By Brisbane Greyhound Club
CEO Luke Gatehouse
Greyhound racing has played a vital role in keeping the heart of this nation beating strongly during the Coronavirus pandemic.
So, to see the public back on our track late this month was another boost and another significant sign that we are winning this battle.
The heats of two of the marquee events on the Australian greyhound racing calendar were held the night of public re-opening at Albion Park (June 25) – The Group 1 SKY Racing Brisbane Cup and Group 1 TAB Queensland Cup.
As Queensland emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, the return of patrons is a great step for the racing industry which has continued racing throughout the crisis without crowds. It was great to welcome back our patrons to the track and it was certainly different with a range of restrictions still in place, but it is first of many small steps we will take.
People should not under-estimate the amount of planning and preparation that goes into ensuring that health restrictions are adhered to. Things don’t just magically fall into place on the night.
Hours upon hours of planning goes into ensuring that guidelines are in place and are able to be practically followed.
The role that greyhound racing has played over the past few months should not be under-played. As much of Australia ground to a halt it was important that glimmers of hope and normality stayed alive.
That is what we provided. And our industry played our role with a great deal of responsibility. We adhered to all the strict guidelines.
The greyhound industry provided answers, not more headaches.
So, well done to all the trainers and club workers.
The Brisbane club was rapt to welcome patrons back with such a cracking race program. Thoughts of the coronavirus diluting the Brisbane Cup and Queensland Cup fields were way off the mark with plenty of star ‘imports’.
That interstate interest has been headed by Victorian ace trainers Jason and Seona Thompson, who sent Adelaide Cup winner Hooked On Scotch and last year’s Cup runner-up Black Opium to Tony Brett at Churchable to prepare for the G1 classic.
And Queensland Derby winner and dual Group 1 winner Simon Told Helen, and his full brother Who Told Stevie, were sent north by trainer David Burnett.
So our Winter Carnival will still reach lofty heights with another time-honoured race, the Mick Byrne Memorial Novice (520m) worth $15,750 also being held on Group 1 finals night, July 2.
Then, later this month, are three semi-classics:
They are the $15,750 TAB Emerging Origin Spring (520m) for Queensland bred greyhounds up to age of 27 months, on July 9; and on July 23 are the Racing Queensland Masters final ($19,900) for eligible fifth grade greyhounds and the $17,800 Eric Thomson Memorial Maiden (520m).