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Doomben confirmed as Qld Oaks venue

The Queensland Oaks meeting has been transferred from the much-maligned Eagle Farm track to Doomben.

Racing Queensland is also expected to confirm the Group One Stradbroke Handicap meeting on June 10 will be transferred to Doomben but it will first have to be cleared legally by the RQ board.

RQ officials met with Brisbane Race Club representatives for an hour on Monday morning to discuss the changes.

Racing Minister Grace Grace was to attend the meeting but was called to cabinet at the last minute.

Following the meeting, the BRC was issued with two legal control body instructions – the first not to race at Eagle Farm on Saturday and the second to race at Doomben.

No legal instruction was issued regarding the Stradbroke but it is expected to be given the green light at an upcoming RQ board meeting.

The switch followed wide-ranging complaints from industry members about the state of the Eagle Farm track during Saturday’s Kingsford Smith Cup meeting.

The change of venue means some distance changes with the Queensland Oaks going back from 2400m to 2200m, the Moreton Cup from 1300m to 1200m, the Lightning Handicap from 1000m to 1050m, the Spear Chief Handicap from 1500m,to 1600m, and the Phoenix from 1500m to 1350m.

The distances for the P J O’Shea Stakes, Bill Carter Stakes and Helen Coughlan Stakes will remain the same.

BRC chairman Neville Bell said he was unable to comment further than to confirm the club had been instructed to race at Doomben and would comply.

He said staff were now working to ensure corporate functions and pre-sales could be handled at the smaller Doomben course.

The next scheduled Eagle Farm meeting is for Tattersall’s Tiara day on June 24 but no decision has been made on it.

Maintenance work is continuing at Eagle Farm.

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