Swampy Eagle Farm Abandoned for Doomben by Queensland Racing

There was a time in our lives when we lived in a semi-arid environment. When the rains did come, invariably on the days when we had some eagerly awaited outdoor plans, we invariably encountered the persons who were fond of saying, “We need the moisture.”

The extreme of that sentiment has been met and exceeded in autumn/slash winter thoroughbred racing in Australia of late, to the extent that the big June race meeting in Queensland has been moved from Eagle Farm to Doomben.

We do not thing that will upset the horses necessarily, but racing fans who had plans for an Eagle Park sojourn might be a little off-put by Racing Queensland’s decision.

Given, however, that Doomben is about a two-minute drive from Eagle Farm, it would seem a minor inconvenience only, so play on, racing fans.

It would appears as though racing Queensland was more concerned about the turf at Eagle Farm that they were about escaping the seemingly omnipresent showers. Even notoriously capricious Australian weather would not gain much from a two-kilometre move to the east.

Of more significance, perhaps, is that the main races set for June at Eagle Farm have been modified. The sprints, the Group 2 Dane Ripper and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap, have been shortened from 1400 to 1350 metres. Objectively, that should have very little impact, lest you be the trainer of a horse that runs out of space 25 metres from the post.

The Group 1 Queensland Derby and the Group 2 Brisbane Cup, however, have both had 200 metres lopped off, which could radically affect the outcome of the race and the approach of trainers.

Queensland racing does deserve some credit for providing at least some advance notice and everyone can wait, fingers crossed, and hope for a break in the clouds, because quite frankly, many of us no longer feel a need for moisture.

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