New venue to be decided for Queensland Oaks

The Brisbane Racing Club are set to challenge Racing Queensland today after the governing body announced yesterday that the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Brisbane Queensland Oaks (2400m) will not be run at Eagle Farm this Saturday.

The Darren Weir trained Kenedna, above, is one of the top fancies for the Queensland Oaks. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

The Darren Weir trained Kenedna, above, is one of the top fancies for the Queensland Oaks. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

The Queensland Oaks meeting was programmed to be run at his traditional home but following an outcry over the condition of the revamped Eagle Farm track, Racing Queensland released a statement on Sunday that the Group 1 classic for the fillies would have to be run at another track.

“Racing Queensland has decided to transfer next Saturday’s Brisbane Racing Club Queensland Oaks meeting.” the statement read.

“The decision, in light of the track performance at Eagle Farm yesterday, was made in order to present the best possible surface for Group 1 racing.

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

“Consensus amongst the feedback was, that while the track was safe for racing, it is an inferior racing surface.

“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,” Racing Queensland chief executive officer Dr Eliot Forbes said.

“RQ will examine all avenues for the best placement of the race meeting, with an announcement to industry participants later today.

“RQ will work closely with the BRC over the coming days to determine the best course of action for the remainder of the Brisbane Racing Carnival meetings.

The Eagle Farm track on Kingsford-Smith Cup Day last Saturday was rated a heavy 8 even though there had been no rainfall in the previous seven days.

While everyone agreed that the track was safe for racing, it was still heavily criticized by industry participants from jockeys to owners to trainers.

While the Brisbane Racing Club is against the moving of the Queensland Oaks to another venue at this late notice, the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association support the move.

“We are fully supportive of the decision made by Racing Queensland,” state executive Cameron Partington told The Courier-Mail.

“We understand the BRC’s position and have sympathy for their plight, but we gave them every opportunity to show the track was OK.

“But on the first day of the carnival without weather intervention, the track, although it raced safe, was clearly below the standard required for any racing, let alone Group 1s.

“If we happened the get unfavourable weather in the next fortnight, the track becomes potentially unraceable, which would be a bigger mess than we are already in.”

Leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir will saddle up one of the favourites for the Queensland Oaks, last start The Roses winner Kenedna, and is supportive over the move away from the controversial Eagle Farm track.

“It will give you a little more confidence,” Weir said.

“The way the track was, you didn’t know how your horse was going to run.

“They need to be congratulated, because at least they are trying to do something about.”

The Chris Waller trained Group 1 Schweppes Oaks winner Egg Tart and Sturat Webb’s South Australian Fillies Classic winner Ana Royale were also at the top of the market order for the Queensland Oaks before betting at Ladbrokes.com.au was suspended.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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