Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) recently conducted walks of the Eagle Farm track for BRC members, South East Queensland trainers and racing officials.
The walks were led by RQ Senior Track Specialist Mick Goodie, who oversaw 11 Melbourne Cup Carnivals during his career as Flemington Racecourse Manager and BRC General Manager of Racing, Matt Rudolph.
Mr Goodie said we had now moved into the growing season, which was the best time of year for the track.
“The track is improving by the day. It has improved immensely in the last few weeks,” he said.
Mr Goodie detailed recent works to verti-drain and scarify the track before applying 2mm of top dressing.
Tests conducted on 5 October 2018 showed pleasing sod strength, an average root depth of 125mm ascertained from samples taken at eight points around the track, and grass leaf length of 65mm.
“Everything we are doing here is about getting a good racing surface for a long period of time. We’re happy with what we’re seeing. Once we have sand-profile tracks right, they are excellent to race on. They race consistently and they race fairly,” he said.
Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said he was pleased to see the track progressing toward a return to racing.
“Racing will return to Eagle Farm only once rigorous testing, gallops and trials are conducted,” he said.
“However, work is progressing on a timeframe for a return to racing and we are hopeful to have horses gallop on the track within four to six weeks to test the effects of hoof penetration on the racing surface.”
BRC General Manager of Racing Matt Rudolph highlighted the need to monitor the recovery of Eagle Farm once racing resumed at the track.
“A big focus of this track will be its recovery so we can ascertain early how many races and meetings we can run here,” he said.
“For next year’s Brisbane Racing Carnival, we’ll be looking at running the Group One races at Eagle Farm at fortnightly intervals, allowing a nice break into the Stradbroke meeting. That will ensure the track is at its best for our premier meeting.”
RQ and the BRC will conduct additional track walks with Jockeys and other stakeholders in coming weeks.