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Stradbroke Handicap moved to Doomben in Winter Carnival overhaul

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The Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap will be run at Doomben this year as a result of a last minute overhaul of the Brisbane Winter Carnival major race days.

Clearly Innocent, above, is the favourite for the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben. Photo by Steve Hart.

Clearly Innocent, above, is the favourite for the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben. Photo by Steve Hart.

Earlier today Racing Queensland transferred Saturday’s Queensland Oaks meeting to Doomben following major criticism on how the reconstructed Eagle Farm track was performing well under expectations.

Last Saturday’s Eagle Farm meeting that featured the running of the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) which had to be run on a heavy 8 rated track even though there had been no rainfall recorded in the previous seven days.

The Stradbroke Handicap is the feature race of the Brisbane Winter Carnival and it will be run again at Doomben over 1350m on June 10 after being decided there two year’s ago while the Eagle Farm track was undergoing a complete revamp.

Below is the statement released by Racing Queensland late today confirming the transfer of the Stradbroke Handicap race day from Eagle Farm to Doomben.

“Racing Queensland (RQ) has decided to transfer the remaining BRC Racing Carnival race days to Doomben, in light of the track performance at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

“The decision was made after consultation with industry associations and some of the nation’s leading participants in order to present the best possible surface for Group 1 racing in Queensland.

“Earlier today, RQ announced the BRC’s Queensland Oaks meeting on June 3 would be transferred to Doomben.

“After further consultation with the club and other stakeholders RQ also decided to transfer The Stradbroke Handicap to Doomben scheduled for Saturday, June 10.

“RQ CEO Dr Eliot Forbes said Doomben offered a more suitable surface than Eagle Farm for Group 1 racing at this stage.

“The consensus from the feedback was that while Eagle Farm was safe for racing, it is an inferior racing surface,” Dr Forbes said.

“Racing Queensland is committed to providing 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.

“Eagle Farm and Doomben are premier venues for racing in Queensland and we want to ensure the racing experience at both is consistent with that standard.

“This has not been an easy decision. However, the Board has taken into account feedback from all stakeholders and we are united in wanting the best outcomes for the industry as a whole.”

Dr Forbes said RQ will be working closely with the BRC over the coming weeks to ensure an enduring solution is identified to remediate the Eagle Farm track.

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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