Saturday, March 28, 2020
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club could be back racing at Tara Raceway on Thursday week (April 9), albeit with a reduced number of races.
This follows a phone hook-up meeting yesterday between Greyhound Racing SA and industry participants from around the state, including MGGRC club manager Barry Shepheard and president Noel Perry to discuss further strategies in response to the COVID-19 virus and canine gastroenteritis.
Speaking after the meeting, Perry said it was the club’s aim to try and keep racing at least once a week while virus and border restrictions were in place.
“In view of everything that’s going on at the moment the racing schedule will obviously open up and the provision will be there to move meetings around,” he said.
“Our club wants to continue to put on a show and with no current exemption for western Victorian trainers to cross the border to race their greyhounds it’s quite feasible that we could be running eight-race programs.
“With several of the larger kennels in the district likely to be back racing shortly after being hit with canine gastroenteritis, we’re hopeful of being able to manage with the local dogs we’ve got and run a weekly meeting.
“Mount Gambier greyhound meetings are all about scheduling, GRSA Chief Financial Officer Gavin Bosch reporting that Thursday turnover at Tara Raceway meetings was something like 20 per cent higher than Sunday.
“With this in mind we’re looking to try and run a weekly Thursday graded meeting until such time as things ‘get back to normal’ and we’re able to switch back to racing twice a week on Thursday (time-graded) and Sunday.”
Also discussed during the hook-up was the flattening of prizemoney at all tracks which would see the scaling down from first place to a minimum payment for last.
And any country cup scheduled prior to June 30 this year will be cancelled (rather than postponed), meaning for the first time in 40 years the Mount Gambier Cup will not be run.
Meanwhile, the Ross Schurgott-managed Nineofus Syndicate landed its second treble this year when Silent Jacko, together with littermates Sweet On Me and Call Me Billy, all displayed plenty of early pace to win at Murray Bridge on Friday for Allendale East trainer David Peckham.
The syndicate’s last treble had been at Tara Raceway in February when Our Man Zed, Sweet On Me and Silent Jacko had been successful for Peckham – Friday’s wins the first for the leading local trainer at Murray Bridge.