Firstly, I am very pleased to announce that GRV is boosting prizemoney and other returns by around $1.3 million over this May and June, both through increasing stakes and fees and through introducing new events. We are doing this to help acknowledge and thank participants for keeping our sport racing and thriving over the COVID lockdowns last year. You can find more details about this significant increase in this edition of the Monthly.
Safe racing remains one of GRV’s key priorities and our Greyhound Racing Integrity Unit has now recruited an additional four veterinarians to service the increased racing program while we continue to rollout out of water carts, second tractors and power harrows to clubs as part of the Safe Racing Program. I am also pleased to report that work on the new Traralgon track, designed to be a safer track as anywhere in the world, is well on schedule to open for racing in late October. The first race meeting to held there will be quite an event so keep your eye out for upcoming announcements.
In other racing news, a new event joins Victoria’s racing calendar, the Sale Greyhound Racing Club’s Horizon race, carrying first prize money of $25,000. Heats of this inaugural 440 metre event will be held on Sunday 30 May with the final a week later.
Turning now to matters off the track, the Greyhound Adoption Program held a National Adoption Day event at its Seymour headquarters on Sunday 18 April with 50 greyhounds being re-homed to loving new families. This was the first GAP adoption event held in Victoria for more than 12 months because of Covid-19 and you can read more about the Day in this issue. April was also National Adoption Month and other GAP events included Zoom sessions with potential and existing greyhound owners and GAP volunteers.
Speaking of volunteers, I’d like to remind you that 16 May is National Volunteer Day, followed by National Volunteer Week on 17-23 May. GAP has more than 700 volunteers and hundreds more help make race meetings happen across the State. They are a key part of our sport and welfare initiatives so please take the opportunity when you can to let them know how much their service is valued and appreciated.
I’d like to note that while we experienced very little extreme weather over summer, we shouldn’t be complacent about the approaching winter. So please make sure your greyhounds and facilities are prepared for training and racing in cold weather so we can all look forward to safe, warm and exciting racing over the coming months.
Finally, a reminder that greyhound racing’s popular TV show ‘Thrill of the Chase’ returns to the airwaves from Wednesday on 9Gem to showcase the Warrnambool Cup from 5.30pm.