GRV’s General Manager for Racing, Vaughn Lynch insists that the current decline in Victoria’s greyhound racing population will be short-lived.
Speaking on RSN’s Talking Greyhounds with Simone Fisher, Vaughn said it was only a matter of time before we see a return to more regular 12-race cards containing full eight-dog fields.
“The current racing population is a symptom of a downturn in breeding two or three years ago on the back of the NSW shutdown and about-flip, and also people’s (lack of) confidence in the industry,” Lynch said.
“We’ve closely analysed the data and predicted that the lowest period (of racing numbers) will be from April until August this year.”
Vaughn said he has drawn on his previous experience working at Harness Racing Victoria to help address the problem.
“The way to address that is to try to make sure that every dog is able to race, provided it chases, and (that it) races in races that it is able to compete in. We’ve got to entice those greyhounds that are good chasers but just not fast enough, and get them into races (where) they can make money so that they’re viable for their owners,” he said.
While a recent restructure of the racing program has been a success, contributing to a more even spread of nominations across Victoria’s 23 weekly race meetings, Vaughn said there are still some anomalies.
“We’re trying our best and we’ll keep tinkering with it to try to get the most out of the (racing) population in terms of people being able to make money with their greyhounds,” he said.
“As part of the restructure, every unplaced runner gets $50 at the Level 3 (Tier 3) meetings and they also get their travel fees.”
“This industry is built on people (living) in the country who are doing it (racing their greyhounds) for the love of it. So to be able to make sure they’re not paying too much to do it for the love of it, you give them some money for showing up with their greyhounds. That’s our intent.”
Vaughn also spoke about the new lure trials taking place at The Meadows (Wednesdays) and Sandown (Sundays) as well as the current tracking of greyhounds during races in a bid to gather intelligence on what safe racing looks like.