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Neville Bell denies Doomben sale rumours

Brisbane Race Club chairman Neville Bell has vehemently denied there are any plans to sell Doomben racecourse and centralise all Brisbane racing at Eagle Farm.

The club confirmed this week there was a proposal to move the Group One Doomben 10,000 from its home of 83 years to Eagle Farm.

A final decision will be made within the next fortnight but if it goes ahead, the 10,000 will be run at Eagle Farm on May 27 next year.

The Brisbane Race Club was formed when the Queensland Turf Club and the Brisbane Turf Club merged in 2008.

At the time there was speculation Doomben would eventually be sold and those allegations have again arisen this week.

But Bell said talk of a sale was unfounded rumour and innuendo.

“The sale of Doomben has never been discussed. I can assure you it will never happen on my watch and it is certainly not on anyone else’s agenda,” Bell said.

“It just isn’t true and I hope there aren’t those trying to stir up the old QTC v BTC rivalry stories.”

Bell said the idea of moving the Doomben 10,000 to Eagle Farm made sense from a betting turnover, crowd size and corporate sales point of view.

“It isn’t the first time it has happened as the QTC Sires and Grand Prix were moved to Doomben in recent years,” he said.

“But it is a proposal at this stage and Racing Queensland and the BRC will listen to both sides before a decision is made.”

Bell said he could understand where tradition played a major role but the industry needed to increase its revenue and a move was one step in the right direction.

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