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Coursing season to open at full capacity

Coursing in 2020 is off to a promising start with a full card of 12 events to begin the season at Lang Lang on Sunday.

With tomorrow’s meeting offering a preference to puppies, National Coursing Association Secretary Sean Lithgow said it was great to see a lot of first time and relatively inexperienced coursers helping fill the card.

“With the Derby and the Oaks coming up at Longwood (June 14 & 21) it’s terrific that a lot of younger dogs have been nominated,” Lithgow said.

“There’s also a few reserves, so to have so many greyhounds involved in our first meeting of the new season is nice to see, especially considering that we’ve had a delayed start to the season because of COVID-19.”

Lithgow said the first event on tomorrow’s card – an all-aged mixed stage – was of exceptional quality, with Barracuda Fozz the greyhound to beat.

“Barracuda Fozz was the star greyhound for most of the coursing season last year, so it’s great to see him back. His first course against Tigga Toy should be a cracker, and whoever wins that will probably take out the whole event.”

“We’ve got two of the eight dogs in that event, Gojek and Imperial Jack, so we’ll be up against it. But it’s just great that coursing’s finally back because it’s so good for the dogs and they absolutely love it.”

Coursing resumes with new race-day protocols because of COVID-19.

Sean Lithgow with Gojek, whom he says faces a tough task at Lang Lang tomorrow.

Victorian coursing: New race-day protocols

  • Attendance restricted to trainers with runners engaged (or a rep), catchers, accredited media and essential staff, officials and management – No children; unless engaged as a catcher. (Attendees must be licensed persons)
  • If rooms required, social distancing room capacities to be adhered to as 4m2 per person.
  • Stewards and club staff to manage marshalling procedures to ensure social distancing is maximised.
  • All people entering the track on race day will be subject to health checks including temperature testing, with people reading a high temperature not admitted to the track.
  • Participants are expected to maintain social distancing and not congregate. If they remain in the area surrounding their vehicle/trailer while not actively involved or watching courses this will be achieved.
  • The marshalling area which is already an outdoor area will be significantly increased in size to enable the required social distancing.
  • Only one event will be called up at a time rather than the standard two to minimise numbers of dogs and handlers in the now larger marshalling area.
  • The process of bringing dogs up to the slips will be changed to ensure only one greyhound is bought up at a time. Red collar will always be brought up on the left side of the slipper and once secured, the white collar will be brought up on the right side and secured.

Bar, kitchen & function rooms

  • As per licensed venue regulations, all bar and food facilities are closed.
  • Participants are required to vacate the venue once their greyhound/s have finished competing for the day.

2020 COURSING SEASON – FIRST FOUR MEETINGS

SUNDAY 31 MAY – LANG LANG
Standard Meeting (Preference to Puppies)

SUNDAY 14 JUNE – LONGWOOD
Victorian Derby and Victorian Oaks (Week 1);
Bert Clark Memorial;
Longwood Cup

SUNDAY 21 JUNE – LONGWOOD
Victorian Derby and Victorian Oaks (Week 2);
JN Smith Memorial;
Werribee Cup

SUNDAY 5 JULY – LONGWOOD
Slips to Boxes – Longwood to Shepparton

WATCH: Coursing tips with National Coursing Association President Peter Craig.

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