Eagle Farm Track Looking Good for Upcoming Group 1 Race

With just a few weeks to go before the Group 1 meetings, Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell has pronounced the Eagle Farm track to be in great shape and in its healthiest state, with the surface ryegrass growing strong for the winter after disease got the best of its roots, affecting its length and strength in 2020.

Months before the major races, debates about the cushion, surface, and general state of the Eagle Farm track became a worrying concern among the jockeys and trainers as their horses’ performance could be held back by a bad surface. 

Some trainers also refused to let their horses run on a hard and uncushioned surface because it could be detrimental to the animal’s physical health and welfare.

Mr Purnells said that they wouldn’t usually do a renovation of the tracks in time for a big carnival but they had to stop the roots disease from spreading.

Now, a thick grass has been visible on the Eagle Farm track with some racing pundits, who watched Derby Day at the end of May 2021, saying that it’s looking pretty good.

Racing Queensland undertook the last significant renovation of the Eagle Farm track in 2014 by ripping and replacing all of its surfaces. However, when it reopened in 2016, a number of issues sprung with the new tracks with stakeholders saying that the problems have persisted in the last five years because of the track’s mismanagement. 

The CEO also said that they have been continuously coordinating with the Brisbane Racing Club on how to improve the Eagle Farm track. 

Eagle Farm Racecourse Set To Reopen This Summer

Following their efforts in restoring the tracks, Eagle Farm Racecourse is getting ready to reopen the tracks for races before Christmas.

Eagle Farm Racecourse has been mostly out of operation over the past four years due to problems with the re-laying of the track surface. Once the track refurbishments are complete, BRC plans to have 35 race meetings per year, rather than the usual 50, until the newly laid track is tough enough.

The Eagle Farm Racecourse is expected to be fully restored in three years’ time. Until then, the new tracks will be given time to rest in between race meetings.

Photo credit: Brisbane Racing Club/Facebook

Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) General Manager Racing Matt Rudolph recognised the importance of monitoring the recovery of Eagle Farm once the racing starts again.

“A big focus of this track will be its recovery so we can ascertain early how many races and meetings we can run here,” Mr Rudolph said.

“For next year’s Brisbane Racing Carnival, we’ll be looking at running the Kingsford Smith Cup meeting at Eagle Farm with a two-week break then into the Stradbroke meeting. That will ensure the track is at its best for our premier meeting.”

Mr Rudolph also mentioned how the tracks can benefit from rest. He said that Doomben racecourse races superbly after a quick renovation.

Mounting yard in use pre-race at Doomben. Photo credit: kgbo/Wikimedia Commons

Racing Queensland consultant Mick Goodie is the one overseeing the refurbishment of the tracks. He is optimistic about the track’s current progress.

“The track is improving by the day. It has improved immensely in the last few weeks,” Mr Goodie said.

He also said that he is happy with the results of the restoration. He is making sure that the track will be excellent to race on and that “they race consistently and they race fairly”. So far, he is happy with the results of the restoration.

“Everything we are doing here is about getting a good racing surface for a long period of time.”