Queensland Racing (RQL) is considering changing the future conditions of the Group 1 Queensland Oaks to included mares in the race that is currently restricted to three-year-old fillies only.
The racing board believes that because there are already five Group 1 races of 2,000 metres and above dedicated to three-year-old fillies, it appears unfair that the longest Group 1 mare’s race is just 1,600 metres.
RQL Director of Product Development Paul Brennan understands that the proposed alterations to the Queensland Oaks may not sit well with everyone.
“We are however seeking constructive feedback to canvass all possible ideas,” Mr Brennan said.
Mr Brennan said that any changes would only be made should they appear to benefit the racing industry.
“The Queensland racing industry has a track record of delivering a completely structured platform of feature races that provide maximum opportunity and enable natural progression,” Mr Brennan said.
BRC Chief Executive Officer Stephen Ferguson realised that people may be reluctant to move away from the traditional Oaks conditions.
“We understand this option is a step away from the traditional Oaks, but it is important that all avenues are investigated so as to provide opportunity for all types of horses to acquire black type,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The aim is always to provide a racing schedule to best suit available horse populations.”
Mr Ferguson would like to gain further insight about the issue from racing industry insiders.
“When reviewing the points raised in the discussion paper it is clear that there are issues with the sustainability of three-year-old Group 1 staying events,” Mr Ferguson said.
“We look forward to assessing industry feedback with a view to assisting in the delivery of concepts for the consideration of RQL, BRC and the Australian Pattern Committee to address these issues.”
This year’s Oaks will remain unchanged and will take place at Eagle Farm on June 4.