The reconstructed Toowoomba course proper is on track for re-opening on New Year’s Eve following the successful running of two jump outs on Tuesday morning.
The Toowoomba Turf Club will showcase their new StrathAyr track with the running of the Listed $175,000 Bernborough Handicap (1625m) on December 31.
The new StrathAyr surface replaced the controversial Cushion Track which was installed under the previous control body of Racing Queensland with the reconstruction forcing the track be closed for the several months.
Racing Queensland CEO Darren Condon said the project had progressed as scheduled in preparation for the much-anticipated New Year’s Eve return to racing.
“During the short period since the turf was laid, the roots system has developed and anchored into the reinforced sand profile,” Mr Condon said.
“There is no doubt that the Toowoomba course proper is now on track to be one of the best racing surfaces in Queensland and we are confident that it will be widely appreciated by all licensees in the South-East corner.
“The Darling Downs racing fraternity have been very patient during the construction process and I know they will be very eager to resume racing at Clifford Park.
“The club also now has access to five training tracks after the cushion material was reused on the construction of two new synthetic training tracks and the refurbishment of the existing sand track.”
The $6.9million redevelopment of the Toowoomba track is part of the State Government’s $110 million pledge for racing infrastructure improvements across the state.
“The State Government is rebuilding racing in Queensland and these major works at the Toowoomba Turf Club are an important part of that commitment,” said Racing Minister Steve Dickson.
“The redevelopment project will deliver a world class thoroughbred track to the city of Toowoomba, and enable the club to once again attract strong race fields and bring more patrons back to the track.
The Toowoomba Turf Club will conduct official barrier trials next Thursday, December 19, 2013. Nominations close at midday, Wednesday, December 18.
Brisbane’s leading trainer Robert Heathcote has already earmarked the Bernborough Handicap for his handy stable performer Fillydelphia.
Fillydelphia was beaten a neck by Alma’s Fury in last year’s Bernborough Handicap which was run at Doomben and is going into this year’s version in fine form.
The Bianconi mare ran out an easy winner two starts back over 1400m at Eagle Farm then was beaten one and a quarter lengths by Absalon when asked to carry 58kgs in the Listed $80,000 Tattersall’s Recognition Stakes (1600m) at Doomben on November 30.