COVID won’t stop SA’s big events
By TERRY WILSON
THE Mount Gambier Cup, the state Straight Track Championship at Murray Bridge and the state sprint and distance finals are going ahead as South Australia continues to fight back against the coronavirus.
Greyhound Racing South Australia Racing Manager Shaun Mathieson said the two major provincial events and the sprint and distance titles at Angle Park are going to be raced as planned.
As this edition of Chase was being prepared for print Mathieson confirmed that the sprint and distance finals are being raced on August 13, the same date as finals in other states.
But this year there are no national finals because of the pandemic that has swept Australia.
It is the same for the Straight Track Championship, heats of which were held on July 29 and the final coming up on August 5.
This final was won last year, at its first staging on the new straight track at Murray Bridge by Panhandle Slim for trainer Ray Murray.
The event has overall prizemoney of $5000.
Over to Mount Gambier and heats of their Cup (512m) are on Sunday, August 23, and the final a week later and with $14,275 overall prizemoney.
Galactic Athena won this event last year for Steve Bartholomew.
Mathieson said the closure of the Victoria-South Australian border has had a significant effect on racing at Mount Gambier.
“It has reduced their meetings from twice a week to once,” he said.
“Bear in mind about 60 per cent of nominations for Mount Gambier come from across the border.
“They were going to open the border on July 20 but the government changed that based on the number of COVID cases in Victoria and with greater restrictions in place.
“It makes it difficult, particularly for Mount Gambier.
“It’s very difficult for them. They had to get through the canine virus and obviously now the human one. They got hit double.”