While the multi-million dollar, state of the art facility at Grafton, and the State’s first TAB straight track at Richmond may be the most recent jewels in the crown, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has confirmed that every track across the State will be upgraded over coming months.
The major commitment from GRNSW will not only see a number of significant projects undertaken, but all TAB and Non-TAB tracks will undergo a variety of works, with several training tracks across the State also being renovated in line with new safety standards.
The recently opened $5 million Grafton track has been widely acclaimed by participants as the best facility in the country, with numerous other racing jurisdictions contacting GRNSW in the hope of replicating the race track.
“GRNSW has fielded enquiries from all around Australia and overseas in relation to the successful design of the new Grafton track,” General Manager of Tracks and Infrastructure David Aldred said.
“I took a call this week from New Zealand with the racing authorities there looking to replicate the design, and racing authorities and clubs from other States have also expressed interest in using the Grafton track as a blueprint for future builds.
“The interest doesn’t surprise me, it’s the first track in NSW built to the new standards with its sweeping, wide turns and long straights giving every runner an even chance from start to finish.
“It also has the latest technology with the world’s safest self-propelled lure system and timing and data systems providing GRNSW with more information about racing patterns than we have ever received before.”
The straight track at Richmond has also been a rousing success, but the other 17 TAB and 10 non-TAB race tracks around the State will not miss out.
“GRNSW undertook safety audits at our tracks around NSW earlier this year to determine what works need to be undertaken for the tracks to be compliant with the newly introduced NSW Minimum Standards,” Aldred said.
“Safety upgrades have been prioritised with Minimum Standards upgrades to tracks and kennel facilities already underway, and we expect to complete all Minimum Standard Projects over the coming months.”
Aldred said that yet to be announced major projects at various corners of the State are expected to be confirmed in the next few months, with work to get underway as soon as possible.
Substantial work is also being planned for the recently purchased Muswellbrook track, but two other projects which will have a big impact are at Casino and Wauchope.
“We have made the decision to light both Casino and Wauchope with new LED lighting constructed in partnership between GRNSW and the individual race clubs,” Aldred said.
“By the end of 2021, both of these tracks will be able to conduct night-time TAB races, which is particularly beneficial to greyhound welfare during the summer months.”
GRNSW is also spending more than $600,000 upgrading training tracks at Cessnock, Thirlmere, Redhead and Richmond, where a sand slipping track will be constructed and run parallel to the new straight track, complementing the club’s other training facilities which include two sprint lanes for greyhound training.
This article was published in the Southern Highland News on 6th August 2021.