This Sunday, for the second weekend in a row, the coursing fraternity will host a Beginner’s Day, where greyhounds will course up to two times at Longwood for the chance to win prizes such as a trophy and a bag of kibble.
Driven by the National Coursing Association, Beginner’s Days provide an opportunity for trainers to fine tune preparations for Victoria’s 2016 coursing season, during which $128,000 in prize money will be distributed.
The 2016 coursing season officially kicks off on Sunday 24 April at Lang Lang, and will be conducted at a variety of tracks across the State until the end of winter.
Gary Robinson, President of the Longwood Greyhound Racing Club, said coursing numbers were on the rise as an increasing number of trainers are realising the benefits of the coursing code.
“The Beginners Days provide a great introduction to coursing for trainers to see if their dogs are up to it. It’s like having a practice match in footy” – GARY ROBINSON
“We’ve had a lot of people new to coursing who have been trialling their greyhounds at Longwood in recent weeks. The Longwood track is about 350 metres long, but it doesn’t mean you need a stayer or a strong dog to be a successful coursing greyhound. If you have a dog that can run flat out for 350m, (then) as long as it recovers, they have a break and go again,” Robinson said.
Robinson said the Beginner’s Days – despite having no actual prize money on offer – were embraced by trainers, as evidenced by the 48 greyhounds drawn to compete at Lang Lang last weekend.
“The Beginners Days provide a great introduction to coursing for trainers to see if their dogs are up to it. It’s like having a practice match in footy where teams play their young players. Trainers get the chance to put their young greyhounds to the test and it’s a great way to get them fitter and to improve their galloping technique.”
“A lot of trainers will be trialling their dogs this weekend anyway, so they might as well do it at Longwood where they can win a prize and gain some coursing exposure,” Robinson said.
Nominations for this Sunday’s coursing meeting at Longwood close at 12:00 Noon on Wednesday with Greyhound Racing Victoria.
SEVEN REASONS TO ATTEND SUNDAY’S BEGINNER’S DAY AT LONGWOOD
1. It gives trainers the chance to experience the thrill of coursing, which is the traditional form of greyhound racing, where greyhounds compete one-on-one up the straight in a knockout format
2. With more than $128,000 in prize money on offer during Victoria’s 2016 coursing season, a good reason for trainers to see if their greyhounds are suited to coursing
3. With a maximum of two trials per greyhound (one less than usual), the Beginner’s Day will be shorter than a typical coursing meeting
4. If your greyhound wins two courses it could win a prize such as a trophy, a bag of kibble or a collar and lead
5. It provides trainers with the chance to trial their greyhounds up a straight track against one other greyhound, which is known to give greyhounds a competitive advantage when they return to circle racing
6. The Beginner’s Day will be run with all the professionalism of a normal race meeting, with Stewards and a vet on course
7. Longwood is located only 90 minutes from Melbourne CBD, 90 minutes from Bendigo and 135 minutes from Geelong