Monday, March 6, 2017
Greyhound Racing SA chairman Michael Fabbro, along with fellow directors David Spear, Paul Preiss, Chris Doyle and Grantley Stevens, were in town at the weekend to catch up with the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club committee, take in the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup and then the Port v. Richmond game at Malseed Park which would have buggered up an otherwise top couple of days.
Also making the trip were CEO Matt Corby, Sarah Webster (Chief Operating Officer), Scott Wuchatsch (Strategic Projects Manager), Dianne Dumanovic (Marketing Manager), Lisa Michalanney (Acting Head of Integrity) and Shaun Mathieson (Racing Manager).
These are good people who would have been suitably impressed with the running of Sunday’s cup meeting, witnessed by one of the biggest crowds seen at Tara Raceway in a long time.
From a board point of view, the Mount Gambier club hasn’t done much wrong in the past five years or so – going from 10-race weekly TAB meetings to a situation next month when they’ll be running 12-race programmes (nominations permitting) every Sunday with a couple of Fridays thrown in for good measure.
Speaking on Saturday night, Fabbro described the club as GRSA’s “jewel in the crown” and suggested that after the board had met on Sunday morning there could be some “breaking news” forthcoming later in the day.
But it’s probably fair to say that he caught most by surprise when announcing after the ClassicBet Mount Gambier Cup presentation to Robyn Mackellar and Fabregal plans for next year’s event.
Even the usually unflappable MC for the day, Kevin “KD” Douglas – well-versed in all things racing – appeared taken aback when Fabbro calmly hit the masses with the news that the 2018 Mount Gambier Cup would be a Listed event and carry $15,000 to the winner – more than double the amount paid for the past three years.
This is seriously good money and as such will attract seriously good greyhounds. Not that this year’s winner is not a seriously good greyhound.
So as from next year the Mount Gambier Cup will join time-honoured races such as the SA Sprint Championship, the Maidment Memorial, the Sandown Easter Gift and the Flying Amy Classic, to name just a few, as a Listed event.
And Michael Fabbro’s announcement on Sunday afternoon has ensured that next year’s Mount Gambier Cup will be the start of a new and exciting era for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s major event which has already enjoyed a colourful and successful 37-year history.