Sport

Northern River greyhound trainers ignore race protest ban

UPDATE

NORTHERN River greyhound owners and trainers have ignored a call to boycott racing for two weeks from Saturday.

Nominations for the first Northern Rivers meeting in the period, Lismore on Tuesday, closed yesterday morning with more dogs nominated than the week before.

Lismore Greyound Club line manager Lisa Vanderstok said 123 dogs had nominated for Tuesday, up from 114 the week before.

She said the number was slightly down on the usual number, fluctuating between 140 and 150, but considering there was also a maiden event on Wednesday, where up to 200 dogs were expected, the numbers were good.

Ms Vanderstok said the protest organisers had not helped their cause by failing to canvas opinions of local owners and trainers.

"There was no-one up here asking people what they thought of the reasons behind the protest, just a notice in the newspaper last Friday," she said.

"If we didn't have nominations, there would have been lots of Queensland trainers bringing their dogs down here."

The strong showing for Tuesday has given the Lismore club confidence its second biggest race of the year, a $20,000 maiden, which will be raced during the protest period, won't be affected.

A group of greyhound owners, trainers and breeders are protesting because the TAB is refusing to increase its payout to the greyhound industry from 13 per cent it guaranteed in a 99-year intercode agreement signed in 1997.

The dogs contribute about 21% of the TAB revenue, which protesters say should be the cut they get from the TAB.

Grafton Greyhound Club secretary Brad Ellis said the protest seemed to be more focussed on the Sydney and Newcastle areas, where he noted races at Wentworth Park and The Gardens were going ahead with a reduced number of races.

Wentworth Park will have a nine-race card and The Gardens, eight, instead of their normal 10-race events.

He is not sure how it will affect racing at Grafton, which races on December 6 and 13.

Mr Ellis has some sympathy with the protest, but is not sure if a boycott of racing is the right way to go.

He said the Cameron Report in 2008, which examined wagering and the sustainability of the NSW racing industry, called for a distribution scheme that reflected the performance of each code, but the state government has not moved on the key recommendations.

"I haven't gone into the Cameron Report fully, but I know it says the 99-year agreement is not a good arrangement," he said.

28-11-2012, 18:37:36

THE 'gut feeling' of greyhound racing officials on the North Coast is there will be little interest in a proposed breeders, owners and trainers fortnight boycott of racing, starting on Saturday.

Grafton Greyhound Club secretary Brad Ellis said he had fielded one call from a trainer asking for information about the protest.

Greyhound owners are protesting because the TAB is refusing to increase its payout to the greyhound industry from 13 per cent it guaranteed in a 99-year intercode agreement in 1997.

The dogs contribute about 21% of the TAB revenue, which protesters say should be the cut they get from the TAB.

Mr Ellis said greyhound clubs in the State's north will know tomorrow (Thursday) if the protest will have an effect here.

"Lismore races on Tuesday, so their noms come out tomorrow," he said.

"We will know then if there's going to be an effect here."

He said the protest seemed to be more focused on the Sydney and Newcastle areas, where he noted races at Wentworth Park and the Gardens were going ahead with a reduced number of races.

Wentworth Park will have a nine-race card and The Gardens, eight, instead of their normal 10-race events.

He is not sure how it will affect racing at Grafton, which races on December 6 and 13.

Mr Ellis has some sympathy with the protest, but is not sure if a boycott of racing is the right way to go.

He said the Cameron Report in 2008, which examined wagering and the sustainability of the NSW racing industry, called for a distribution scheme that reflected the performance of each code, but the state government has not moved on the key recommendations.

"I haven't gone into the Cameron Report fully, but I know it says the 99-year agreement is not a good arrangement," he said.

Topics:  boycott, greyhound racing



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