Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has announced changes to the Blue Paws Breeders and Owners Incentive Scheme, which will see races scheduled on a regional basis throughout the state as well as the creation of Blue Paws Super Series events.
Blue Paws was launched in January 2006, aiming to promote, develop and encourage increased investment in the NSW breeding industry and in turn create long term benefits for the NSW greyhound racing industry. Since its inception, over $600,000 in Blue Paws bonus payments have been won.
Earlier this year GRNSW conducted a review of the Blue Paws program and as a result of extensive consultation a new model has been developed which will be introduced in two stages over coming months.
In announcing the changes GRNSW Chief Executive Brent Hogan said the new model is similar in nature to the current system, where selected races carry a bonus, however effective from November 1 scheduling will now be carried out on a ‘regional’ basis, with approximately 30% of annual race meetings per track carrying a Blue Paws bonus race.
“Whilst this means that slightly less Blue Paws races will be scheduled, over the course of a normal month races for all grades and distances will still be available for participants within regional areas,” Mr Hogan said.
“This will also allow for greater certainty in scheduling between GRNSW and all clubs.”
The new innovation to the program is the introduction of Blue Paws Super Series events at all TAB tracks which will be restricted to Blue Paws 5th Grade nominated greyhounds.
“Bonuses of double what is on offer for normal Blue Paws races will apply meaning winning bonuses of $2,500 for TAB tracks, and $4,000 for a Super Series at Wentworth Park,” Mr Hogan said.
With each TAB club having one Super Series per year, plus one at Wentworth Park, participants are receiving additional reward for their support of the Blue Paws scheme. Super Series are due to be scheduled regularly from 1 July, 2009, but it is anticipated that a selected number of Super Series will be run in the second half of the current financial year.
Whilst the new model does not include Blue Paws Super Series at Non-TAB tracks as yet, this situation will be monitored in the future to ascertain if demand exists for Blue Paws only racing in regional areas.
Finally the new model will see an increase in bonuses for Non-TAB graded races from $600 to $1,000, which continues to move payments in the non-TAB sector towards those received at TAB level.
“GRNSW are delighted with the interest and participation in the Blue Paws scheme in its short history. These changes, especially the introduction of the Super Series, will continue to enhance the program whilst also ensuring its financial sustainability moving forward,” concluded Mr Hogan.