Eagle Farm’s new stabling complex is up and running after a troubled 12 months which delayed its completion.
The Brisbane Racing Club on Wednesday held an open day for the media to showcase the development which it believes will be a major boost to racing in Queensland.
Eagle Farm is Queensland’s largest track and about 500 horses a morning use the facilities to work.
Most the state’s top trainers have been based on course at Eagle Farm for several years but they will now move to a state-of-the-art 430 box complex in the infield.
It had been hoped trainers would be in the new complex by late last year but the death of two workers on the building site and weather delayed the construction.
Trainer Robert Heathcote and Liam Birchley have moved into the $20 million stabling complex with the rest of the boxes to be filled next month.
The complex is part of a $40 million investment of Brisbane Racing Club Members’ funds into the Eagle Farm infield, in addition to $10 million from Racing Queensland’s Racing Infrastructure Fund for the new course proper.
The work also included a vehicle tunnel to provide access from Nudgee Rd to the Eagle Farm infield, a pedestrian tunnel for access from the infield to the racecourse and an infield carpark for 1000 vehicles.
BRC chairman Neville Bell said flood mitigation works, resurfacing of the two grass training tracks and a modern irrigation system were also major boosts.
“This is a significant investment in a project that will boost the state’s racing industry,” Bell said.
“We’ve designed these stables to capture the breezes and to ensure we’re providing facilities that mean Eagle Farm-trained horses can run to their potential.”
Bell said the BRC was backing the future of racing in Queensland by investing in the stables and other racing developments.
“There is no doubt that prize money levels, especially in provincial areas, have to increase – that’s a matter now recognised by Racing Queensland and the state government,” Bell said.
“The industry should remain confident that prize money levels will be satisfactorily addressed. Trainers and owners need to see improvements.
“As the state’s largest race club, the BRC will do its part to ensure that the training facilities are world-class and capable of taking our trainers into the future.”