Greyhound racing’s 2020 TAB Great Chase Grand Final may have looked different to the 22 community groups from across Victoria that watched the race via a private Zoom link, but all the excitement and adrenaline that the Grand Final brings to The Meadows each year was still very apparent.
The Great Chase Grand Final traditionally draws more than 500 people to the racetrack for what is a wonderful celebration, however crowds are currently not allowed on course because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, groups which attended last year’s Grand Final still had the chance to win a share in $24,000 prize money, including a top prize of $10,000 for the group paired with the winning greyhound.
Following welcoming speeches from GRV Chair Peita Duncan, CEO Alan Clayton and TAB General Manager Wagering, Trevor Parkes, a random draw took place partnering the eight competing greyhounds with eight of the community groups – all of whom belong to Victoria’s disability sector.
All eyes were on the screens as the race was shared for all to witness, and coming in first place was promising greyhound Dr. Tucker, trained at Darriman by Bill McMahon, who was partnered with Wood ‘n’ Crete Products, an organisation which centres around providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Based in Ararat, Wood ‘n’ Crete Products manufactures cement, lime, plaster and concrete.
The organisation’s product coordinator, Russell Streeter was thrilled by the result.
“We’ve been attending the Great Chase since the mid-2000s. With the COVID-19 situation the Great Chase Community Days didn’t go ahead this year, which was a real shame because our guys love going to the races at Horsham each year. They talk about it all year long,” Russell explained.
“The $10,000 will come in very handy. We are currently looking at building a new activity room and undercover area at our facility, so this money will go a long way towards making that happen.”
Meanwhile, the remaining seven groups drawn each collected $2,000.
Since 2003 GRV has donated more than $650,000 to community organisations that care for intellectually or physically disabled people through the Great Chase, with the event being supported by TAB since 2008.
All 13 Victorian greyhound clubs participate and invite their local community groups – clients and carers – to a special community day each year, where they receive free meals, showbags and are partnered with dogs competing on the day for the opportunity to win prize money.
While the on-course element didn’t go ahead in 2020, GRV has already started planning for the 2021 TAB Great Chase series, which will come back better and bigger than ever before during spring.
2020 Great Chase Final Results
Greyhounds & Community Groups
- 1st DR. TUCKER (Bill McMahon, Darriman) – Wood ‘n’ Crete (Ararat) $10,000
- 2nd EARN THE ANSWERS (Lyn Smith, Nambrok) – All Abilities Sports (Latrobe Valley) $2,000
- 3rd SOVEREIGN WIND (Des Douch, Maffra) – McCallum Disability Services (Alfredton) $2,000
- 4th JEPARA (Angela Langton, Anakie) – Scope Weerona Avenue (Bendigo) $2,000
- 5th CARRY ON MAXWELL (Tim Britton, Lara) – Nextt (Sunshine) $2,000
- 6th EQUALIZER (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale) – Estia Health Yarra Valley (Yarra Junction) $2,000
- 7th PAINT PEELER (Jason Whybrow, Wangaratta) – The Bridge Connects (Dandenong) $2,000
- 8th MEPUNGA SPARKLE (Samantha Hooke, Bushfield) – Goulburn Options (Seymour) $2,000