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Eagle Farm gets thumbs up for return

Eagle Farm has been given the green light to host next Saturday’s Victory Stakes meeting after three horses galloped on the course proper.The track has been sidelined since March 25 and has undergone a series of works in a bid to get it to a normal program of racing ahead of its annual spring renovation…

Eagle Farm has been given the green light to host next Saturday’s Victory Stakes meeting after three horses galloped on the course proper.

The track has been sidelined since March 25 and has undergone a series of works in a bid to get it to a normal program of racing ahead of its annual spring renovation in October. It is understood a number of maintenance procedures have also been changed in the past month.

Internationally travelled jockey Mark Du Plessis was one of the riders to test the surface on Friday, riding Stradbroke hope Victorem, and he said it was vastly different to what it felt like in March.

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“I was the first one to go on Victorem and he felt good underneath me,” he said.

“They were getting into it a little bit, I would have given a reading of about a (Soft) 5. There was quite a bit of moisture in the soil, but I was told that won’t be there come race day.

“They will know more if they had a set of trials go over it, but, with no pressure, the horses felt good. I couldn’t really fault it.”

Eagle Farm is scheduled to race next Saturday and then again a fortnight later for the Stradbroke-J.J. Atkins Group 1 double.

Meanwhile, Racing Queensland has made further changes to zone racing, with the state’s thoroughbreds set to be reduced to just three regions from Monday. It follows the merging of the two metropolitan regions earlier this month.

The new regions will comprise Greater SEQ (from the NSW border as far north as Bundaberg and west to Miles and Talwood), Central and North Coast (from Gladstone and Thangool, north to Cooktown) and Greater Western (from Roma and west to Mount Isa).

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