Wagga greyhound track to receive upgrade and planned straight track addition

greyhound track. (Photo: Facebook)

The Wagga greyhound racing track, a crucial hub for Riverina greyhound racing enthusiasts, is set to undergo a significant upgrade.

This development is poised to have a profound impact on the future of the sport in the region.

Wagga's greyhound racing facility has come under intense scrutiny from animal rights advocates this year following a series of distressing incidents.

In May, a tragic incident unfolded on the track, resulting in the untimely death of a greyhound.

However; Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr, has confirmed the long-awaited promise of an upgrade.

In doing so, he acknowledged the significant involvement of the local community in the sport.

In a statement, he expressed their unwavering support for the greyhound racing industry, highlighting its significant value to the community and its role in generating employment opportunities for over 10,000 individuals statewide.

In prioritising the well-being of dogs, it is crucial to consider their welfare above all else, McGirr said.

Dr. McGirr, confirmed that Greyhound CEO, Robert Macaulay, has revealed their ambitious plans for a significant upgrade.

According to Dr. McGirr, this upgrade will notably feature the addition of a straight track, a development that has sparked considerable interest and speculation within the racing community.

In the coming weeks, a significant development is set to take place at the circuit as plans are underway to install a second upper inside rail across the entire track to remove all possibility of accidents as occurred in May, regardless of how rare they are.

This latest addition aims to enhance the overall infrastructure and further improve the racing experience for participants and spectators alike.

The decision to transition from circular tracks to straight tracks is being hailed as a pivotal stride forward for greyhound safety, but also increases the many the options available to Riverina .

In a groundbreaking study conducted by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2017, researchers delved into the realm of safety, specifically focusing on a particular sport.

The study's revealed a striking correlation between serious incidents and a specific aspect of the sport: turns.

According to the study, nearly all significant incidents occurred during these pivotal moments, shedding light on a critical area that warrants further attention and precautionary measures.

According to a report, 80% of catastrophic and major injuries were attributed to congestion and incidents such as checking, collision, and galloping.

In a bid to enhance the safety of greyhounds during races, proponents argue that the implementation of a straight track would effectively eradicate all injuries typically associated with these agile canines having to navigate their way around sharp bends.

Greyhound Racing New South Wales () implemented a straight-track facility at two years ago.

This move was confirmed by GRNSW, who further revealed that plans for at least four additional facilities of this nature are currently underway.

In 2021, the new straight track was inaugurated by Richmond Greyhound Racing Club (RGRC) President , who expressed his satisfaction by stating that it successfully fulfilled all the necessary welfare requirements.

In a remarkable turn of events, the greyhound racing industry, which was once on the brink of extinction due to the imposed by former premier Mike Baird in 2016, has experienced a resurgence like no other.

Not only has it managed to overcome the odds, but it has also achieved unprecedented levels of profitability and secured lucrative sponsorship agreements with prominent multinational betting agencies.

In an unprecedented achievement, the annual report for 2021/22 released by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) reveals a staggering surge in wagering turnover on greyhound racing events within the state.

The figures have reached an all-time high, soaring to an impressive $3.1 billion.

This remarkable milestone signifies a growth in the popularity and financial success of greyhound racing in New South Wales.

In a remarkable four-year span, the prizemoney in New South Wales (NSW) has experienced a substantial surge, skyrocketing by an impressive $20 million.

This surge has propelled the total prizemoney to an astounding figure, surpassing the $46 million mark.

Additionally, the earnings derived from greyhound bookmakers fees have witnessed a remarkable leap, surging by over $44 million to reach a staggering $68.8 million.

These remarkable financial gains have contributed to GRNSW's overall income nearly doubling, reaching an impressive $121.5 million.

In a recent statement, CEO Robert Macaulay hailed the current financial performance of the organisation as the most robust in its history.

Macaulay emphasised that these impressive results have paved the way for substantial reinvestment in crucial areas such as safety, welfare, and prizemoney initiatives.

The addition of the second rail and a planned new straight track for Wagga are important developments supporting those intitiatives.

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Mark Small
1 year ago

Congratulations to those racing in the Wagga region to have a track upgrade however it is coming to light that UTS reports are not altogether correct about safety eg the new “J shaped”track at Traralgon has massive interference issues because UTS didn’t take into account the “correct” level of camber on the straights and dogs are getting injured. Also, straight racing isn’t the total answer, reduce the number of “corner start” races and introduce “twin lures” like Victoria so the dogs are chasing more keenly and they won’t run into each other

Mark Small
1 year ago

GRNSW if they are seriously concerned with welfare and integrity of our beloved sport will prioritise the new complex at Chinderah and or an amalgamation with the now defunct Lismore Club

Susan Absalom
Susan Absalom
1 year ago

Notwitstanding my view that straight racing is not the be all and end all, it defies logic that there is no TAB racing at the Appin Way venue. I agree with Mark about the corner starts.