Newcastle’s premier racing venue The Gardens will be the first track to undergo compulsory maintenance implemented by Greyhound Racing New South Wales, in response to improving track safety and welfare.
The track will receive a surface upgrade along with routine preventative maintenance to be completed next Monday and Tuesday, with the first trial session after the changes to be conducted on Thursday.
Newcastle Greyhounds President Alan Williamson believes the upgrades will complement the recent infrastructure redevelopment at the Sandgate circuit, in preparation for one of the club’s flagship events, the Group Three Newcastle Cup.
“Every track has been analysed by GRNSW and we are the first to have the improvements done.”
“The logic behind our upgrades as the building and other aesthetics works are completed ahead of the Newcastle Cup, a race we hope to promote up the ranks in years to come.”
“Although the interruptions to our venue are an irritant, nothing is more important than the welfare of the greyhounds and GRNSW ought to be applauded for this.”
Mr Williamson also advised that there will be no trials conducted Monday night or Tuesday morning and no race meetings scheduled for next week should be affected.
During September, all meetings at The Gardens were transferred to Gosford whilst the grandstand and other hospitality areas were refurbished.
The Gardens has been the subject of various upgrades in recent times, with the boxes shifted from 413m to 400m back in 2010, in an attempt to reduce the dangers associated with bend starts. The controversial catching pen was also restructured and moved further towards the top of the first turn, to reduce the high speeds in which greyhounds were forced to stop suddenly after a race.