Last month saw a great win by Dyna Hunter in the Warragul Cup, the second leg of the Gippsland Carnival, and you can read more about it in this issue. However, the Carnival’s third leg the Traralgon Cup, has had to be held over this year as Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club is scheduled for a major redevelopment. It is expected that Traralgon will be open for racing again in late 2019. I acknowledge the inconvenience this has caused but as always, we must ensure that the safety of the racers comes first. The Carnival itself is now in its third year and, judging by the very strong attendance numbers at the Sale and Warragul Cups, is now very much a major highlight of Victoria’s greyhound racing calendar.
In other news, GRV’s main phone number, (03) 8329 1100, is now staffed after working hours and during weekends and we have also opened a new Feedback Office to officially receive all complaints, suggestions and compliments about the regulation and management of greyhound racing and welfare in Victoria. Anyone can provide feedback through this Office at: grv.org.au/feedback, whether they are a participant, a stakeholder or a member of the community. The overall goal of the Office is to let participants raise issues and share fresh ideas about how we can do things differently to keep improving greyhound racing in Victoria.
Participants have a wealth of knowledge and experience that GRV is keen to use to help build a strong and sustainable future for the sport. The Office will carry out transparent and accountable investigation of all complaints and pass on suggestions and compliments to the relevant areas within GRV. It can be contacted about matters such as: race day operations; track and club facilities; decisions by stewards or judges; GRV and club policies, procedures and services; animal welfare, health and safety issues and syndication management. Information about integrity matters should continue to be referred to the Greyhound Racing Integrity Unit (GRIU) which can be contacted via the GRIU Hotline: 1300 856 109.
Speaking of the latter, Victoria’s Racing Integrity Commissioner, Sal Perna, will be conducting his annual roadshow in regional and metropolitan locations throughout Victoria during February and March 2019. This year, in response to feedback received from previous roadshow attendees, the sessions will be in the form of a “Q&A” approach, conducted at race clubs on race days. The sessions will build on previous years to create a greater understanding and awareness of the role and responsibilities of the Commissioner, the work the office has undertaken, and give an overview of what is in place to ensure that the Victorian Racing Industry operates free from the influence of crime and corruption. You can find out session dates in your area and submit questions in advance at: racingintegrity.vic.gov.au.
Moving to greyhound welfare issues, the removal of the muzzling requirement now makes it easier for participants to directly re-home their retired greyhounds without the need for the assessments carried out by GAP. However, this means we need to take extra care in ensuring such greyhounds are well prepared for their new lives, both for the dog’s sake and for the reputation of the breed. So, I am asking that participants planning to re-home ensure their dogs undertake the 28-day wind-down period and appropriate socialisation and that new owners are clearly informed about the status of vaccinations and de-sexing for the greyhounds they are adopting.
And a reminder that GRV’s Hot Weather Policy is very much in force at this time of the year and that all participants should be checking regularly with FastTrack and the Bureau of Meteorology’s ‘Detailed 3-Hourly Forecast’ to see which race meets may be affected. General heat advice and support is also available through GRV Racing Services and all Victoria’s greyhound racing clubs are ready to provide temporary accommodation to ensure greyhounds can be relocated from properties under threat of fire.
Looking ahead, we have the final leg of the Gippsland Carnival, the Cranbourne Cup, coming up on 9 February followed by a feast of racing at The Meadows with the Australian Cup Carnival running from 16 February to 2 March, featuring the Temlee, Zoom Top, Rookie Rebel and Fanta Bale Super Stayers events and of course the Cup itself. I look forward to seeing you there.