By Brisbane Greyhound Club CEO Luke Gatehouse
In greyhound racing, as in life, it is the little things that make the biggest difference.
The Brisbane greyhound club is going through the tailend of what I consider to be one of our best carnivals. And we did that while enduring a global pandemic.
Officially we did not have a ‘Winter Carnival’ this year due to the coronavirus, however we went ahead with all our features albeit with reduced prizemoney and under strict COVID-19 restrictions, which initially included no patrons.
It was great that we were able to welcome back the public for the heats and final of our Group One Brisbane Cup and Queensland Cup in late June early July.
That was a genuine highlight for me, to see the faces back trackside. The other highlight was the quality of the fields, especially in the Gr1 sprint final, ultimately taken out by Jason and Seona Thompson’s sensational Black Opium.
Our past three Gr1 sprints – last year’s Brisbane Cup (Sennachie), the Gold Bullion in January this year (Sennachie … again) and the recent Brisbane Cup – have all attracted among the best fields I have seen since my tenure at the club started in 2006.
The reason we keep attracting the big-name dogs and trainers from across the country is that, as a club, we try to ensure the ‘little things’ are done and done properly.
We go out of our way to make sure visiting, and local, trainers are looked after during the big events. Of course we do this all year round. But our attention to detail during the stellar events is what keeps the big names coming back – event after event.
Right across the track we move mountains in an endeavour to keep people happy. The small requests are attended to and not swept under the carpet.
We go that extra mile to make it as easy as possible for people to participate on our Gr1 nights.
That’s why I look back at our big races in early July with a lot of satisfaction and the staff at the Brisbane club deserve a big pat on the back.
The benefits will be felt for a long time to come, not the least being on our club’s financials. Covid has been a financial disaster for most. And, like most, we took a hit and had to tread a very careful financial path.
A significant part of that ‘financial path’ was looking out for our own staff and participants ensuring that the monetary suffering there was kept to a minimum. The full financial report will be detailed in September/October, but I can preview that by saying that after Round One of covid we have emerged in a good financial position.
One disappointment for me is that there will be no Nationals this year. This event, normally held late August, not only showcased the nation’s best sprinters and stayers, but was also a chance for all facets of greyhound racing to come together to learn and to laugh – a great gathering.
Obviously I understand the coronavirus enforced cancellation, but am buoyed by the fact that all States are still going ahead with their finals on August 13. This will be another great night at Albion Park.
Why not enjoy that night at the revamped Pacers and Chasers Bar and Bistro. There’s no better place to toast a winner!
(Photo: Box 1 Photography)