Horse Racing

Much-maligned Eagle Farm circuit put under microscope as industry heavyweights look for answers

Trainers walked away from Wednesday’s meeting with Racing Queensland to discuss the state of the much-maligned Eagle Farm track satisfied their concerns will be addressed.

The Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers’ Association called for a meeting with the governing body this month due to ongoing concerns at the venue.

Track hardness and kickback were the two key areas the ATA and participants felt must be addressed with immediate effect.

The meeting saw some of the biggest names in Queensland racing air their concerns to RQ chief executive Brendan Parnell and tracks manager Greg Puckeridge as well as Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell.

The ATA invited the top three metropolitan trainers to attend, but David Vandyke was unavailable, leaving Tony Gollan and Toby Edmonds.

Trackwork on the Eagle Farm track back in December. Picture: Annette DewSource:News Corp Australia

Queensland jockeys association representative Glen Prentice, experienced Group 1 hoops Jim Byrne and Michael Rodd as well as young gun Ben Thompson, were all present.

Partington felt the meeting was productive for all parties.

“All the right people were in the room and we were happy that they responded to having the meeting and acknowledged there are some things that can be worked on at the track,” he said.

“The track was one of the most brilliant tracks in Australia for a long time and our goal is to see it back to that level.”

Racing Queensland acknowledged participants concerns in a statement released to The Courier Mail late on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s important that RQ and the BRC continue to engage with key stakeholders, including the trainers and jockeys, to ensure that the course proper is befitting of our major metropolitan track,” Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said.

Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell. Picture: Tara CroserSource:News Corp Australia

“Having listened to today’s industry feedback, we will continue to refine our maintenance program to ensure the racing surface provides further cushioning ahead of the winter carnival.

“This includes further consultation in the lead up to and following our winter carnival to ensure that we are providing the best possible racing surface at Eagle Farm.”

Horse Racing: With only a few strides to go the heavily backed favourite has slammed on the brakes leaving punters heartbroken….

Horse Racing: With only a few strides to go the heavily backed favourite has slammed on the brakes leaving punters heartbroken.

The meeting was the latest instalment on a long list of recent troubles at the track, which plays host to Queensland racing’s most coveted Group 1 — the Stradbroke Handicap.

Eagle Farm was first ripped up in 2014 but has struggled to race the same since and has been a consistent source of frustration for participants.

More than $1 million has been spent on the upkeep and refurbishments of the surface over the past year.

However, the maintenance did little to stop matters reaching boiling point in the New Year.

Originally published asRacing heavyweights weigh in over Eagle Farm fiasco

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