Top greyhound racing duo Jason Thompson and Seona Hood have raised the bar for the Capalaba Futurity, sponsoring the race including a service to the recently retired champion, El Galo.
Mr Thompson and Ms Hood have thrown their weight behind the non-TAB straight track by providing a cash sponsorship as well as a much sought after service to El Galo, which is worth almost $3,000.
The Victorian pair who own Pearcedale-based stud farm Awesome Lodge, have sponsored the Capalaba Futurity in May next year, which is a bitches’ race over 366m on the unique straight track.
Mr Thompson said they were thrilled to sponsor the Capalaba Club and to give something back to the grass roots of greyhound racing in Queensland.
“Capalaba is ‘salt of the earth’ greyhound racing in Queensland, and as a non-TAB meeting, the people that race there are true greyhound enthusiasts,” Mr Thompson said.
“We heard that they were looking for sponsors and that the Brisbane Club had come in to give them a hand so we jumped at the chance of getting involved.”
The couple have had plenty of success in Queensland, particularly with El Galo, who took out last year’s Group One Brisbane Cup coincidently on the same night of Ms Hood’s birthday.
Ms Hood said it was a fitting partnership considering El Galo was bred in Queensland and later purchased from Brisbane racing enthusiasts Christine and Dave Robartson.
“We wanted to figure out which was the best way we could help the Club and it didn’t take us long to come up with the idea,” said Ms Hood.
“Without a great industry in the Sunshine State and top breeders like the Robartson’s we probably wouldn’t have had the success that we have and we are very grateful for it.
“The only way to encourage people to stick with the sport is to offer incentives at the introductory levels like Capalaba, and that’s what we are hoping to achieve with this sponsorship.”
The Futurity sponsorship is sure to provide a major boost for the Club in luring top dogs for the increased prize package.
Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club president Alec Stevens said the sponsorship would not only attract top chasers to the Redland City-based track, but also give track specialists a greater incentive.
“There are some greyhounds that run well on the straight but struggle with two turn or even one turn tracks and a sponsorship like this will give them a red hot incentive to keep racing,” Mr Stevens said.
“In saying that, it will also mean that there will be plenty of other top trainers who will nominate to try and win the service and this will make for a terrific race, which in turn, should draw a strong crowd to see them battle it out.”
The Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club has been appointed to provide administrative and business development services for the Capalaba Club due to the resignation of Club secretary Bob Patching.
Brisbane Club general manager Luke Gatehouse said he was very thankful to Ms Hood and Mr Thompson for the sponsorship.
“It is a major boost for the Club from both a racing perspective but also to help promote straight track racing in South East Queensland,” Mr Gatehouse said.
“I think we are going to see a showdown of track experience versus racing form, and this is definitely going to be a crowd puller.”
The announcement comes off the back of an instant rally of support for the Capalaba Club which saw eight new sponsors sign on within 24 hours of the appointment of the Brisbane Club agreement.