Greyhound club’s future with limited meetings uncertain

It was good news mixed with a bit of reality for the Otago Greyhound Racing Club.

The club, which is based at Forbury Park, with its track located inside the harness track, was allocated 10 racing dates for next season’s calendar.

That was a big improvement on what was proposed in the draft calendar — no meetings at all.

But the 10 meetings, with the first on September 2, are all mini meetings, made up of just six races.

So the club will go from hosting 402 races this season to just 60 races next season.

Otago Greyhound Racing Club general manager John Carlyle said overall the club was pleased it was still being recognised as a racing venue.

"However, we are not too sure what the future holds. Reading between the lines we might be forced to look elsewhere at an alternate venue," he said.

Forbury Park Trotting Club also won back 10 dates after being allocated none in the draft calendar.

But the racing codes in the Dunedin area are being asked to undertake a regional review to be completed by the end of the year.

That may lead to a gathering of codes at one venue with Wingatui, home of the Otago Racing Club, the obvious candidate.

Carlyle said there had been some brief talk of this proposal about 10 years ago but it was not advanced.

Greyhounds raced on grass in Australia but could not run on a track which was used by horses as the animals created hoof marks which were dangerous for dogs.

Whether it would be possible and affordable to build a dog track at Wingatui was unknown.

Meeting numbers had also been reduced in Invercargill more allocated to Addington in Christchurch.

Carlyle said the mini meetings would be over in a couple of hours.

"But the expenses and overheads are still there. We have not gone into the economics of it fully yet and we’re not sure how it is going to affect us in the long run."

  • The Waikouaiti Racing Club is to consider its options at a meeting of committee members and club members later this week. The club was handed a date at Wingatui on January 16, losing its only date, on New Year’s Day, at Waikouaiti.


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