Victoria’s racing program will be boosted from 23 to 26 meetings a week from now until July 2021, GRV CEO Alan Clayton announced today.
“We will put on three extra race meetings a week with no prizemoney reduction to the current racing program,” Mr Clayton said.
“We are also delivering a racing program which caters for the dogs that are currently available and we are blessed with more at the moment.
“The expanded program will accommodate many of those dogs which would normally have raced in South Australia but have been unable to do so because of the border closure.
“The extra meetings provides us with an opportunity to offset the closure of TAB retail outlets through COVID which has impacted our revenues.”
Mr Clayton said expanding the racing program would assist GRV to sustain revenue and create jobs which into the future would lead to increased prizemoney and returns to participants and help secure the future of our sport.
He said free trials, to be introduced at all 13 Victorian clubs from 1 August 2020, were aimed at helping ease financial pressures faced by participants and improving welfare outcomes.
“This program has been developed in collaboration with Greyhound Clubs Victoria (GCV) as part of the stimulus package to sustain our sport and support participants,” Mr Clayton said.
“The trials will be administered and managed by GCV and club managers and the program covers pen trials, arm trials and post-race trials.
“It is expected that the implementation of free trials will further assist in the reduction of injuries.”
Mr Clayton said GRV would be conducting research into the success of the trials in relation to their impact in reducing track injury.
“The trials will also give clubs the opportunity to employ more local people and assist in maintaining tracks at a high standard,’’ he said.
GRV and GCV would review the trials program’s operations on a monthly basis to ensure that it is tracking as anticipated and participants are able to access trials.
“GRV and GCV have had dialogue with all club managers to work through the associated scheduling, recording and reimbursement issues,” Mr Clayton said.
“Prior to August 1, GCV and club managers, assisted by GRV, will determine how participants can book the free trials, including monitoring the numbers of greyhounds which can be trialled on any one day and potential penalties for anyone nominating a greyhound, but failing to trial.”
Greyhound Clubs Victoria chairman, Adrian Scott said he welcomed the opportunity to work with Greyhound Racing Victoria for this important funding contribution.
“This will provide a boost to our industry and in particular clubs and participants who will directly benefit,” Mr Scott said.
“While we have been able to continue with the scheduling of our race meetings, albeit without crowds, clubs’ revenue streams have been hit hard and that has impacted in a number of areas.
“These initiatives will ensure that we continue to support participants through prizemoney available and reduce the financial burden with the introduction of free trials.”
GCV and clubs will be providing further information about the trials in coming days.