GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 28/03/20

GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 28/03/20

28/03/2020
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: I know that there are a lot of trainers out there screaming about not being able to get a run and yesterday you cut meetings to a maximum of 10 races. How does this help anyone?

A: Since we made the decision to change the schedule to be able to continue racing, GRNSW and GWIC have been continually reviewing the race day protocols around the kennelling and racing of greyhounds, to adhere to the measures previously communicated to industry. Given the resource intensive approach of the process, after consultation between GRNSW racing officials, GWIC Veterinarians and Stewards, and also Race Club staff, the decision was made to put the 10-race limit on race meetings. We will be looking to compensate for the reduction of races at each meeting, GRNSW and GWIC are working on providing additional race meetings in selected regions. However we cannot commit to anything more at this stage.

2. Q: What is the situation with taking my dog to the vet?

A: The advice we have from the Australian Veterinary Association is that you should phone ahead and organise an appointment, rather than simply turn up at your vet.

3. Q: The racing and harness racing codes in NSW both came close to having positive coronavirus cases this week. Who knows if that would have meant a shutdown for them, but what would it mean if one or both of those two codes had to be shutdown? Would we be able to continue on?

A: That decision - as the case has been right throughout this crisis – is one for the state and federal government to make. If the other codes closed but we were still safe to race, then hopefully we could continue, but if the government said we had to shutdown, that would be it.

4: Q: How is it fair other zones have the option of 1-2-3 tracks to race at whereas the Hunter region and Central Coast have to race at the Gardens. The amount of trainers in this area is massive. We had three Maitland-Gardens-Gosford and you have shut down 2 of them but that’s not the case for the south all their TAB tracks remain open. I don’t understand.

A: We took into account a number of things before we put the regional plan into place, and based on our information the decision we came up with was to use the tracks we have gone with. As I have said so many times, it may not be perfect. While you are talking about the Southern region having three tracks, I have also had emails from trainers in that region complaining about shutting down Nowra. We have done what we have done to keep racing, and again, we are less than a week into this new system. We will continually look at it, but I encourage everyone at this time to do what they can to work with it.

5. Q: It appears there are a number of trainers nominating all over the place and then they are scratched. The problem with this is that others have already missed out on a run and have to wait another week. When is this problem to be fixed so we have more chance of getting close to full fields?

A: As I just mentioned in the previous question, we are less than a week into this. The reason for the scratchings is because stewards are finding trainers who are not in the region of that race meeting. This situation can be avoided if everyone would just nominate in their region.

6. Q: Hi Tony, this really isn’t a question, more a thank you for introducing the zones for us to continue racing. In the past our sport has been a follower, but what I have found interesting is that both racing and harness have picked up on the regional model we have and done the same thing. I have heard people complain about it and I get that everyone has their own interests at heart, but what people shouldn’t forget is that we are still racing when so many other industries have closed.

A: Thank you for your email, the support we have received from our industry has been wonderful. We put the regions in place so we could limit travel of our participants and staff, which is what the government was telling everyone they should be doing. While racing is so crucial to everyone out there, the health and safety of everyone is also critical, and this way was the best way we could to look after both.

7. Q: When will we start racing again at Wentworth Park?

A: We do not have plans to return to racing at Wentworth Park for the time being. The city was considered a hotspot and we didn’t want our participants travelling into the city. When it is safe to resume at Wentworth Park, we will.

I hope everyone makes the most of their weekend, and like I have said this week, those 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.