Wednesday’s 2021 TAB Great Chase Grand Final may have looked different to community groups from across Victoria that watched the race via a private Zoom link, but all the excitement and adrenaline that the event brings to The Meadows each year was still very much apparent.
The Grand Final traditionally draws more than 500 people to the racetrack for a wonderful celebration, however crowds are currently not allowed on course because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, 30 groups which care for the intellectually or physically disabled logged into the Zoom event, eight of which were randomly drawn and allocated a greyhound in the Grand Final.
The eight groups shared in $24,000 prize money, including a top prize of $10,000 for the group paired with the winning greyhound.
All eyes were on the screens as the race was shared for all to witness, and coming in first place was Ridge, trained by William McMahon, who was partnered with Scope (Aust) Ltd Disability Services in Geelong, an organisation that supports people with physical, intellectual and multiple disabilities and developmental delays, to achieve their goals.
An ecstatic Maryann Stares, manager of Scope Disability Services, said the money couldn’t come at a better time.
“Our premises was recently vandalised, with all of our swings, outdoor tables and chairs completely ruined,” Maryann said.
WATCH: Ridge (7) and Hamillson (2) staged an outstanding battle in Wednesday’s TAB Great Chase Grand Final at The Meadows.
“Now we can purchase new furniture which will be perfect coming into the warmer weather. Everyone will have fun picking out the new furniture.”
“We’ve been attending The Great Chase since it started back in 2003. The guys love going along and love being spoiled and having a meal.”
GRV Chair Peita Duncan and CEO Alan Clayton took part in the Zoom call along with TAB’s GM Commercial – Racing, Glenn Lee and media presenter Marc Ohlmus.
“This is one of our favourite events of the year,” Ms Duncan said, looking ahead to hopefully having groups back on course for next year’s event.
“We look forward to seeing you at our race clubs again when the time is right, and we want you to know that we take enormous pride in our race clubs providing an inclusive and safe space where you can have a great day, enjoy some good food and pat some of our adopted greyhounds.”
GRV has donated more than $700,000 to more than 100 groups across Victoria’s disability sector since the Great Chase first started 18 years ago, with the event being supported by TAB since 2008.
2021 TAB Great Chase Grand Final – the winning groups: