In the May edition of the Monthly, we salute the retirement of two great racers, Poke The Bear and Jesaulenko, with a look back at their career highlights, and cover the Horsham Cup, won this year in fine style by superstar Orson Allen. And there’s a story on the National Adoption Day, held this year on Sunday 28 April with The Meadows hosting the Victorian leg. Instigated by GRV’s GAP, the National Adoption Day is now in its second year and not only finds homes for hundreds of greyhounds but also helps generally boost the profile of the breed as great pets. I’d like to acknowledge here the contribution of The Meadows, volunteers, and GRV and GAP staff for making it a great day for 71 beautiful Victorian dogs and the lucky families who adopted them.
Also covered in this issue is the Metro Spring Carnival, a new racing initiative that brings together some of the biggest events in the Victorian greyhound racing calendar. It will also incorporate races for greyhounds of all grades, so more people and greyhounds will be involved in what will be Victorian greyhound racing’s richest carnival. Speaking of staying up to date with all the racing news, you will probably all be aware of GRV’s Watchdog app, which was released in February. While it was developed very much as a form guide, more and more participants and GRV staff including myself are finding it also provides much of the data available on FastTrack but in a much more user-friendly way for smartphones and tablets. While it can’t be used for nominations and some other FastTrack functions, it’s a fast and very convenient way to look up results, form, pedigree and other details for the thousands of greyhounds racing in Victoria. And more features will be added soon that will boost The Watchdog both as a form guide and as a great reference tool even if you’re not wagering. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can download the Watchdog app from the iTunes and Google app stores or access it online for smartphones at: watchdog.grv.org.au.
On the subject of grading and race programming I’d like to thank those committed trainers who approached me to have an important discussion about aged prize money and Tier 3 racing. Our roundtable meeting was very constructive and GRV was very amenable to introducing some changes to address the concerns raised by the trainers. I’d also like to remind you that GRV is releasing another chapter of its Code Support Book this month to help participants transition to compliance with the new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds, which commences on 1 January 2020. The May release covers Code requirements for preparing dogs for retirement and re-homing, breeding and greyhound emergency welfare issues and protocols. You can download it and other support materials at greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/code-of-practice or call our Code Support Line on 1300 144 360 for more information and advice.
Looking ahead, another reminder that the 2019 Coursing season is now underway. I’ve often said that coursing is Victoria’s 14th greyhound racing club and it’s growing again in popularity among trainers. And it’s a great introduction to the sport at a real grassroots level for both new participants and fans. You can find out more about upcoming coursing meets at: ncavictoria.com/2201. And going from the grassroots to the sand, we have the Warrnambool Cup happening on 1 May followed by Australia’s richest race for stayers, the Sandown Cup on Friday 24 May and I hope to see you there.