Queensland Oaks Day on June 4 has been earmarked as the new date set down for the re-opening of the newly reconstructed Eagle Farm racecourse.
The Eagle Farm course proper has undergone a complete resurfacing and racing was scheduled to return there on May 11 in preparation for the return of Group 1 racing during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
But following a special gallop on the new surface on Wednesday morning, the Brisbane Racing Club along with the track contractors Evergreen Turf, agreed that the best option was to delay the re-opening until June 4 for the running of the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m).
The other Group 1 races scheduled to be run at Eagle Farm over the Winter Carnival are the $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), the $600,000 Queensland Derby (2400m) and the $600,000 J.J. Atkins (1600m) on June 11 as well as the $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) on June 25.
“The track is progressing well but there is one section that will benefit from more time after an extremely testing summer,” said BRC Chief Executive Officer Dave Whimpey in a press release today.
“We galloped horses again on Wednesday and we were very pleased with the progress of the track since Buffering galloped in early March. The surface has nearly reached full maturity across most of the course proper.
“But there is one area from about the 300 metres to the end of the straight – closer to the rail – that is taking longer to bounce back from the summer.
“Our principal consultants advised us that we could race on May 11 but they told us it would be wiser to forego a midweek meeting to ensure the track was in the best condition for three Group 1 meetings in June.
“We’ll conduct barrier trials on the track in late May and we’ll be ready for the return to this historic track in June.”
Several delays in the re-construction of the Eagle Farm track have frustrated the Brisbane Racing Club, its members and the racing participants who are now looking forward to returning to the headquarters of Queensland Racing.
Eagle Farm hasn’t seen any racing since it closed on August 15, 2014, forcing the prestigious 2015 Winter Carnival Group 1s to be conducted at Doomben and the Gold Coast.