Community flavour to exciting new summer race

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By Brisbane Greyhound Club CEO LUKE GATEHOUSE

Change is good. Change that embraces ‘community’ is great.

The greyhound industry has seen a lot of change in the last decade. Some of it, although painful initially, has seen a good eventual outcome.

In recent months we have witnessed exciting change with the evolution of The Phoenix, a thrilling slot race concept to be staged at The Meadows track in Melbourne on December 18, with the winner pocketing $750,000.

Racing Queensland has been named as one of the eight slot holders and just recently RQ released details on how its slot will be filled – through the Listed Queensland Flame race series.

The Flame will be run on the first major night of the TAB Golden Greys Summer Racing Carnival at Albion Park on December 2, offering $37,500 in its own right and a berth in The Phoenix.

It’s a great innovation, but what excites me is the community flavour to the Flame.

It will include a unique ownership and community partnership element, where competition entrants will have the chance to be an ‘owner for a day’ representing each of the eight greyhounds in the Final.

The winning owner will then have the opportunity to travel to Melbourne to attend The Phoenix Final, with up to $20,000 on offer if the Queensland slot holder is successful in the race.

Similarly, eight community partners will also be selected for the final of the Flame, with another $20,000 on offer if Queensland’s greyhound triumphs in Melbourne.

Not only does the Flame and The Phoenix offer plenty for those in the greyhound industry, these events also help spread key messaging through the entire community around just how positive this sport it.

THE recent resignation of David Simonette as CEO of Greyhound Clubs Australia (GCA) came as bitter/sweet news.

David, a long-time industry colleague and friend, was the inaugural CEO of GCA in 2017 and has done an excellent job in cementing this organisation into the bedrock of greyhound racing.

He was exactly the right person at the right time and his ability to communicate to all levels of our industry and bring them along together was integral.

The tyranny of travel for the Perth-based David no doubt played a factor in him standing down (see story Page 16), but his replacement, Bendigo’s Troy Harley, is a ‘good-un’.

Troy, who will take over as CEO of GCA on December 1, knows the running of a greyhound club inside-out and will bring plenty of vibrancy and passion to the role.

Well done ‘Simmo’ and welcome aboard Troy.

Of course GCA continues to power ahead under the steady hand of its president – and Brisbane club chairman – Les Bein.

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