Queensland’s premier racetrack Eagle Farm should have a limited workload of meetings for three years when it resumes racing next year, a review has found.
Eagle Farm has raced up to 45-50 times a year in the past and is the most popular wagering venue in the state with punters.
Racing Queensland appointed former Victoria Racing Club chief executive Dale Monteith to conduct the review of the reasons Eagle Farm was rated unfit for racing from May 27.
RQ and the Brisbane Race club believe if the recommendations are implemented racing can resume at Eagle Farm in April.
The report recommends a major refurbishment of the track including the total removal of the existing grass and thatch layer and re-blending the profile to include angular sand types to improve stability.
It also recommended laying couch grass and a graduated return to a racing for the first year of racing.
Monteith noted a combination of factors between January and April was the genesis for the problems at Eagle Farm.
He said they included an extreme weather event during a heavy race schedule, the treatment of a nematode infestation and the application of organic fertilisers to the surface.
It had contributed to the build-up of an unhealthy organic layer that retarded grass growth and ultimately turf performance.
A key finding was that a reduced racing program should have been in place with well-spaced meetings to permit appropriate maintenance.
Monteith said a maximum of 35 meetings a year should be considered for the three years needed to properly consolidate Eagle Farm.
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