Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Greyhound Racing SA CEO Matt Corby readily admits that the total number of nominations for tomorrow’s race meeting – the first at Tara Raceway since March 22 – under “normal” circumstances would have resulted in its cancellation.
“But let’s face it, at the moment we’re not about delivering ‘a perfect product’,” he said. “We’re just trying to do everything within our power to keep everyone engaged and supported.
“Under the current circumstances, we’re about supporting participation above any focus on commercial considerations.”
Corby said it was hoped that the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club could quickly build on its base by running fuller meetings with transferred Victorian greyhounds and as local properties currently affected by canine gastroenteritis return to racing.
“Following a recent discussion with the MGGRC, the GRSA board is in support of an initiative to transfer a number of Victorian greyhounds into SA trainers’ kennels. This could act as a means of boosting weekly racing opportunities in the region while restrictions remained in place.”
Corby said the board did not support ongoing movement on a weekly basis by Victorian trainers, regardless of whether they had secured an Essential Services Exemption or not and that a temporary prohibition on Victorian nominations for SA events remained in place.
“Also, based on long-distance travel concerns (COVID-19 restriction) and in support of measures to manage the spread of canine gastroenteritis (in either direction), the board has resolved to quarantine the Mount Gambier region from the Adelaide tracks (Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge).”
GRSA, through Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson, this week contacted participants residing up to 150 kilometres over the Victorian border and who normally support Mount Gambier meetings but currently are unable to due to government restrictions.
“These participants were asked if they would consider sending their greyhounds to an SA kennel to be trained during the COVID-19 period,” Mathieson said.
“We received a mixed response, however seven trainers indicated they would possibly look at taking up the offer. This would equate to possibly around 20 greyhounds being able to be sent across the border to temporarily be trained in the south-east of SA.”
Obviously the next step is to see if, and where, these greyhounds could be placed in the Mount Gambier region.
“Any trainers willing to assist are asked to contact GRSA as soon as possible because given the current local supply issues there could be significant implications for upcoming Mount Gambier meetings,” Mathieson said.
Meanwhile, Galactic Athena returns to race at Tara Raceway tomorrow for the first time since March last year when she defeated Slingshot Hammer – a winner at Horsham on Tuesday – in the Mount Gambier Cup.
Trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew for Robert Chuck of Moorak, Galactic Athena will jump from box eight in the Trackside Meats Stake (400 metres). Since the cup, the daughter of Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball has raced on only 14 occasions for six wins at Warrnambool, Angle Park and Murray Bridge.
And in race one, the Progreyhoundtips.com Maiden/Grade 6 Stake (400 m), litter sister Galactic Horizon, raced in the same interests, will make her long-awaited race debut from box two.
Galactic Horizon was last drawn to race back in July of last year but was scratched from the maiden event which ultimately was won in brilliant fashion by her injury-plagued litter brother Galactic Zeus, having his first and so far only start.