Fine Cotton Affair Curse on Eagle Farm Lingers to this Day

The recent and ongoing travails of Eagle Farm Racecourse have been off our radar for some time, but as the Randwick autumn carnival wends towards its conclusion, we decided to check in and seek out the latest news.

The Brisbane racing venue was seemingly scammed by unscrupulousgardeners, who left the track in worse shape than it had been, to the extent that after a much-ballyhooed return in spring of 2017, races had to be moved to Doomben, as it was obvious that Eagle Farm was not safe on which to race.

The Group 2 Sir Byrne Hart Stakes for two-year-olds and the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic are on the racing calendar at Eagle Farm in less than a fortnight, but it remains to be seen if the track will be deemed suitable by that time.

The consensus is that Eagle Farm is still too boggy to use for thoroughbred racing and a look at the Brisbane Racing Club’s website had no mention, almost as though Eagle Farm had ceased to exist.

If you must go, Eagle Farm Markets, according to the BRC website, “…have everything, from your essential fruit and vegetables, to gourmet delights. PLUS you can browse specialty gift and fashion stalls.”

We hope those specialty gift and fashion stalls are not the same stalls used to board the horses, although there are some people on our gift lists to whom we would like to give a “specialty gift” from a horse stall.

We have a theory regarding the trouble the course has been experiencing.

It all dates back to 1984, when the ill-conceived and poorly executed Fine Cotton Affair rocked the world of thoroughbred racing and caused damage to some of Australia’s thoroughbred racing elite, including Big Bill Waterhouse and his son Robert.

With the benefit of retrospect, that ring-in scandal seems farcical in scale and scope, compared to the millions that were spent for an overhaul of Eagle Farm that took two years and produced a less than optimal outcome.

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