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Track complaint mars Doomben G1 meeting

Racing Queensland is expected to hold an inquiry into the track problems that caused a delay to the Queensland Oaks meeting at Doomben.

Saturday’s meeting was put back 90 minutes after jockeys raised concerns about the state of the track in the back straight.

It is the third year in a row trouble has hit a major Group One meeting in Brisbane.

Last year there was widespread criticism of the Eagle Farm track after the running of the Group One Kingsford Smith Cup.

The Oaks meeting, which was scheduled for a week later, was switched to Doomben.

In 2016 the Oaks meeting was called off on the morning of the race after a deluge drenched the track.

After the running of the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, race five on Saturday, some jockeys raised concerns about a section of the track near the 1100m.

A deputation of riders led by Jim Byrne, Kerrin McEvoy and Craig Wiliams joined track staff and stewards to inspect the track.

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After 40 minutes chief steward Allan Reardon returned and called all jockeys, trainers, owners and the media into an impromptu conference.

“The situation is we hoped the light roller on the area would allow us to continue. That doesn’t appear to have happened,” Reardon said.

“The alternatives are to just go out and ride on it and plot your own course. Or to bring the rail out two metres which will take about an hour.”

It was decided to move the rail and racing could proceed after another inspection.

Racing resumed at 3.37pm with the running of race six which was due to run at 2.20pm.

The remaining three races were then run with shorter intervals in between.

“We had to work in with Sky Channel but we got the two Group One races in and then were able to get the Fred Best Classic run,” Reardon said.

“It was important that we ran the Fred Best because it is a ballot-free race for the Stradbroke.”

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