From the Caller’s Box

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By PAUL DOLAN

Another casualty of the Coved 19 Pandemic sweeping this country and the world has emerged – the National Championships of greyhound racing.

Greyhound Clubs Australia (formerly AGRA) has made the early call to abandon this year’s Championships, which were set to be run in August.

As per usual, there were state heats and finals scheduled and this year’s grand finals of the Sprint and Distance series were to be run at Wentworth Park.

Border crossing restrictions are in place right now between some states and will probably still be there in August.

The Golden Easter Egg and a number of group races have also fallen by the wayside. While it’s a shame that someone missed out on the $250,000 winner’s cheque for the Egg, having a reduced calendar is better than no calendar at all.

One person disappointed at the cancellation of this year’s Nationals is Tim Newbold, the principle greyhound commentator in New South Wales. Newbold was appointed to that role when the legendary Paul Ambrosoli retired in June 2014.

The National finals are run on a rotation basis between all states. Newbold called the Wentworth Park grand finals in 2015 and this year was set to be his second time.

“It is incredibly disappointing that the Nationals have been cancelled but I  totally understand why the decision was made,’’ Newbold said.

“We\’re in unchartered waters at the moment and who knows what the remainder of the year will look like ? As a racecaller you love calling the best dogs, which the Nationals attracts.’’

“It\’s unique that it only comes around every few years with nationwide and international attention. It was a real honour calling the champ Fernando Bale and Sweet It Is at Wentworth Park in 2015 and hopefully I\’ll get a chance to call the Nationals again sometime in the future.\”

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