GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 05/04/2020

GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 05/04/2020


With the constantly developing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Greyhound Racing NSW believes it is crucial to keep all participants up to date on all news involving the industry.

As such, we are encouraging all participants with questions pertaining to the COVID-19 situation, to email us here at GRNSW.

Each day I will do my best to answer questions from participants and publish them across our website and social media platforms.

If you have any questions, please email them to the following address:

Any important developments will also be published in media releases across our GRNSW network as required.

Here’s what our teams at GRNSW are being asked right now, with the responding answers (and please keep in mind that this is both an unprecedented and fast-moving situation).

1. Q: Much has been written about lower grade dogs getting more races to cater for the battlers. Just because a person may have a higher grade dog doesn’t mean they are not battlers - why should they be penalised. I think the grading should cater for all grades and distances at each race meeting where possible.

A: We are not looking at penalising anybody, regardless of whether they are considered battlers or leading trainers, or they have free for all dogs or maidens. We are currently, and will continue to do so, working on catering for all dogs and all trainers as best we can.

2. Q: I see that temperature testing will begin at tracks tomorrow. This is a good idea but I'm wondering if everyone will be tested or just the trainers?

A: No, everybody at the track will be tested. Race club staff and GWIC officials, even the race caller. Anyone who will be entering the racetrack will be temperature tested. We cannot take any risks or any shortcuts when it comes to biosecurity measures and everyone’s health and safety. To see the release we posted yesterday on temperature testing, go here.

3. Q: I saw yesterday that you mentioned GAP still being open for adoptions. I think anyone who is reading these Questions and Answers is likely to be in the industry and knows exactly what wonderful animals greyhounds are, but we should all spread the word among our friends, and make it clear what great company they can be as pets.

A: You make a great point. We all know about the nature of greyhounds and are as participants actually best placed to advertise that. It’s a very good idea to spread the word about the companionship of greyhounds, especially in these times of isolation where a lot of people are struggling.

4. Q: They tell me Tony Mestrov is to GRNSW what Peter V'landys is to horse racing and NRL. I see no compassion. People seem to line up to give money to people who seem to be already well off. I train, I used to breed, I've been working for 2 years to get a bitch to the races, now she is ready and I can't. Maybe someone should stand up for those who do not have plenty of money, there are lot of owners, trainers, breeders in the same boat.

A: Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that’s why we have these forums, but I must vehemently disagree that there has been no compassion displayed. We have done everything possible to ensure racing keeps going during an unprecedented time in our world when thousands have lost their jobs, and sadly many have lost their lives. We have added meetings where possible, added another track to the regions, and our grading team are working overtime to schedule races to suit all grades of greyhounds. I feel for your personal situation of spending two years preparing your bitch, but this situation was something that nobody anticipated or saw coming.  GRNSW and GWIC are doing all we are doing for all participants in the industry.

5. Q: I have given you a bit of a spray about how it was in the Northern Rivers but I would like to say you have listened and I’m very happy with how you have handled and dealt with the problems. I would like to thank you for listening to us and putting more meetings on.

A: It really doesn’t matter how many ‘sprays’ I get and I’m glad you’re happy with the situation in the Northern Rivers. Of course I listen to participants otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this column daily, but I am sure you understand that every move we make or change we make is not based around someone give me a spray or complaining, these are all carefully thought out, and changes are only made after consultation with GWIC, and when it is absolutely safe to do so.

6. Q: If you are a late scratching due to trainer having high temperature does the dog get 10 days?

A: The dog won’t be given a 10 day penalty if scratched under these circumstances, but we demand that if you have symptoms which could relate to COVID-19, you must not come to a track.

7. Q: I’m one of those becoming rare as a suburban trainer and my walking machine has just broken and I don’t know when I will now be able to fix it. Am I allowed to walk my dogs around the suburbs?

A: Yes you are allowed. The Government has said that people are allowed to exercise and this includes walking dogs, and as I have found, the fresh air will do you the world of good, both physically and mentally.

For everyone racing today at Gunnedah and Richmond, good luck and please follow all procedures and protocols at the racetrack, and stay safe.

I hope everyone continues to enjoy the weekend, safe weekend, and don’t forget that anyone who may be struggling at the moment and wanting somebody to talk to, you can do something about that. If you do feel the need to talk to someone about your situation, please do not hesitate to call. You can speak with a qualified counsellor at any time by calling 1300 687 327.

Keep your questions coming, and everyone please keep yourselves and your families safe, and importantly be vigilant in these difficult times.

Tony Mestrov.