Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell has defended the plan to move the Doomben 10,000 to Eagle Farm from next year.
Under Racing Queensland’s proposal the Group One weight-for-age race would be moved to the newly renovated Eagle Farm, with the distance changing from 1350 to 1300 metres.
Critics have slammed the plan, saying it will destroy the tradition of the race which has been won by Apache Cat, Takeover Target and Manikato.
“I understand the sentiment but there is a very strong logic to what’s being proposed,” Bell told Sydney’s Sky Sports Radio.
Bell said moving the race would boost wagering turnover and provide crucial income to Queensland racing.
“The industry up here as with all around Australia relies so heavily on the income that’s generated from the wagering turnover,” he said.
“It’s fair to state at the moment that Queensland is behind the eight-ball in that department.”
Bell said before Eagle Farm was re-developed wagering turnover was higher than Doomben.
While the new track has underperformed, Bell said the club expected it to become one of the best racing surfaces in Australia.
“That’s still a little way off but come January-February we fully expect it to be 9-1/2 out of 10,” Bell said.
Racing Queensland will make the final call on the 10,000, with the shift expected to be in place from next year’s winter carnival.