GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 26/05/20

GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 26/05/20

26/03/2020
GRNSW News

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: update@grnsw.com.au

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: Hello Tony, I am in the Richmond zone and there was over 200 nominations for Sunday. As they grade from the top down I was unable to get a start with my young dogs with 1-3 wins. Is there any way we could maybe put some races aside for these types of dogs, all dogs need to be given a chance so we can afford to feed them?

A: Our Racing Operations team have now revised the program to cater for the current situation. The new program is live on the calendar now on thedogs.com.au website. The team has programmed races to cover for all grades and distances as best as possible, including 400m, 1-3 win stake at Richmond on Sunday, April 5.

2. Q: I’m a hobby trainer with only a few dogs in work. Two of them are middle distance/stayers. While I’m in the Southern NSW region, and I’m lucky that I have three tracks I can race at, there are only minimal programmed events to cater for these dogs. Any chance a distance event can be programmed at each Bulli/Dapto and an event be run even if it’s a small field?

A: Our Racing Operations teams are working on this constantly, and I am assured there are distance races being programmed. If you’d like to head to the racing calendar on thedogs.com.au you will see team have programmed some distance racing at your venues.

3: I’m from Londonderry which is under the metro zone and I think we need another track to cater for all the dogs in zone as the metro zone is classified as the biggest.

A: As you know unfortunately we needed to pause racing at Wentworth Park which would have been in that Metropolitan zone. As I have mentioned before this regional system was introduced to not only keep our sport going, but also to stem the travel in the industry, which is paramount to health concerns and on government advice. We have made it clear we will look at the way the system and the calendar are working, but right now we implore everyone to stick to their zones, and race at their tracks. We are racing and that is the biggest thing at present.

4. Q: I was about to retire a greyhound through GAP, am I still able to do this? Is the regional program still working?

A: As a result of COVID-19 restrictions regarding no unnecessary travel and gatherings we currently paused on conducting pre-assessment days for entry of greyhounds into Wyee and Londonderry. The regional programs are still operating as normal as there is minimal contact and social distancing, and other COVID-19 sanitation requirements can be readily met.

5. Q: I live at Wagga which is the only track in our region, having lost Temora (which had two TAB meetings scheduled over the next couple of weeks) and Young, I was wondering why Goulburn which also has Bulli and Dapto in its region can race 8 times in April and Wagga can only get 4 meetings with no provision given to Non-TAB dogs. It seems that this region is being unfairly treated.

A: We are trying to make the schedule work as best it can, but obviously it won't fit everyone perfectly. Please remember this is an emergency survival plan. We included an additional meeting at Wagga yesterday for next week, and we will continually look to see if it is feasible to have additional meetings added. We are doing all we can to adjust scheduling as appropriate while at the same time keeping the priority of health and safety for all participants.

6: I know it’s a long way down the road, but I have seen the NRL and AFL are talking about pushing back their seasons when they return. Would you consider this with the Million Dollar Chase, or are feature races likely to be scrapped?

A: As you know from past communication, we have placed on hold all features on the GRNSW calendar. As this is such a rapidly moving and changing situation we are not sure where we will end with things too far into the future, but we will update everyone immediately when these things are decided.

7. Q: Lots of dogs have missed a run at Bathurst in Monday. Given that they have missed a run, is there a provision that they will get priority next set of nominations or even an additional meeting at Bathurst on a Saturday to allow for the large volumes of participant in the area, which would also allow people who work weekdays an opportunity to make it?

A: Another good question. There are no provisions to preference greyhounds over others that have missed out on being drawn at the previous meeting. We are running as many races as possible at all tracks to get all greyhounds a draw. We have programmed Pathways, Masters and restricted win races at all tracks to try to cater for all classes of greyhound. As for the Saturday days, again, this another thing we will look at with the racing schedule.

8. Q: Could you maybe put out a list of post codes or suburbs in zones? It's quite hard to work out what zone I'm in.

A: If you are unable to work out exactly what zone you fall into, and this would purely be if you are close to the borders, contact the Grading Department who will be able to help you out. Send your email to Grading_D@grnsw.com.au.

9. Q: I have a dog who is very energetic and silly. I am not particularly wanting to hand her over to someone she doesn't know and someone who hasn't handled a greyhound before. Is there some sort of exception with dogs like these? And in order to keep the lead 'slack' to allow ID, I can almost 100% guarantee she will jump all over the official. 

A: No. There are no exceptions. The designated official must handle the greyhound for the very brief period the greyhound undergoes the veterinary examination and identification. The designated officials performing this role all have greyhound handling experience.

10. Q: If a greyhound is transferred to another region how long will it have to stay in that region before it can be transferred again to another region?

A: Once a greyhound is transferred to a trainer in another region, a trainer will have to wait at least two (2) business days before the greyhound can start in a race.

Just before wrapping up today, I was asked this week about whether we had a hotline for anyone in the industry who may be struggling at the moment and wanting somebody to talk to. 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 and importantly be vigilant in these difficult times.

Tony Mestrov.