Around 300 people with an intellectual or physical disability will enjoy a day to remember in a carnival atmosphere on Wednesday afternoon for greyhound racing’s annual Great Chase Grand Final at The Meadows in Melbourne.
The Great Chase is Victorian greyhound racing’s number one community event, and has led to $750,000 being donated to Victoria’s disability sector since it first began in 2003.
Victorian organisations that care for the disabled are invited to a Great Chase Community Day at their local racetrack each year for a free day out with lunch provided and the chance to socialise and meet some of the stars of the show – the greyhounds.
In 2023, $5000 has been shared among organisations in attendance at each community day, as they are randomly allocated greyhounds to cheer for, with a points system used to determine how much money each group wins.
Greyhound clubs at Ballarat, Bendigo, Healesville, Sandown Park, Shepparton, Traralgon, Warragul and Warrnambool have each hosted Great Chase community days in recent weeks, where a total of $40,000 has been shared among the groups in attendance.
GRV CEO Stuart Laing said Wednesday’s Grand Final was sure to be another memorable day for all involved.
“The Great Chase Grand Final is always an incredible day where we get to see smiles and joy on the faces of so many people enjoying a great fun day out.
“That same scene has been replicated at Great Chase Community Days held at greyhound clubs across the state over recent weeks.
“GRV and the Victorian greyhound racing industry is immensely proud of the numerous long-term relationships that have been created and the support provided for disability organisations and their clients across the state over the last 20 years.”
Over the years organisations have spent Great Chase winnings on items and activities that directly benefit their clients such as medical equipment, computers, sporting goods, day trips, holidays and Christmas parties.
The Great Chase also comprises a high quality racing component, with more than $230,000 in prize money up for grabs each year.
Heats and semi-finals are held across the state to determine which greyhounds qualify for the Group 3 Great Chase Grand Final, with eight greyhounds to contest Wednesday afternoon’s feature race at 1.34pm.
Open to greyhounds bred in Victoria with 1-5 wins to their name, the Great Chase has proven a wonderful platform for the next generation of greyhound stars, with past winners including champions of the ilk of Brumby Lad, Slater, Boris Fields, Unlawful Entry and Simon Told Helen.