Stripping Doomben of its signature race would be a classic error

OFFICIALS have outlined reasons for the proposed Doomben 10,000 switch and what the bean counters are selling does not justify torching an iconic race.

It is said the move would be worth $100,000 to the Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland’s return on turnover at Eagle Farm is 10 per cent higher than at Doomben.

With the BRC set to be one of the most prosperous clubs in the country when its master plan is in place, a $100,000 cash grab in the short term is hardly life-changing.

And it is not as if the house full sign has gone up on 10,000 day in recent years.

A 10 per cent turnover hike on a single day is hardly going to eat into RQ’s $20 million headache. If that is the criteria, let’s shift the Magic Millions and Ipswich Cup to Eagle Farm while we are at it.

BRC chairman Neville Bell on Wednesday ruled out rumours of a Doomben sale as “absolute nonsense”. “It’s not in our wildest dreams. It’s not in our thinking and never will be,” he said.

But stripping the track of its signature race is.

Brisbane Race Club chairman Neville Bell has ruled out selling Doomben. Picture: Tara Croser

“It’s a bit like the Sires Produce being moved from Eagle Farm,” Bell said.

No it’s not.

The direct comparison would be stripping the Stradbroke from Eagle Farm. Or the Cox Plate from Moonee Valley. The Caulfield Cup from Caulfield, or the Golden Slipper from Rosehill.

There was a push for the Australian Turf Club to take the Golden Slipper to Randwick after the STC-AJC merger.

While the ATC did switch some feature races, the biggest jewel was left untouched. Wisely, the ATC decided every track needs a famous race to solidify its identity.

Rosehill is home of the Golden Slipper just as Doomben is home to the Doomben 10,000.

Brisbane has perhaps two races considered iconic in a national sense and now the proposal is to strip one of its identity.

It would be a betrayal of the history of that race and the great champions, such as two-time winner Chief De Beers, that have won it to try to re-create it in any other form, regardless of any short-term fix.


Story courtesy Nathan Exelby – Brisbane Courier Mail

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