By TERRY WILSON
SOUTH Australian greyhound chiefs are like everybody else, keeping their fingers crossed that the coronavirus that has been bugging the world will be a thing of the past by the end of the year.
Greyhound Racing South Australia has two flagship events, the Adelaide Cup and the State of Origin against Victoria, and hopes are that by the time these major events come around, they will be given the all-clear.
GRSA Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson confirmed that the Cup and the preceding Origin series match races could go ahead as planned, along with the Mount Gambier Cup.
The provincial Mount Gambier Cup was to have been run this month, but was cancelled because of the coronavirus situation.
“At the moment the Cup has been cancelled but the club is looking at options to perhaps run it later in the year,” said Mathieson.
And the Cup (512m) may still yet carry the added lure of two $5000 bonuses should the same dog and/or trainer that won the Murray Bridge Cup (455m) last month – in this instance Tony Rasmussen and Hot Sophie – repeat the dose at Mount Gambier.
“Indications are that if the Mount Gambier Cup is run later this year the bonuses will carry over,” said Mathieson.
The coronavirus and a gastro condition that hit greyhounds have combined to make life difficult for South Australian authorities.
For instance, Mount Gambier had been struggling to attract nominations simply because many Victorian trainers had been using the track.
But with the borders closed, noms from the Vics have been hard to come by.
“We’re pretty much most of the way through this gastro and one hopes that in the next four weeks we’ll be back to our full schedule, except for Mt Gambier which is different due to the cross-border movement,” said Mathieson.
GRSA, like counterparts in other states, have undertaken a reduction in prizemoney for feature events for the time being.
Two classics hit by this decision were the South Australian Sprint and Distance Championships which were run at Angle Park on April 16 and 23.
The two events were a benefit for Lewiston trainer Ben Rawlings.
The Distance Championship (731m) was won by $3.30 chance Zipping Galon (Fernando Bale-Cho Chang).
Zipping Galon clocked 43.56 seconds and beat home Sir Trulucent by three-quarters of a length.
Then It’s A Riot (Barcia Bale-It’s A Bird) took the Sprint by a length ahead of kennelmate Two Times Twice in 29.77s.
It was a big night for Rawlings. He rugged up six winners – Couture, Gladys Lillian, Zipping Galon, It’s A Riot, Vontae Mack and Born Lovely.