While Thoroughbred trainers are applauding Racing Victoria’s decision to allocate 40 twilight and night race meetings to Geelong, it could turn the regular Friday nights at the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club in to a ghost town.
The embattled Geelong Greyhound Racing Club, which had recently been under industry administration; had a reported loss of approximately $16,000 last year, a loss which could be much higher if an alleged debt of $43,000 due to the operation of the” Saturday Market” is not recovered.
And it has not been smooth sailing amongst the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club Boad of Directors, with allegations of good old fashioned “branch stacking” and “proxy votes” used recently at their Annual Genereal Meeting to oust a popular Director and transfer the balance of power to one family, their close associates and friends.
On the back of those problems, there is now a high likelihood that Geelong gallops will be racing in the twilight or night on Friday nights, which will eradicate any profits the greyhound club could potentially make from on-course turnover, meals and at the bar.
Amazingly Geelong Greyhound Racing Club manager Wayne Elliot was upbeat about the prospect of thoroughbred meetings being held regularly in Geelong on Friday nights as well.
“It’s great for the racing industry and great for racing in Geelong,” Elliott said.
“Beckley Park is an entertainment destination, we’re about dining packages and a good night out,” he said.
Elliot’s optimism should be admired but given the choice betewen a cold night at the dogs with average food, poor amenities and little atmosphere; and a night at the thoroughbreds; I doubt too many will choose Beckley Park.