BRC Wants Full Meetings Schedule Restored

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Robert Heathcote

The Brisbane Racing Club is hoping the successful return of the new Eagle Farm track means it can hold its biggest number of meetings in a decade next season.

Queensland’s final race dates will not be finalised until March with several provincial clubs, including the Gold Coast, wanting more metropolitan standard meetings.

The BRC is confident the club warrants 80 race meetings – including 45 Saturday meetings – in the 2020-21 schedule.

The BRC’s application involves 35 meetings at Eagle Farm, including 30 Saturdays, and 45 meetings at Doomben including 15 Saturdays and includes the Tattersall’s Club schedule.

It also includes time for spring renovations for both tracks and a rest of three weeks for each track before its winter carnival dates.

Saturday’s Eagle Farm meeting will mark 13 months since the renovated racetrack returned to operation.

BRC chairman Neville Bell said if the dates were confirmed, racing in Brisbane would return to its highest level since before the closure of Eagle Farm for original renovations in 2014.

Bell said Eagle Farm had met all benchmarks after its first full year of racing as the track prepared to host four consecutive Saturday meetings in February.

He said Eagle Farm was achieving the goals set in the Monteith Report, which was released ahead of the renovation of the track in 2018.

The Monteith Report was written by former Victoria Racing Club chief executive Dale Monteith, who outlined recommendations for the maintenance of the track across several years.

Leading trainer Robert Heathcote said it was vital for the future of racing in the state for Eagle Farm and the BRC to receive as many meetings as possible.

“We suffered through the toughest fives years on record with the construction and re-construction of headquarters so now we must benefit from this state of the art facility,” Heathcote said.

“It is essential that metropolitan Brisbane racing be restored to its full and proper status and the significance of racing in the city should be embraced and not diminished.”

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