Wet weather forces Brisbane Winter Carnival shake up

Eagle Farm
Eagle Farm will host all seven Queensland Group 1 races this year. (Photo: Brisbane Racing Club)

After postponing Saturday’s Doomben Cup meeting until Wednesday, May 25, due to weather, the Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland have on Sunday confirmed that the Doomben meeting will be abandoned, with feature races set to be run on future race days.

The Group 1 Doomben Cup, Group 2 The Roses and Group 3 BRC Sprint will all be run and won on Saturday, May 28, at Eagle Farm, constituting a 10-race, triple Group 1 meeting.

In order to facilitate the three black-type races on Queensland Derby Day, both the Benchmark 80 Handicap (2200m) and Benchmark 85 Handicap (1600m) have been rescheduled to Doomben’s meetings on May 30 and June 1 respectively.

Saturday’s Eagle Farm meeting will now hold 10 black-type races, with three Group 1 events, two Group 2 races, four Group 3 races and one Listed event.

Some major distance changes have been made, with both the Doomben Cup and The Roses to be run over 2100m, rather than 2000m, while the BRC Sprint will drop back from 1350m to 1300m.

Other races from the abandoned Doomben Cup meeting that will be run at later dates include the Group 3 Pam O’Neill Stakes (1600m), Listed Chief De Beers (1110m) and Darby McCarthy 3YO (1110m) – with those events all rescheduled until Doomben‘s July 9 meeting.

On top of that, the abandoned Benchmark 85 Handicap (1200m) and Benchmark 78 Handicap (1600m) will now be contested on Friday, June 3, at the Sunshine Coast.

Finally, the Listed Bill Carter Stakes (1200m) for two-year-old fillies will be run next Saturday, June 4, at Eagle Farm on Queensland Oaks Day.

Read the Brisbane Racing Club’s Statement

“FOLLOWING another 30mm of rain since Saturday’s meeting was called off, a decision has been made by Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club to abandon the postponed meeting,” the club said.

“Doomben Track Manager Ross Smith and QRIC’s Chairman of Stewards Peter Chadwick both agreed it was extremely unlikely Doomben would be able to race on Wednesday given the additional rain since Saturday and the forecast for up to 10mm on Monday, 6mm on Tuesday and potentially 8mm
on Wednesday.

“As a result, the meeting has been abandoned, but all of the feature races from that meeting will be re-scheduled on other race programs.

“This Saturday, Eagle Farm will now host a 10-race card, with the originally programmed Moët & Chandon Queensland Derby and TAB Kingsford Smith Cup now joined by the XXXX Doomben Cup (2100m) to provide a day of triple Group 1 racing.

Zaaki will now get the chance to win the Doomben Cup for a second time and also earn a $200,000 bonus if successful, having already won the Hollindale Stakes. A win would therefore take his earnings beyond the $8Million mark.

“The decision was made ahead of nominations on Monday to provide certainty to all parties, including travelling jockeys and trainers, to make plans this week after what has been an unfortunately challenging time owing to the persistent weather event this month.”

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