The 2016 Queensland Oaks meeting at Eagle Farm has been called off due to persistent rain during Friday night and Saturday morning.
The forecast heavy rain predicted by the Bureau Of Meteorology arrived Friday night and continued throughout Saturday morning, giving the Racing Queensland Stewards no choice but to abandon the meeting.
The track was inspected by Racing Queensland stewards early on Saturday morning. After being rated a Heavy 9 the Oaks Day meeting was given the go ahead. However, after a further inspection following heavy rain the meeting was called off at 9am.
“It’s just heavy rain, wind. The horses galloped at 6am. We were satisfied prior to and after the gallop the surface was fine,” Chief Steward Allan Reardon said.
“But those marks are full of water now. The conditions since then have worsened and there was also an issue that the ambulance couldn’t get over the A grass.”
The Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) was the highlight of the eight event program that also had significant lead up races for later on in the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Several sprinters were getting their last chance to gain a start in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm next week if they were to win the Group 2 $175,000 MIRVAC QTC Cup (1300m).
And the Group 2 $250,000 Pages Event Equipment Hire Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) gives several stayers their last lead up run going towards the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm next Saturday.
The stewards and the Brisbane Racing Club committee are currently meeting to see if the Queensland Oaks can be rescheduled to another day, possibly on Stradbroke Handicap next Saturday.
Eagle Farm had been closed since August 2014 for a complete reconstruction of the course proper and racing was due to resume there on May 1 but was pushed back to today when it was feared the new surface wasn’t ready for racing at that stage.