February was another busy month for Victorian greyhound racing with the Australian Cup Carnival featuring some great racing action, including a champion performance by Australia’s best stayer, Tornado Tears, in the Group 1 Zoom Top, a solid win by rising star, Deliver, in the Group 1 Rookie Rebel and a run by Barooga Brett in the Temlee that’s positioned him as dual Group 1 winner. And the Gippsland Carnival wrapped up with a great performance by Orson Allen to win the Cranbourne Cup.
There are a lot of very good greyhounds racing in Victoria at the moment and to help punters and participants make the most of this, GRV has released the Watchdog mobile form guide with a range of features that you can read about in this issue of the Monthly. New features will be added in the coming months and I ask you to spread the word about this new app, which puts everything punters need to know in their hand, and can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google Apps stores.
As you are aware, the Victorian Government’s new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds will commence on 1 January 2020. GRV is developing a Support Book to help participants manage their compliance with the new Code across areas such as facility construction and management, breeding, health and welfare, emergency management and retirement, and you can find out more in this issue . The Support Book will be released in monthly sections, starting in March. It will include explanations and examples, templates for recording compliance protocols and links to useful reference materials.
I’d also like to remind participants that GRV’s new Penalty Guidelines for Prohibited Substances are now in force, following a public consultation process last November and you can find them at greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/policies-and-guidance. They cover the range of penalties that GRV may seek when making submissions to the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) about the use of prohibited substances. It is important to note that such offences will continue to be treated on an individual basis and factors such as prior offences, remorse, cooperation and action already taken to address problems, will be considered. However, when making submissions on this or any other issues to the RADB , GRV will always be acting in its primary role as a regulator with a statutory responsibility to protect the sport’s integrity and the welfare of greyhounds.
Speaking of greyhound welfare, this issue has a story on how the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club responded to a bushfire in the Gippsland region last month. The club acted quickly and effectively to support affected participants, much like the Sale GRC handled a similar fire situation earlier this summer. These are great examples of how Victorian greyhound racing is not just a sport but a community too and I thank everyone involved for their work. Speaking of which, one of the most loved and respected members of the GAP community, Don Graham, passed away earlier this month and you can read more about him in this issue. I want to personally acknowledge Don for nearly twenty years of volunteering at GAP and fostering many greyhounds on the way to their forever homes.
Looking ahead, Sandown will be hosting a Greyhound Community Day on 23 March. These events are very popular both for people who already own greyhounds and for those thinking about adopting one and I encourage you to spread the word about the Sandown Community Day. And there’s more great racing action coming up over March, including the Horsham Cup on 9 March. Before then, of course, we will see the finals of the Australian Cup Carnival at The Meadows on 2 March, one of the great events on the greyhound racing calendar worldwide. The Meadows always puts on a great show for the Australian Cup and it’s a great way to introduce friends to all the colour and excitement of greyhound racing. I hope to see you there.