Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Chief Executive Officer Mr Rob Macaulay today announced the latest upgrades to racing facilities around the State, continuing the commitment to be the leader of safety innovation and world’s best practice in greyhound track design.
Two separate announcements were made at the opening of tracks to be used for trials, one at Cessnock and the other at Thirlmere.
Mr Macaulay, who was joined at the Cessnock facility by local member Clayton Barr, said that today’s announcements show the commitment of GRNSW to not only racing, but the important need for quality, safe venues for participants to trial their racing greyhounds and to educate their young dogs.
“Trials tracks such as this one here at Cessnock and the upgraded facility at Thirlmere are crucial to our owners and trainers, and particularly in these areas which have a large participant population,” Mr Macaulay said.
“The Hunter Valley is a big region for us, as one of our best racing and participant jurisdictions, so it’s really important to have quality trialling facilities available.
“We have made a number of a announcements recently about upgrading racetracks around the State, and bringing venues such as Muswellbrook and Lithgow up to the standard to allow both to host TAB meetings, but the importance of quality, and safe, trial tracks has not been lost on GRNSW.
“Grass circuits are unique in our sport, and it’s great news for participants that we have been able to bring Cessnock up to the standard where they can come and trial and educate their young greyhounds.”
The Cessnock track closed for racing back in 2006 but continued to be used for trialling until 2019.
Just over 18 months ago, GRNSW announced it planned to upgrade the Cessnock track, and that work was recently completed.
Among the works are the installation of new starting boxes and mats, an upgrade to the catching pen, a new lure rail, and the renovation of the track surface. In total more than $300,000 was spent on the works.
Local Member Nathaniel Smith – the co-chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends Of Greyhounds group – was on hand for the opening of the Thirlmere training track, another region densely populated with participants.
Significant works were undertaken at Thirlmere with the installation of a new cable lure rail, cable system and lure, timing system, irrigation system, the complete track remediation and resurfacing, electrical works and the installation of new perimeter fencing and padding. In all $600,000 was spent on the upgrade at Thirlmere.
“Both Cessnock and Thirlmere are the latest investments into track facilities in the State, and the strong support of the NSW Government, Minister for Racing Kevin Anderson and local members, Clayton Barr and Nathaniel Smith, have made this possible,” Mr Macaulay said.