Queensland Oaks to be moved from Eagle Farm after heavy pressure

Melody Belle
Melody Belle was one horse that handled conditions at Eagle Farm, which resembled the extremely heavy conditions the Kiwis get across the Tasman.

THE ongoing controversy surrounding the Eagle Farm racing track has come to a head with the rescheduling of Saturday’s Queensland Oaks to Doomben.

Despite previous comments stating a transfer would come at too great a cost and was not justified, Racing Queensland has finally made the decision, shifting the Eagle Farm Saturday card to Doomben.

The Queensland Oaks will now be run over 2200m instead of its traditional 2400m.

The same decision is expected for the Group One Stradbroke Handicap meeting on June 10 and will be confirmed in coming days.

“The decision, in light of the track performance at Eagle Farm yesterday, was made in order to present the best possible surface for group one racing,” a Racing Queensland statement said.

“RQ has consulted widely with industry associations and gained feedback from a wide selection of members including the nation’s leading participants.”


Racing Queensland maintains the Eagle Farm track is safe, but inferior.

“Racing Queensland is committed to providing the outcomes that are in the best interests of the industry as a whole and that includes a racing surface befitting the quality of the horses and races being contested,” RQ chief executive, Dr Eliot Forbes, said.

The fall out from Saturday’s meeting has been extensive, with local trainer Liam Birchley questioning the decision to race at Eagle Farm.

“It is going to kill our industry here. I am sick of going to the races and telling my owners that their horse has worked well and has a winning chance only to see them labour on this track,” Birchley said.

“It is like throwing darts and guessing how they will go.”

Our take and Twitter reaction

The backlash on Twitter has been expansive, with many racing fans dumbfounded as to how racing could continue at Eagle Farm until the track matters are resolved.

In light of a recent high-profile prison release, one Twitter user made the joke of the day.

Animal welfare has to be considered during the Brisbane winter carnival, and as Andrew Bensley reported, horses were coming back with black eyes and several had inhaled mud clods.

If Eagle Farm are wanting punters to bet on their product they have a long way to go to win them back.

Betting at Eagle Farm on Saturday was very much a lottery. Some of the form horses were able to handle the conditions, but seeing talented horses finish over 10 lengths behind the winner isn’t something any punter wants to see.

Big winning margins are common in winter racing and many horses not handling the conditions is understandable, but Brisbane had beautiful weather throughout the week and there’s no way the track should have been heavy.

The drainage isn’t working, the club isn’t working, and there seems to be a lack of ownership within the club.

The consensus with punters is for the Queensland Oaks to be held at the Sunshine Coast and we can’t disagree with that.

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