomben, culminating in the UBET Stradbroke. The proposed schedule, which will be finalised by Racing Queensland, has three consecutive weekends of racing at Doomben before a fortnight break until UBET Stradbroke Day.

Under the proposed schedule, the Treasury Queensland Oaks will be brought forward one week and held alongside the Darley Kingsford Smith Cup at Doomben. The Sunshine Coast Turf Club will then host a quality card, the majority of which will be black type races, one week before the UBET Stradbroke.

The BRC and Racing Queensland will make the necessary applications for the ratification of minor changes to host the club’s Group One features at Doomben over four meetings.

The Winter Carnival continues to be the nursery for future champions with recent James Boag’s Doomben 10,000 winner Redzel returning in the spring to add the TAB Everest and Darley Classic to his record. Prior to that champion mare Winx claimed her first Group One victory in the Treasury Queensland Oaks when it was held at Doomben over 2,200m.

“Doomben has performed with distinction in recent years and the form of Group One winners going on from there has been world-class,” said Mr Bell.