Doomben 10,000 expected to disappear in radical Queensland Winter Carnival shake-up

Music Magnate wins the 2016 renewal of the Doomben 10,000. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography
Music Magnate wins the 2016 renewal of the Doomben 10,000. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography

THE iconic Doomben 10,000 — won by turf greats such as Bernborough and Apache Cat — will disappear under a radical proposal to shake up the Queensland Winter Carnival.

In a controversial move which has been likened to shifting the Cox Plate from Moonee Valley to Flemington, the state’s second biggest race is set to transfer from Doomben to Eagle Farm next year.

Under Racing Queensland’s proposed Winter Carnival changes, the Group 1 weight-for-age Doomben 10,000 will have also have a distance change from 1350m to 1300m. It will be run on May 27 and be called either ‘The 10,000’ or ‘Brisbane 10,000’.

The move is designed to accommodate three consecutive Saturdays of Group 1 racing at Eagle Farm, compared to the two it had previously.

Racing officials are keen to capitalise on the enhanced corporate opportunities of the newly developed Eagle Farm.

However the move has been labelled a ‘joke’ by Queensland’s leading trainer Tony Gollan, whose Boom brothers Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom ran the quinella in the 2014 Doomben 10,000.

Quality sprinter Boban (left) and jockey Glyn Schofield dig deep to win the Doomben 10,000 in 2015. Picture Jono Searle

“This is a joke — what is the point of changing it? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Gollan said.

“The Doomben 10,000 has always been a terrific race and I like Doomben as a racetrack.

 “I’ve always loved having the 10,000 at Doomben and looking for the horse from that race that might be the one heading into the Stradbroke Handicap.

“But the Doomben 10,000 is not just a lead-in to the Stradbroke, it is a great race in its own right. Now it will be a totally and utterly different race.”

Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell told The Courier-Mail he was “comfortable” with the bold Doomben 10,000 move.

“I understand that tradition is a part of racing, but we are in an era of evolution of racing in Queensland and we have to look at all these options,” Bell said.

“We think it (moving the 10,000) is worth a try.

“I can understand the sentiment (of the critics of the move). But the logic to move the race seems to be pretty good.”

Trainer Tony Gollan, with Michael Rodd after Spirit Of Boom took out the classic in 2014, has labelled the move as a “joke”. Picture: Jono Searle

Mary Collier was the former director and chairwoman of the now defunct Brisbane Turf Club before it merged with the Queensland Turf Club to create the BRC in 2009.

Collier says moving the 10,000 from Doomben to Eagle Farm is the Queensland equivalent of moving the Cox Plate from Moonee Valley to Flemington.

“Every racetrack deserves its own signature event and the 10,000 is that race for Doomben,” Collier says.

“We don’t need homogenous racing experiences; the industry needs its points of difference.

“There was always a concern that Doomben would lose some of its great racing traditions and history once the two Brisbane clubs merged.”

Queensland’s greatest have contested the Doomben 10,000 in the past, with cult horses Spirit Of Boom (outside), Temple Of Boom (centre) and Buffering fighting out the finish in 2014. Picture: Jono Searle

Other proposed 2017 Queensland Winter Carnival changes include:

* Listed Dalrello Stakes moving from April 8 at Toowoomba to Eagle Farm on April 29

* The Group 3 Fred Best Classic will move a week later from Doomben on May 20 to Eagle Farm on May 27 with the distance being amended to 1400m.

* The Listed Daybreak Lover on June 3 at Eagle Farm changes from 1400m to 1200m to differentiate it from the Fred Best the week prior.

* The Group 2 Sires Produce distance will be changed from 1350m to 1400m (to complement May 27 venue change)


Signature event: The Doomben 10,000 race day has always been very popular. Picture: Jono Searle

Story courtesy Ben Dorries Brisbane Courier Mail


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