Oaklands Junction organisation Riding Develops Abilities are $10,000 richer as a result of attending greyhound racing’s Group 2 TAB Great Chase Grand Final at The Meadows in Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon.
Sixty groups that care for the disabled took part in a day of fun and festivities for the chance to share in $17,500 in cash, with RDA emerging the biggest winner after being partnered with Great Chase winner, the Kelly Bravo-trained Unlawful Entry.
The Great Chase series was first conducted in 2003, and has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars being donated to Victoria’s disability sector in that time. On Wednesday, for the first time in its 13 year history, the names of every group on course at the Grand Final were placed into a barrel, eight of which were randomly drawn out and partnered with a greyhound competing in the big race.
While the 610 clients and carers on course representing the 60 organisations enjoyed a complimentary day of dancing, dining and entertainment, representatives of the eight selected groups had the extra excitement of knowing they would win $10,000 if their greyhound came first, $3,000 if it ran second, $2,500 for third or $2,000 for running between 4th and 8th.
“RDA enables people with disabilities the chance to experience the enjoyment of participation in equestrian activities, and this money will go towards building an indoor riding area,” RDA Oaklands President Fiona Orr said.
Hard Bargain, also from the Bravo kennel, filled second place, securing $3,000 for Rangeview Private Nursing Home, while third place went the way of the Colin Dalton-trained Arby, earning $2,500 for Wintringham Specialist Aged Care group, McLean Lodge.
Bravo said it was fitting that Unlawful Entry be matched to an equestrian group, stating “we ride horses ourselves so this is a good connection.”
RDA will undoubtedly follow the fortunes of the Wendy Fasoli-bred Unlawful Entry very closely over the next 12 months, as they are entitled to the equivalent of 10 per cent of any prize money he wins during that period.
GRV CEO Alan Clayton presents 2014 winners Connecting Skills Australia with a cheque reflecting 10 per cent of All Strung Out’s winnings over the past 12 months.
Reigning champions Connecting Skills Australia thought all their Christmases had come at once when they were drawn to have a grand finalist for the second year running, and the favourite Cutting Edge at that.
While the Geoff Collins-trained greyhound endured the first defeat of his eight-start career, Connecting Skills Australia collected $2,000 as well as a cheque for $9,553.50, which was the equivalent of 10 per cent of the winnings accumulated by All Strung Out since his 2014 Great Chase win.