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Punters still like Eagle Farm: Bell

Brisbane Race Club chairman Neville Bell is confident rank and file punters still prefer betting at Eagle Farm despite criticism of the new track surface.

The newly laid Eagle Farm surface has been heavily criticised in the mainstream and social media since the track returned to racing 10 months ago.

But Bell believes the criticism is unfair and in some cases wrong.

“Like everyone I have heard the stories that big betting punters will no longer invest on Eagle Farm races. If that is true the rank and file must be betting a lot more,” Bell said.

“Our commercial agreement means I am not allowed to give exact figures. But for instance wagering on Eagle Farm on March 4 was up five per cent.”

Bell said Doomben had done a great job carrying the workload while Eagle Farm was out of play.

“It is almost the old Catch 22 for Eagle Farm,” Bell said.

“When it was closed officials suddenly realised what we had been saying for years – betting at Eagle Farm is the backbone of the Queensland industry.

“So when we got back racing it has been given a heavy workload in the past 10 months both midweek and Saturdays.

“Eagle Farm will race Monday which means three meetings in nine days.”

“Flemington and Randwick have raced about half as much as Eagle Farm in the past 10 months. So give it time, things will come right.”

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