What better way to celebrate the opening up of Victoria’s greyhound racing tracks than with the 2021 Melbourne Cup? It was wonderful to be back in person, and to join so many of you on course again, for the world’s greatest greyhound race last Friday. My congratulations to Rose and David Geall and Koblenz for a spectacular win.
There is more great racing to come as restrictions lift and we enter summer. We’re looking forward to the $1.1 million plus Phoenix, the world’s first greyhound slot race, the Ballarat Cup, the Boxing Day Sale Cup and the Silver Chief heats. And that’s just for December.
Victorian greyhound racing has also been winning off the track too, with a very impressive showing in the 2019-20 Community Clubs Victoria (CCV) Awards announced on 22 November and which you can read more about in this edition of the Monthly. I congratulate Sandown and The Meadows for winning the Metro Club of the Year for their Greyhounds Entertainment facility and Peter Johnson as runner up in the Manager of the Year Award. And I thank all the clubs for their central roles in The Great Chase and the Red and Blue Dog campaigns which saw GRV winning CCV’s Best Social Inclusion Award.
I believe this is the first time any racing code has had this much success at the CCV Awards, and it highlights the renewed recognition of our sport’s strong involvement in and support for the Victorian community. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to our great run at the CCV Awards.
In other news, GRV has now officially launched MyFastTrack, a free app which gives you a new mobile-first way to use FastTrack wherever you are. All key FastTrack functions are now just a few taps away on your phone or tablet, including the ability to add and edit Kennel Names and Greyhound Record entries for multiple dogs at once. This can only be done through the app. You can find out more about how it will streamline your greyhound business management in this edition and at: myfasttracksupport.grv.org.au.
Looking ahead, we are now planning for official opening of the new $6 million Traralgon track in January. We had hoped it would be ready this December, but supply chain issues have delayed the installation of the new drop-on starting boxes. It is very important starting boxes are properly installed and fully trialled before the first full race meeting.
As we open up and the weather gets warmer, I’d like to remind you of a couple of important issues. Firstly, there is the Victorian Government requirement that anyone taking part in public activities away from home must be fully vaccinated, unless holding a valid medical exemption. This applies to all race meetings and trials for all participants and club and race day staff. Secondly, while we all welcome summer, it is also the start of hot weather and fire season so please make sure you are up to date with GRV’s hot weather racing and transport policies and that your property is prepared for fire season.
Finally, I again thank everyone for your patience and perseverance through another challenging year. But we have come out of it stronger than ever with Victoria now thriving as the world’s biggest centre for the sport of greyhound racing. I wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas with your loved ones, especially those you haven’t seen for a while. And I think we can look forward to a very exciting and actionpacked new year on the track.