Nearly three times as many races

The greyhounds have risen from the dead.

The Otago Greyhound Racing Club will now host nearly three times as many races as originally planned at Forbury Park this year, giving a financial lifeline to the club.

When the new calendar came out for this season in early July, the club was allocated just 10 mini meetings of six races each and Otago Greyhound Racing Club general manager John Carlyle said that number was simply not viable.

"We just could not have been able to operate. It was just uneconomic for us," he said.

"But the club worked hard, helped by Greyhound Racing New Zealand, and found gaps in the calendar which has worked for us. It is good for Forbury Park too, getting some more meetings on the track.

"We’re delighted. What we were looking at we would have had to shut the door. But now we are in a break-even situation at worst."

After consultation with Greyhound Racing NZ and Racing New Zealand (formerly Racing Industry Transition Agency) the club now has 19 meeting dates throughout the season with a total of 186 races, compared to just over 60 races. Its next meeting is scheduled for October 22.

Previously, it had meetings of more than a dozen races but meetings from now on will be 10 races as a rule, starting at noon with a 3pm finish. Some meetings last season did not finish until 4.30pm.

Detailed submissions from Greyhound Racing NZ found windows in the racing calendar for the club to race which would not have major impacts on betting for other codes.

The Forbury Park Trotting Club was in the same boat as the greyhound club as it lost its dates for the new season in the draft calendar.

But after some lobbying, the trotting club was given 10 dates for the season. It had a meeting on October 1 and is due to host the Tuapeka Harness Racing Club meeting on October 25.


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