Gunnedah is set to become a hub for greyhound racing in the New England as the sport battles to continue racing through the coronavirus crisis.
Under measures announced by Greyhound Racing NSW on Monday designed "to continue racing in the safest possible environment", the Tamworth and Moree tracks will close temporarily with all racing in the region to be centralised in Gunnedah for the next month.
Gunnedah Greyhound Racing Club president Geoff Rose was still waiting to have discussions with GRNSW, and nut out some of the finer details when he spoke to The Namoi Valley Independent. He said the club has at this stage been allocated two Sunday meetings (on April 5 and April 19), but would be putting in a request for an extra couple of meetings.
"I'm hoping we can get at least one a week because I think it's only fair," he said.
One of the stipulations is that participants will only be able to race in their zoned region. While "quite understandable" in the circumstances, it will limit opportunities for dogs to race.
"I fully support what they're doing,but I think if you can't travel outside your zone...I will be requesting that they give us at least one meeting a week so that those people are not having their dogs sitting at home for the week inbetween," Rose said.
"It's hard to keep a dog fit, it's hard to keep a dog maintained when you're only racing once a fortnight."
"But we support what they're doing."
"We think it's a great initiative, we've got to stop this virus."
The Gunnedah track is one of 10 to remain open, but it isn't as simple as saying 'we want extra meetings'. There are a lot of moving parts.
"It's not just I need it, you've got to have it. There's a lot of people you've got to work with to make it happen," Rose said.
"You've got to be able to get vets here, got to be able to get stewards here."
And as he pointed out, they would have restrictions put on them where they can travel to.
"Even if we get one main meeting and then we get an eight-race card all something like that. I'm willing to work with that anything that GRNSW are willing to provide," he said.
He said he wasn't surprised the governing body have taken this step.
"I knew it was coming, they were going to have to do something," he said.
"It's not just about greyhound racing, it's about people's health as well."
But in light of other sports having to shut down, he said they are "pretty lucky" to be able to keep going.