The Stradbroke Handicap will be run at Doomben in 2015 with Racing Queensland confirming a $10 million upgrade to Eagle Farm won’t be completed in time for the state’s most prestigious race.
Racing Queensland chief executive Darren Condon said an inability to guarantee Eagle Farm would be in perfect condition for Brisbane’s winter carnival features prompted them to move four major meetings to other tracks.
“We made it clear from the start that we would not race at Eagle Farm if the surface was not 100 per cent ready and we could not be sure that would be the case this far out from the carnival,” Condon said in a statement.
“The $10 million upgrade of the state’s premier facility – the Eagle Farm course proper – will have a significant impact on the future of racing in the state and if waiting a year means preserving the track for the next 30 years then this is clearly the best decision for the industry.”
The Oaks day meeting has also been moved to Doomben while the Tatt’s Tiara for the fillies and mares will be run at the Gold Coast.
The venue switches will also necessitate distance changes, significantly to the Stradbroke which will be reduced from 1400m to 1350m while the Queensland Derby and Oaks will be run over 2200m instead of the traditional 2400m.