FOR the first time in almost 12 months, Gunnedah will host greyhound racing trials on Tuesday night.
More than 20 dogs are expected to be trialled at the upgraded facility, which was closed down in early 2018 due to animal welfare issues.
New life was breathed into the venue after a $480,000 state government grant saw the venue’s track, rails and lure receive an upgrade.
Gunnedah Greyhound Racing Club president Geoff Rose said Tuesday’s trials were “a long time coming”.
“It really is about time for us,” Rose said.
“The track maintenance guys from Greyhound Racing NSW deserve a lot of praise for the good work they have done here.
“Everything is in top shape and I honestly think our track is now in the best five or 10 tracks in the state.”
Rose said the trials had drawn interest from trainers from as far as Mudgee, Grafton and the Central Coast.
“I think a lot of the trainers will be pretty excited, especially the local ones who won’t have to travel several hours to just trial or race their dogs.
“It’s been tough for them [local trainers] lately with our track and Tamworth being closed for upgrades.
“There hasn’t really been anywhere close for them to go and that’s why this is so pleasing.
“We have been where Tamworth is at the moment, waiting for something to happen so you can come back.
“We understand it can be very frustrating.”
Rose said he was expecting the return to racing to also draw spectators to the Gunnedah track.
“Honestly, I think you will see a lot of not only trainers but punters along as well,” he said.
“A lot of people are hanging out for it so it should be good to be back.”
Tuesday’s trials will mark the beginning of packed schedule for the revamped track, including both TAB and non-TAB meetings.
“All told I think we are set to have 12 TAB and three non-TAB meetings before June 30,” Rose said.
“It will be packed, almost every two weeks, but we’ll be ready for it.
“If we do need to have a break for track maintenance we will, but with how it’s looking at the moment I’d say that shouldn’t be an issue.”
- Tuesday’s trials begin at 7pm.