Saturday, May 17th, 2017 was the last time they raced at Eagle Farm racecourse.
There was an enormous amount of excitement when the governing body of Racing Queensland with the LNP announced the $22 million redevelopment of Eagle Farm in June 2014 with the job supposed to be finished by the following year’s Winter Carnival.
Not only did racing not return in time, but it has been huge ordeal to get to where we are today. Everything that could have gone wrong has, including the use of the wrong turf, sand that was too fine and funds being cut by the new government to name a few.
Alas, racing returns to Brisbane’s ‘other’ track this Saturday and we have taken a look back to what the Racing world was like the last time they raced at Eagle Farm way back in May 2017!
Winx Was Good But Not Yet Great
Way back in May 2017, superstar mare Winx had only two Cox Plates to her name. She had only won 12 Group 1s and her winning streak, which started in the Sunshine Guineas, was only at 17.
Chautauqua Was Thrilling Crowds
Just over a month previous, the Grey Flash had given racing fans one of the most thrilling moments in the history of the sport when he came from from an impossible position to take out the T.J Smith at Royal Randwick. They were simpler times.
James McDonald Was Suspended
James McDonald had recently been disqualified from riding for 18 months, a time which he spent travelling overseas and seeing the sights. The break seemed to served him well as returned to the track where he left off.
Clearly Innocent Was Winning
Clearly Innocent took out the feature event, The Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup at Eagle Farm back on the 17th May 2017. He has not won a race since.
Pierata Showed His Potential
Pierata ran third in the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes on that same day in 2017. Melody Belle won the race but it is safe to say that Pierata has turned into the better horse. The son of Pierro has gone on the win over $2.7 million in prize money including wins in the Magic Millions Guineas, the Group 2 Missile Stakes and Group 2 Sydney Stakes. He was narrowly denied in the VRC Sprint down the Flemington straight on Derby Day.
Darren Beadman Was Head Trainer of Godolphin
There was a short period in time between when John O’Shea was head trainer of Godolphin and James Cummings took over where Darren Beadman was in charge of the operation. Seems like an eternity ago!
The Autumn Sun Was Purchased
Lot 47 at the 2017 Inglis NSW Australian Easter Yearling Sales was a colt by Redoute’s Choice out of a Galileo mare in Azmiyna. The horse would go on to win his first three race starts including the Group 1 J.J Atkins as a two year old. He returned to win the Rosehill Guineas as well as the Stallion making Caulfield Guineas by four and a half lengths. The Autumn Sun has now won over $2.2 million and is worth considerably more as a breeding prospect.
Shaun Bridges Was The Track Manager At Eagle Farm
He is no longer the track manager at Eagle Farm