Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) have made a difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg.

GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Mr Tony Mestrov said:

“The Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg, one of the premier races on the greyhound industry’s calendar, had originally been postponed from its April date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but after discussions with GBOTA we have made the difficult decision to cancel the event because of the current conditions.

“It was naturally a very hard decision to make due to the significance and stature of the event, but in the present environment and circumstances, we believe it was also the correct decision to make.

“With the original date having lapsed, and uncertainty about future scheduling, we also considered the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the industry as well as the current border restrictions that would have meant interstate greyhounds would not be able to compete, which would detract from the status of the event.

“Unfortunately, like so many events worldwide, there will be an asterisk next to the 2020 on the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg honour roll, but it will be back in 2021, just as big as always, and again taking pride and place in our industry as one of the truly iconic greyhound racing events.”

NSW GBOTA General Manager Mr Steve Noyce said the decision had been “extremely sad and really disappointing, but it was the right one to make”.

“As I said to our board, it is extremely sad, and really disappointing, and once again you always feel for the participants,” Mr Noyce said. “But it’s just the cards we have got to play with at the moment.

“It is in the best interests to cancel the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg for this year, like a number of events both in Australia and around the world, and we can only look forward to a bigger and better event in 2021.”

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, GRNSW has put all feature racing on hold, with the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg joining numerous Country Cups to have been cancelled for 2020.

Mr Mestrov added that GRNSW has been in discussions with the GBOTA and the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission about the prospect of reopening Wentworth Park for racing, and joint efforts are being undertaken to plan for a resumption of racing at headquarters in line with all the necessary health measures and protocols. The city venue has been paused from racing since the zoning restrictions began in late March.

GRNSW will also be making further announcements in relation to feature racing in regional NSW imminently.