The Sandown Greyhound Racing Club today announced the full scope of track works for implementation over the coming weeks, including a total replacement of the track surface and the installation of middle distance boxes.
As a result of these works, the Club will undergo an enforced break from racing commencing after the Bert Bryant Memorial meeting on Thursday 11 March, and will resume on Thursday 8 April. The first race meeting will be preceded by trial sessions to be advised at the appropriate date.
The transferred meetings will be conducted at The Meadows with the exception of the Thursday 1 April meeting that has been rescheduled to Cranbourne. The impact of these meeting transfers has been captured in the March edition of the Adviser.
The replacement of the track surface with Burrumbeet sand is part of a broader Greyhound Racing Victoria strategy aimed at creating uniformity of racing surfaces and maintenance processes across Victorian tracks. The Burrumbeet surface is the same as that which is currently in operation at The Meadows, Ballarat and Warrnambool, and was recently installed at the new Warragul track. The replacement of the track will also provide the opportunity for the replacement of the external track fence, and the installation of a dedicated eight-cage swabbing bay within the existing kennel block.
The Sandown Committee has also resolved to implement a middle distance (approximately 600m) start during these works to complement the existing 515m and 715m starts. The decision to introduce the new distance primarily considered the need to expand the metropolitan racing opportunity for participants within the context of the (proposed) scheduling of additional meetings pertaining to the imminent Sky Channel expansion.
These extra meetings are anticipated to position the Victorian industry for longer term growth and participation opportunities.
The Club believes that the new start will provide a logical transition distance for greyhounds graduating to the 715m trip, as well as maximising the available pool of ‘500m’ greyhounds available to nominate for other venues under the anticipated expanded schedule of meetings.
Sky Racing and GRV are imminently expected to announce the outcome of recent negotiations surrounding the Sky Channel expansion that would see the introduction of two new racing channels.
Under proposed changes to the Victorian calendar, Sandown would race permanently on Thursday night and Sunday day, with the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association taking over a permanent Wednesday day timeslot in addition to its traditional Saturday night timeslot.