Dapto Show Society vs GRNSW saga hits peak farce

NSW greyhound racing

The Dapto Agricultural & Horticultural Society (DAHS) versus Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) battle over the future of greyhound racing at the Dapto Showgrounds has officially reached peak levels of farce, ahead of todays Supreme Court continuation.

In tit for tat media releases on Monday morning, DAHS has accused the Dapto greyhound racing club of being a drain on resources, finances, and space; while recording a $275,000 loss from its greyhound operations. DAHS claim to have made a profit of $75,000 in-total, despite the drain on the balance sheet from the greyhounds.

Meanwhile, GRNSW CEO Tony Mestrov has alleged that unknown people may have interfered with the Dapto lure, electrical works, and track systems as late as 1pm on the Thursday that GRNSW were granted a court injunction to continue racing at the track. Mestrov further alleged that greyhound club computers and hard drives were removed from the club.

One thing that both DAHS and GRNSW seem to agree on is Dapto is one of the least profitable greyhound clubs in NSW, with DAHS confirming the $275,000 loss and Mestrov saying “the Dapto Greyhound Club has been showing far less profitability than the other greyhound clubs of similar size that we work with.”

Mestrov has alleged that DAHS are “trying to create fear by just closing and cancelling everything” and that the GRNSW administrator is “working hard to ensure all Dapto Showgrounds events, such as the Sunday markets, are able to continue”; while also acknowledging that GRNSW is “not saying that greyhound racing at the site is more important than anything else, we are just wanting to continue racing as we have done for many years.”

Mestrov has alleged the new Dapto administrator Grant Carroll has reported missing equipment from the Dapto greyhound club and GRNSW have legally requested the Dapto club to provide the missing items immediately. This has not been forthcoming to date. Mestrov has confirmed the missing items are “computers and hard drives”.

Greyhound racing at Dapto is operated under a sub-committee of the DAHS committee. The sub-committee is known as the Dapto A&H Greyhound Racing Club or Dapto Dogs. Key figures involved in the Dapto greyhound club are alleged to be unavailable and/or overseas on holiday as they fight to save the club at the Supreme Court.

The Dapto greyhound club corporate profile has been removed from the clubs website but a recent form guide lists the Dapto sub-committee members as:

  • Noel Leslie – Chairperson
  • Geoffrey Thompson – Director
  • Kelly McRae – Director
  • Sally Fernandes – Director
  • Jack Primmer – Director
  • Craig McKenzie – Director
  • Daniel Norris – Director
  • Allan Shiells – Director

The same form guide list Katrina Novak as the Dapto greyhound club CEO, with previous media releases quoting her as the Dapto Secretary Manager. No reference to Novak now exists on the club website, nor in any club contact information.

The barrister acting for GRNSW in the Supreme Court, Scott Robertson; said that when administrator Grant Carroll tried to access the track so the races could go ahead last Thursday he had not been allowed in. Mr Robertson alleged a security guard at the Dapto Dogs track had told Mr Carroll he wasn’t allowed to let anyone in under instructions from CEO Katrina Novak.

Justice Pembroke made an order preventing the DAHS from engaging in any conduct to prevent greyhound race meetings at the Dapto Dogs racecourse until the matter returns to court, which allowed last Thursday’s meeting to go ahead.

Dapto greyhound Chairperson Noel Leslie has been named in the NSW Supreme Court proceedings which continue today in Court 3 at 2pm.