Two of the State's leading female trainers will represent NSW at the 2021 National Straight Track Championships in Queensland following their success in the local titles last weekend.
In April this year, NSW's first TAB straight track was opened at Richmond and it has been a resounding success with participants.
As a result of now having a straight track, it allowed NSW to stage a State Straight Track Championship, with the first two in the final qualifying for the national title to be run at Capalaba on December 19.
Following last Saturday's final, Michelle Lill and Kayla-Jane Coleman will be the two NSW representatives, with Michelle's Olsen Street and Kayla-Jane's Fibrillation finishing first and second respectively in the NSW decider. Olsen Street has only been in Michelle's kennel for four starts and three of those have been wins, while Fibrillation picked the perfect time to produce his personal best up the Richmond straight to snare the other qualifying berth. Representatives from South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland will clash with the two NSW greyhounds in the National Championship Final over the 366m trip, with the winner to receive $25,000.
The Minister Responsible for Racing, the Hon Kevin Anderson, recently tabled in Parliament the annual reports of both GRNSW and the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, and while I have written in this forum previously about some of the outstanding results GRNSW achieved in 2020-21, it was very pleasing to see a similar story at GWIC.
Of particular note were some of the figures released in the report, including a 42 percent reduction in catastrophic race-day injuries and 73 percent fewer medical euthanasias since 2018-2019, increased participation in the industry with now 4732 registered participants, and confirmation of the total number of greyhounds registered within the NSW industry, which is 23,180, made up of 48 percent racing, 16 percent pre-racing and 36 percent post-racing greyhounds.
Certainly during my four years at the helm - and I am happy to stand corrected - but I would imagine that the latest recruit to the GRNSW, Simon Orchard, is our first employee who brings with him an Olympic medal.
Simon was a member of the Kookaburras, the Australian men's hockey team which won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, and was also a member of teams which won multiple gold medals in the Champions Trophy, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. He brings to GRNSW great experience from working in a variety of media roles, and we have seen already the passion he has for the job and the industry.
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.