A chance at redemption for Eagle Farm

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After embarrassing debacles on Group I Kingsford-Smith Cup day the last two years, track saviour Mick Goodie has likened the impressive new Eagle Farm track to the Flemington surface he once curated.

Group I racing returns to Eagle Farm for the first time in two years on Saturday – two years since the shambolic scenes on Kingsford-Smith Cup day in 2017.

Things got worse when star jockey Kerrin McEvoy was reported to have described it as “the worst track I’ve ever ridden on” after the first race.

The Doomben track dramas were no doubt caused by the massive workload the track had to shoulder in the absence of Eagle Farm.

But after an Eagle Farm track renovation and overhaul by track specialist Goodie, the former Flemington curator, Eagle Farm has generally raced extremely well since re-opening last December.

And Goodie expects that to continue on Kingsford-Smith Cup day this Saturday as well as the Group I Stradbroke and Tatts Tiara days next month.

“The (Eagle Farm) profile is now very similar to Flemington and I think it will be a very consistent track for a long time as long as it is managed correctly,” Goodie said.

“It’s like the Flemington or the Randwick of Queensland and it should be treated that way.

“I am a great advocate of not over-using it and that’s why the Queensland Oaks meeting (on Saturday week) is being held at Doomben this year.

“I don’t expect any issues at all with the Eagle Farm track in the Group I meetings we have coming up.

“We have seen there this year that horses at the back have every chance to run on and try to pick the leaders up and they will keep doing that – every horse gets its chance.

“I think that 95 percent of the time this Eagle Farm track will race as a good (4) or a good (3).”

Eagle Farm is scheduled to host a total of 26 meetings this year before traffic is increased to a probable 32 meetings there next year.

Goodie wouldn’t like to see it host any more than that at this stage.

“We not only need to keep the track in the best condition but we need to focus on the fact that people are really wanting to race at Eagle Farm at the moment and we want to keep it that way,” he said.

The Eagle Farm track for Saturday’s Kingsford-Smith Cup meeting was rated a good (4) as of 11.30am on Thursday.

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