In the Pink
Congratulations to everyone involved on the success of the inaugural Pink Diamond series held over 4-18 June. Two hundred and twenty Victorian breeders, and many more trainers and owners, took part and shared prize money and breeder bonuses of around $800,000.
This series, strongly endorsed by many trainers, generated record wagering numbers, and it showcased Victorian-bred dogs of all
ages and abilities. I would like to acknowledge the great work by Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Shepparton and Warragul clubs for staging the 12 Pink Diamond events.
GRV certainly plans another Pink Diamond series for next year and is considering how it and other initiatives can be developed further to deliver more opportunities for Victorian dogs.
Prizemoney boost continues
The combined Pink Diamond series and the additional $10,000 VicBred monthly event provides an additional new $900,000 in prizemoney and other returns for greyhounds bred in Victoria.
These all-form part of an expanding racing program for 2021-22 with a record prizemoney pool of $58 million, up 25% from two years ago. And GRV will review prize money progressively through the year depending on the revenue.
Safety and Welfare outcomes
The Pink Diamond was one of several highlights for the sport in 2020-21. Overall national wagering turnover on Victorian greyhounds reached new levels which are funding expanded prizemoney and more investment in improving track safety.
Welfare and integrity, which remain the key priorities for GRV as a regulator, also had very good outcomes over the year.
Euthanasia numbers have continued to fall at a rate significantlyb greater than expected and track safety continues to improve with a 30 percent drop in race deaths from 69 to 48 in the past 12 months. The re-homing of greyhounds was particularly special with close to 3,000 dogs rehomed despite the impact of lockdowns on adoption events.
Traralgon and new Infrastructure
Work on the new Traralgon track continued apace.
The Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, has just affirmed that we are on track to deliver the first single-turn greyhound racetrack in Australia by the end of the year.
There is a $3 million investment from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards construction of the “J” track, and GRV is contributing $2 million.
GRV also rolled out a $1.2 million Summer Infrastructure Program to provide water management resources for all the clubs. We continue to work closely with clubs on developing track maintenance skills and reporting requirements.
Desexing and Dental Scheme
GRV has launched a new Desexing and Dental Scheme for retired greyhounds in the care of a Victorian participant, whether as a pet or prior to being re-homed. The scheme applies to Victorian-owned greyhounds and interstateowned greyhounds that have trained and raced in Victoria for at least three months prior to retirement.
GRV will directly pay up to $400 for a male greyhound and up to $500 for a female to Victorian-based veterinary clinics nominated by participants whose dogs are eligible for the scheme, and which are undergoing both desexing and dental treatment.
Outlook for 2021-22
There will be more opportunities for Victorian greyhounds, owners, breeders and trainers at every level from marquee events to provincial racing.
A key focus for GRV in 2021-22 will be further improving itsoperating processes and services for participants while reducing administrative costs and timelines. Also, we will continue to keep delivering Safe Racing program initiatives while stepping up our promotional work in both local and international markets, and delivering on our core business of animal welfare and ensuring the highest levels of integrity.
On the track, we can look forward to a very full program of 26 race meetings weekly. These will include exciting new events like the $1.1 million Phoenix, the world’s first ever greyhound slot race, at the Meadows in December and of course the return of the Pink Diamond.
I would like to thank the participants, the clubs and the GRV team who have worked together to deliver great outcomes for the sport over the past financial year. We are now well prepared for what promises to be a champion year, with more announcements on prizemoney, including that for metropolitan racing.
And on this note I would also like to report that GRV will continue to seek resolution of the matters raised by the Greyhound Trainers and Breeders Association. To date, as many of you would be aware there is still some way to go on several fronts, but be rest assured we are hopeful there will be a positive outcome in the not-too-distant future.