Farm abandonment confirms wisdom of revamp

The reason Eagle Farm racecourse will be closed for redevelopment was plainly evident when its meeting was abandoned on Saturday.

Eagle Farm will shut after Wednesday’s midweek meeting for at least eight months while $22 million is spent on its racing surface and facilities.

Stewards abandoned Saturday’s meeting after three races when jockeys complained about visibility.

The Eagle Farm track has been held together by soil fill in recent years and when it is wet it turns to mud and flies into the faces of jockeys and horses.

A mud-splattered Chris Munce summed it up best when he said: “What time do the tractors arrive?”

Fellow jockey Jim Byrne said rider safety had to be paramount.

The Brisbane Race Club had put a major effort into Saturday’s meeting, promoting it as a chance to say goodbye to the old Eagle Farm surface.

BRC Chairman Neville Bell said one or two extra races would be added to Wednesday’s racing.

“I suppose it is ironic we have had a drought for eight months and now it decides to rain,” Bell said.

Earlier, a flu-ridden trainer Rob Heathcote was lucky when he was too slow to scratch his horse Tail and All from the Secutor Securities Handicap (1600m).

Heathcote was keen to scratch Tail and All ($4.70) but decided to run when the favourite L’Entrecote was taken out.

“Kelly Schweida was too quick for me and scratched L’Entrecote so I thought I might as well run,” Heathcote said.

“Tail and All has struggled some times on heavy tracks but he is honest as they come.”

Tail and All’s win continued the good run for apprentice Matt McGuren who has switched to Bruce Hill on the Gold Coast.

“I am here to the end of the year when I am out of my apprenticeship,” said McGuren, who comes from the NSW Northern Rivers region.

Story courtesy of

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