Relief as maligned Eagle Farm track holds up

With the winter carnival approaching there was positive news on the Eagle Farm track which gave participants reason to be cautiously optimistic.

There were nine equine winners at Eagle Farm on Saturday but there may have been a 10th – the track itself.

Since the New Year, there had been crisis meetings and fears of the unthinkable of the premier track being ripped up due to a combination of factors including the hardness of the surface and kickback.

However verti-draining the track and leaving more grass for extra cushion saw Eagle Farm turned out in decent fettle with few complaints on Saturday on a track that was rated a Good 4.

Jockeys reported the track raced evenly and fairly and chief steward Peter Chadwick said there had been no complaints from participants.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer but there was at least some case for cautious optimism only months out from the winter carnival.

It was not perfect but may hopefully be headed in the right direction.

It came on a day when trainer Les Ross indicated filly Mishani Enchanted was likely to head to the $500,000 QTIS Gold Jewel in three weeks.

Mishani Enchanted was easily the most experienced contender in the QTIS 2YO Handicap (1200m) and made it count as she narrowly fended off a strong finish from eye-catcher The Stifmeister who flashed home.

“We were a little bit worried about the 1200(m) today but I did think the race experience would help us, she probably knocked up that last little bit but should improve from that,” Ross said.

“We will probably head to the Jewel.”

Stuart Kendrick was chuffed with the debut of The Stifmeister and vowed to let the dust settle before deciding on a plan going forward.

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