Welcome to the September edition of Greyhound Monthly Victoria and the first day of spring. Firstly, I’d like to congratulate all the winners at the 2020 Victorian Greyhound Awards. I’m sorry none of us could all be there together in person but it was great to join you online to reward our sport’s achievements and particularly so at a time that makes these achievements even more remarkable under the circumstances. I particularly applaud the GRV Board’s decision to present its Leadership Award to the entire industry for what has been a truly exception al effort to keep our sport literally on track since March, protecting the health and safety of everyone involved while still delivering some of the best racing we’ve seen in a long time. Speaking of which, I also congratulate Making Gravy and trainer Adele Powell for a very strong and consistent performance in winning the 2020 Waterloo Cup at Lang Lang last Sunday. And we can look forward to more great straight racing at the 2020 TAB Healesville Cup on Sunday 6 September and you can catch all the action live on GRV’s Watchdog app.
In other racing news, the new Saturday morning racing slot is running well with strong nomination fields and average wagering turnover of around $1.2 million for each of the first three weeks. Both SEN and RSN are delivering dedicated coverage of these meets and GRV is stepping up promotion for the US markets where they are broadcast live on Friday nights.
And I am pleased to announce that, following discussions with GCV, $373,000 has been provided to restore prizemoney levels for feature races to ensure they stay at the same level as they were last year and to take some of the financial pressure off clubs. This includes the Melbourne Cup, Bold Trease, Temlee, Zoom Top, Silver Chief, Australian Cup, Fanta Bale Super Stayers and Topgun events. The Country Cups that have been topped up include the Ballarat, Geelong and Sale Cups. And another one of Victoria’s feature events, the Speed Star, will return for 2020 at The Meadows on Wednesday 16 September while work continues on the Sandown track.
In off the track news, I’d like to remind you that GAP Preentry assessment sessions are continuing as normal at clubs that offer facilities that allow COVID-19 safety restrictions to be properly implemented. All new GAP bookings are accepted through Racing Services as normal and I encourage you to book in early.
Finally, please be advised that the Cranbourne Racing Complex has been given a deep clean following a positive COVID-19 test from a nearby horse stable. This was a precautionary measure taken by GRV and Cranbourne Club and the venue’s greyhound racing schedule continues as planned. On this note, I ‘d like to thank you all for how well we’ve adapted and adopted protocols to help lower the COVID risks within the sport. The fact that we are still racing while other industries have been forced to close or reduce hours shows that our commitment to safe racing has not gone unnoticed. So please keep wearing masks or face coverings and observing social distancing at both race meetings and trials. GRV is here to help you so if you have any questions about Permitted Worker Permits or COVID Safe Plans, you can call GRV’s Participant Support line on 1300 144 360. So, stay safe, stay aware and let’s keep racing into spring.