Broadmeadows Disability Services landed a $10,000 windfall in the TAB Great Chase Grand Final (525m) this afternoon at The Meadows.
It all came about as reserve Go Commando (Bombastic Shiraz – Especially) caused a huge upset, claiming the $47,000 first prize and delivering the biggest win yet for both Carnegie breeder/owner Peter Knott and Lara trainer Jason Sharp.
More than 500 people tied to around 50 Victorian groups that care for the intellectually and physically disabled attended today’s Grand Final, with eight of the organisations being randomly drawn and allocated a runner in the big race.
While Broadmeadows Disability Services walked away with the biggest prize, the seven other groups collected $2000 on the day, equating to $24,000 being donated to Victoria’s disability sector.
A large group of clients and carers from Broadmeadows Disability Centre were at the Grand Final, however they left the track prior to the main event. As such, Go Commando, accompanied by Sharp’s wife Jessica, daughter Mia, and the Grand Final winner’s handler Dale Chapman, paid a visit to the centre soon after the race.
“There were about 25 or 30 of us at the Grand Final today, but unfortunately we had to leave early and we missed the race,” said Acting CEO of Broadmeadows Disability Services, Simon McDowall.
“We’ve been coming to the Great Chase heats and final at The Meadows every year for the past six or seven years, but have never won any money before. Luckily we are located only five minutes from the track so it was great that Go Commando could come and visit us.”
McDowall said there were plenty of ways that his organisation could spend the $10,000, with a decision to be made over the coming weeks.
“We’re like most other not-for-profit organisations in that it is always a struggle for money, but we’ll certainly put these funds to good use. We recently opened up a small centre in Craigieburn, so we have been talking about purchasing a bus to travel to and from there, or maybe we’ll spend it on upgrading our hoisting equipment,” he said.
Broadmeadows Disability Services is in the process of changing its name to BDS Disability Services, which stands for Belong, Develop and Succeed, and they were certainly successful today. The organisation offers a variety of services to around 260 people with disabilities including respite and school holiday programs.
McDowall was full of praise for the Great Chase initiative, which has seen $600,000 donated to more than 100 Victorian disability groups since 2003.
“Our guys always enjoy the experience of the Great Chase days. They really feel like they are part of the greyhound racing community for the day and are often getting on the stage with the band and singing and dancing. We often come across initiatives for the disability sector that end up being a flash in the pan and they disappear very quickly, so the commitment from GRV for the past 16 years to the Great Chase is quite admirable,” he said.
Peter Knott was a proud man after the race, admitting his greyhound had made the most of an unlikely opportunity.
“He was a reserve in his semi-final (running second) and a reserve in the Grand Final, so luck was on our side. He has been beginning well and racing competitively in the city against experienced greyhounds, so against less experienced greyhounds today he was able to capitalise.”
A total of $50,000 was donated to groups throughout the 2018 TAB Great Chase, as Victoria’s 13 race clubs each held a Community Day for local organisations during September/October.
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