GRV’s General Manager of Racing, Greg Kerr, provides an update on some of the current topics from around the racetrack.
Q. What can you tell us about a 13th race being introduced to some Victorian race meetings?
Greg Kerr: Running an extra race at some venues is now getting very close to delivery. Over the past few months, we have been working with Race Clubs and Wagering Service Providers to ensure a smooth delivery. We have six venues that could put on an extra race, nominations permitting, those venues being Warrnambool, Geelong, Sandown, Cranbourne, Bendigo and Shepparton. The roll out will see a trial at Warrnambool just to make sure there are no issues with the software and kennelling side of things. For our participants, all prize money, Starter and Travel fees will be paid as normal. The extra race will be treated like any other race and will be made up from the nominations received. The timing of the first and last races will be largely dependent on Sky Racing programming and what they provide. So, where we have excess nominations, inevitably some dogs miss out on gaining a start, however this new feature will now allow one more field of dogs to compete. We are anticipating a go live date at the beginning of December.
Q. We understand you have some news around GRV’s Racing Reference Group?
GK: Yes, we are currently looking for interested participants to join the group. The group is intended to provide a platform made up of industry participants to discuss matters relating to our sport. The group plays an important part in communicating both into and out of GRV, and does play a vital role in shaping some of GRV’s decisions, specifically around matters that directly impact participants. I would like to see a cross section of participants involved, including a representative from coursing – everyone plays a part in shaping the future. Meetings will be quarterly, and held virtually until restrictions lift and we can meet in person. Interest in joining the group has been excellent so far.
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Q. What can you tell us about a new fortnightly newsletter for greyhound trainers?
GK: GRV’s Racing Operations Manager, Blake Reed is putting together a summary of feature events, a distance calendar, changes to the programming or grading such as a few more Bottom up meetings, and any other matters that we think participants should be aware of.
It is intended that this will go out every second Friday by email. We have chosen Fridays because it will allow trainers to read the email over the weekend and digest ahead of nominations closing Monday to Friday for the following week. The thought is that we will highlight scheduled track maintenance, the next series of feature events, scheduling changes and any other matters that are either of interest or will impact on the regular programming. We will still use the email and text facility when needed, but this will be broader and more informative.
Q. What else is currently on the agenda for GRV’s Racing Department?
GK: I am looking at several things at the moment including interstate nominations, retention of Vic bred dogs, the racing dog population – all of which are matters that the Racing Reference Group can play a role in. I’m also interested in gathering a little more data on dogs that are trialling. I’m interested in gaining information on distances greyhounds are trialling over and the grades of those dogs. This information will help the team attract these greyhounds to the racing program.
Regarding heat-affected meetings, the team has been analysing data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to help provide insights on how best to structure our weekly program to minimise the impacts that hot weather has on the program during the summer months. After consulting with Sky Racing and with our Clubs, the racing team will finalise the summer race program and make the changes in the calendar.
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