Greyhound racing is set to become a lot more safer in NSW following the completion of the state’s first straight racing track in western Sydney.
A significant milestone in the mission to improve greyhound welfare standards occurred last week with the official opening of the newly completed 324m track at Richmond Race Club at Londonderry.
NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson, Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston and Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) CEO Tony Mestrov visited the facility recently to officially open the state-of-the-art track.
“The development of purpose-built tracks will be a game changer for welfare outcomes in the greyhound racing industry and I am thrilled to see GRNSW and Richmond Race Club leading the way with the development of the first straight track in NSW,” Mr Anderson said.
“This is quite literally a new direction for the sport. Among the features of the track will be the innovative Safe Chase, battery operated, cableless lure, and the IsoLynx greyhound tracking and timing system. While the IsoLynx system will provide great information for punters and viewers, the use of IsoLynx microchip technology provides greyhound health and welfare benefits, monitoring the dog’s heart and stress levels.
“All of the data collected will assist GRNSW and the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission with vital data for the betterment of greyhound racing.”
Mr Mestrov said the project is in line with GRNSW’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 to improve welfare and safety.
“It is with great pride that we are able to open this track at Richmond, which will see TAB straight track racing for the first time in NSW,” he said.
“The Richmond straight track has been a long time in the making and the planning was meticulous so that we could be sure it was a state-of-the-art facility, and that is what has been delivered by our Tracks and Infrastructure team at GRNSW.
“We are delighted with the finished product and we look forward with excitement to the track staging its first meeting on April 24 over the 324 metres.”
Ms Preston welcomed the official opening of the track upgrade following years of campaigning to secure the upgrade.
“Western Sydney is the heart and soul of greyhound racing in NSW and there is no better location for the state’s first straight track than a western Sydney’s premier greyhound racing track,” she said.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.