The transfer of the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) to this Saturday will make Stradbroke Handicap Day the Super Saturday of the Brisbane Winter Carnival with four Group 1s to be decided.
The Queensland Oaks Race Day last Saturday was abandoned after persistent heavy rain on Friday night and Saturday morning caused the reopening of the reconstructed Eagle Farm track to be postponed until next Saturday.
The field for the Queensland Oaks will stay intact, with the scratchings being reinstated while the field for the Group 2 $175,000 QTC Cup (1300m), also transferred to Stradbroke Handicap Day, will be made up of new nominations.
The Listed $100,000 Lightning Handicap will now be run at Doomben on Wednesday with the distance being amended from 1000m to 1050m while the Listed $100,000 Spear Chief Handicap (1500m) will be added to the Tattersall’s Club Tiara Race Day on June 25.
“It is unfortunate that racing was unable to go ahead at Eagle Farm today but the safety of our participants is our number one priority,” Racing Queensland Acting Chief Executive Officer Sam Adams said.
“There were many factors to consider in devising a contingency plan, but we feel this is the best possible outcome for all participants without impacting on the existing races programmed for the remainder of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
“Re-programming the entire meeting to an alternate day was considered but it was deemed impractical to do so without adversely impacting existing meetings and participants.
“The positive of this situation is we will now have four Group 1 races, four Group 2 races and 2 Listed race on a Super Saturday of racing at Eagle Farm for AAMI Stradbroke Day next Saturday after the transfer of the Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks and the QTC Cup.”
While Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell was disappointed the reopening of Eagle Farm was put back for a second time after the original reopening day on May 11 was cancelled, Saturday’s grand opening is set to be a massive race day.
“It is a massive coup for the return to racing at Eagle Farm to have the biggest race day ever staged in Queensland on Stradbroke Day,” said Bell.
“We are extremely excited about AAMI Stradbroke Day which will be a sensational way to officially open Eagle Farm.”
As well as the Queensland Oaks and the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), the new Eagle Farm track will also host the running of the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) for the three year olds and the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) for the two year olds.