After much consultation over recent days, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and the Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers’ Association (GBOTA) can confirm today that this year’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg has been rescheduled.

The race, one of the premier events on the Australian greyhound racing calendar, was scheduled to commence with heats on March 28, culminating with $250,000 to the winner of the final on Easter Saturday, April 11. However, it was decided on Wednesday to push both the Golden Easter Egg, and the Group 1 Association Cup, heats back to May 30, with the finals the following week, on June 6.

GRNSW Chief Executive Tony Mestrov said much discussion had taken place around the alternatives for the Golden Easter Egg, given the current world environment, with the COVID-19 pandemic having forced the cancellation, suspension or rescheduling of numerous sporting events worldwide.

 “As the Golden Easter Egg is such a prestigious event on the calendar, ultimately a decision was made to push the race back two months and hopefully by then we will have the opportunity to stage a world class event,” Mestrov said.

”Our decision was based around a number of things, but the underlining factor was the best interests of our participants, and in making the decision I feel those interests have been looked after.”

Mestrov said the supporting events in the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg carnival - the Group 3 Magic Maiden, the Group 3 New Sensation and the listed Ultra Sense - will continue as programmed, with Magic Maiden heats commencing next Wednesday, March 25, and all three events culminating on Easter Saturday as originally planned.

The Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg will have a slight change of format. Instead of a three-week series with semi-finals, the event will now be conducted with eight heats on May 30, and winners only progressing to the final. All eight runners-up in the heats will contest the Group 3 Ambrosoli, the Golden Easter Egg consolation on June 6.

Greyhounds which have already qualified through the Golden Easter Egg preludes in recent weeks will have priority into the heats.

“As all the world has seen with the current situation, this is a constantly moving matter, and while we have made this decision now, we will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary, reassess it as the event approaches,” Mestrov said.

GBOTA General Manager Steve Noyce praised the collaboration between all parties in achieving the best possible outcome.

“I think this decision sends an extremely positive message to all participants that this industry is about working together and showing flexibility, to get the best possible outcomes for the participants and the industry,” Noyce said.

“These are very challenging and testing times for everyone, but the way the industry has worked together to come up with a solution, has been very pleasing.”