Eagle Farm Track Walk
Thursday, 20 September 2018
Thanks to the many Members who turned out at Eagle Farm this morning for a special walk of the new track. My thanks to Racing Queensland consultant Mick Goodie and BRC General Manager Racing Matt Rudolph who spoke openly about the track’s progress on a beautiful spring morning.
For those Members who could not be there, we’ve summarised the key observations from Mick and Matt as we walked from the winning post to the 1600m start and back. Mick’s comments were of great interest to Members. Mick oversaw 11 Melbourne Cup carnivals during his career as Flemington Racecourse Manager. He worked at Caulfield prior to that.
The spring warmth was evident this morning as Mick said that we had moved into the growing season, which was the best time of the year for this track.
“The track is improving by the day. It has improved immensely in the last few weeks. We can’t say yet when the track will return to racing. The track will tell us when it’s ready,” Mick told Members.
“In the last week, we have verti-drained the track and also scarified it and put 2mm of top dressing on. We’re happy with what we’re seeing. Once we have sand-profile tracks right, they are excellent to race on. They race consistently and they race fairly.”
Mick noted that the track had been laid in three separate sections, with the last section from the 1800m to the 1100 put down in April. Members walked on the oldest section from the winning post to the 1800m crossing before heading to the 1600m start.
Matt Rudolph spoke about the need to monitor the recovery of Eagle Farm once the track began racing again.
“A big focus of this track will be its recovery so we can ascertain early how many races and meetings we can run here,” Matt said.
“For next year’s Brisbane Racing Carnival, we’ll be looking at running the Kingsford Smith Cup meeting at Eagle Farm with a two-week break then into the Stradbroke meeting. That will ensure the track is at its best for our premier meeting.
“We’ve seen the benefit of rest. Doomben came back last Saturday after a quick renovation and it raced superbly. Doomben continues to be a remarkable track. We’re already seeing the form from this year’s Brisbane Racing Carnival is stacking up in the early spring. That’s a great sign of a good racetrack here a few months ago.”
Mick Goodie also praised Doomben’s performance over recent years, noting its heavy workload and its strong racing performance.
At the 1600m point, Mick and Matt showed five types of rye grass that were being tested for possible oversewing – if required for the new Eagle Farm track.
“Couch can get brownish in the winter months,” Mick said. “That’s only a cosmetic thing because the brownish appearance does not affect how the track races. The rye can help with the cosmetics particularly when you’ve got big winter race meetings that are being shown to television audiences across the world.
“Everything we are doing here is about getting a good racing surface for a long period of time.”
Thanks again to the Members who walked the track this morning. Thanks to Racing Queensland for making Mick available. We appreciated his openness and his generosity. We will continue to update you with any noteworthy progress at Eagle Farm.