Wednesday, April 1, 2020
The Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s ability to conduct race meetings every Thursday at Tara Raceway, while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, will in effect be determined by the region’s two leading trainers – David Peckham of Allendale East and Compton-based Tracie Price.
The club, which last raced on Sunday, March 22, prior to that had been running two 12-race meetings a week on Thursdays and Sundays before border restrictions were introduced and Greyhound Racing SA was unable to accept any nominations from interstate trainers.
With Victorian support such an integral part of greyhound racing in Mount Gambier, GRSA this week consulted with local stakeholders, including Peckham and Price, later announcing that the intention was to run once a week, commencing on Thursday, April 9, until “normality” returned.
GRSA CEO Matt Corby said wagering had taken a real hit and as such it was important to have strategies in place.
“From a numbers point of view we’re looking at nominations of 65 or better for race meetings at Angle Park, Gawler and Murray Bridge,” he said.
“As far as Mount Gambier is concerned we should be able to get away with running a minimum of eight races – David and Tracie’s kennels obviously supplying a significant number of greyhounds but fellow local participants operating on a smaller scale able to complement the nomination flow.”
On the back of a treble at Murray Bridge last Friday, Peckham, who has trained 36 winners this year at Tara Raceway, has 11 runners at Angle Park tomorrow night while Price (21 Tara Raceway winners) heads to Angle Park on Friday.
Price, who will be accompanied by Glencoe trainer Dean Fennell, has Double Love, Finniss Looper, Banjo Bad Boy, Raw Luxury, Tandiki, Rocketline, Vossy and Wise Stella engaged while Fennell’s runners are Fawn Daisy, Shannah’s Gift, Ramified and General Max.
Meanwhile, a GRSA possible strategy of flattening stakemoney resulting in the same payment per race but scaling down from first place to a minimum payment for last is expected to be discussed at a GRSA board meeting on Monday.
And another possible strategy of the Mount Gambier Cup – run continuously since 1981 when won by Tara Topar – being cancelled in 2020 is likely to be the subject of spirited discussion the next time the MGGRC committee meets.
The Group Listed final was originally set down to be run this Sunday. Later, it was postponed until June 7 but as events have transpired a further postponement will be required if the cup is to be run in 2020.