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Stewards defend Eagle Farm downgrade

Stewards believe they had no choice but to downgrade the track rating at Eagle Farm to a heavy eight despite no rain falling at the track for 10 days.

Eagle Farm was originally rated a soft seven for the first four races on Wednesday but was then downgraded.

It was the latest in continuing problems with the new surface of the track which was opened 12 months ago.

After a period when it raced well the track was closed in March to further consolidate.

At the two meetings since racing resumed at the track there have been clods thrown back and times indicated it was slow to heavy.

Chief steward Allan Reardon said there had been no option but to downgrade the track even though it had received only 2mm in the past 10 days.

“They were running very slow overall times and getting home in even slower last 600 metre sectionals. Staff are replacing clods in the track but it might need rolling,” Reardon said.

Trainer Lindsay Gough had more to worry about before Secret Mo ($1.70 fav) made it three wins from his four starts.

“I don’t know if you have been in an earthquake but that was what it was like in our stables when they knocked down an adjacent set of boxes,” Gough said.

“Secret Mo had a restless night and we nearly scratched but he got the job done.”

On a day of upsets Dazzle Em Sid was one of the few to live up to his betting price and earned himself a Queensland Derby mission.

Dazzle Em Sid ($4) sat outside the leader until the home turn and came away to win by the QTIS Three-Year-Old (2237m) by 6-1/2 lengths.

The gelding was ridden by Andrew Spinks but trainer Matt Kropp also gave credit to Scott Galloway.

“Scott rode him at the Gold Coast at his previous start and he wanted to over-race. But Scott persisted and got him to settle,” Kropp said.

“In today’s race he settled like a real stayer so we will press on with a Derby campaign.”

Brian Smith will also set Order Again on a Queensland Derby path following his 7-1/2 length win over 1500 metres.

Smith said he had overcome many problems with Order Again who needed to win to justify starting in the Rough Habit Plate on Saturday week.

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