Eagle Farm on hold until April 29 as BRC gives track time to recover after recent work

THE return to Eagle Farm after recent works on the course proper has been delayed to the Group 2 Victory Stakes meeting on April 29 after the BRC made application to transfer two more meetings to Doomben.

The April 15 and 22 fixtures will now be run at Doomben, giving Eagle Farm another fortnight to recover from recent hollow coring and verti-draining of the turf.

BRC Chief Executive Dave Whimpey said on Tuesday the recovery from those measures has taken “longer than planned.”

The Easter Monday (April 17) meeting set down for Eagle Farm will also be moved to a venue yet to be determined.

The move will only heighten speculation that Eagle Farm will not recover in time for the carnival, where it has been slotted to host Group 1 races on three consecutive Saturdays from May 27.

There are still doubts by many in the industry on the probability of Eagle Farm living up to expectations. Punters have also expressed concern for the long-term welfare of Doomben, which copped a battering during the recent big wet.

 

Racing won’t return to Eagle Farm until April 29. e 4. Queensland Cup. Winner Horse #4 Murphy’s Delight. Jockey Jim Byrne. Queensland Cup Races at Eagle Farm. Pics Tim Marsden

Tuesday’s announcement will do little to quell those concerns, but Whimpey said it was the right decision to give the track its best chance of performing to expectations during the carnival — and beyond.

“We’re being proactive about the health of Eagle Farm because we understand the track’s importance to the state’s racing industry,” Whimpey said. “We could race at Eagle Farm on April 15 if urgent but we have … decided we will take the extra fortnight to ensure (it) is in its best condition for the Brisbane Racing Carnival.

“Doomben is in wonderful shape and (track manager) Jim Roberts believes the course proper can handle these meetings before it gets a three-week break for the opening of the Carnival on May 13.”

The meeting programmed for Doomben on Monday April 17 will be transferred to another track.

The meetings at Doomben on April 15 and 22 will have slight distance changes for some races.

The latest move follows the previous switch in venue of last Saturday’s Doomben meeting, which was originally set down for Eagle Farm.

 

Story courtesy Nathan Exelby  Brisbane Courier Mail

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