Welcome to the last edition of Greyhound Monthly Victoria for 2018. The highlight of the past month was undoubtedly the Melbourne Cup, won by My Redeemer with a great run under wet conditions, and I congratulate his trainer, David Geall, on his first Melbourne Cup win. Despite the rain, it was a very well attended evening with a great atmosphere and the Sandown Park team deserve our thanks for their great work in staging the Cup. In news off the track, the Victorian Government has announced a $4 million boost for greyhound racing which includes an additional $1 million in prizemoney, $2 million to upgrade training facilities across Victoria, and $1 million for track upgrades to improve safety at Cranbourne and Traralgon. This is very welcome news and a strong vote of confidence in the sport’s future. Speaking of track upgrades, I have now met with nine clubs to discuss the Safe Racing Initiative and will be meeting with the remainder over the next month. These meetings have been very constructive, and the clubs are developing their own recommendations and proposals to improve racing safety. It’s also clear the much-improved safety outcomes from the Horsham track redevelopment now provide a recipe for improvements elsewhere.
As part of GRV’s commitment to consultation, we are seeking comments on some proposed Rules of Racing amendments that will make it easier to set up greyhound racing syndicates and that will update the functions of the Greyhound Racing Victoria Integrity Council. You can find out more at greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/rules-ofracing, which includes a submission form, information sheets and FAQs. The closing date for submissions is Friday 7 December at 4pm.
In other news for participants, I am pleased to announce that Leeanne Crawford has been appointed as GRV’s new Participant, Support and Education Development Coordinator. Before starting with GRV, Leeanne was involved in the sport through greyhound ownership, rearing and racing and has been a GOTBA Vic Treasurer and Committee member and member of GRV’s Industry Consultative Group. I am also pleased to advise that the administration of the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club has now been returned to the membership of the Club following its Annual General Meeting on 17 October where the members elected a new committee. I would like to acknowledge the great work by Robert Lane of SED Advisory in steering the club through the period of administration and I thank the new committee members of the club for making themselves available to serve on the committee.
Looking ahead, from 1 January next year, all retired greyhounds will no longer have to wear muzzles in public, regardless of whether they have a green collar or not. While this will help boost re-homing opportunities, it also means that participants, pet greyhound owners, GRV and GAP need to work together to maintain the breed’s strong and positive public reputation. GRV’s Welfare and Re-homing Department has developed a package for participants and new owners which includes information about how to assess a greyhound’s behaviour with other pets, re-training tips and other steps to ensure a smooth transition from racing to pet life. This package will be available later this month along with a pilot of GAP’s new PetCheck service, a modified form of the GAP pre-entry assessment for participants looking to re-home their dogs directly with friends, family or acquaintances. The PetCheck assesses the temperament of the greyhound to determine if it is suitable for re-homing or whether it is suitable to be unmuzzled in public. And coming up in December is the 3rd annual Gippsland Carnival which once again kicks off with the Sale Cup on Boxing Day. The Carnival is now well established as a major part of Victoria’s racing calendar and this year there’s around a quarter of a million dollars in prizemoney across the four Cups and the new Trainers Bonus scheme. It’s a great way to enjoy regional greyhound racing at its best and I look forward to seeing you at the Carnival.