Sky Racing is excited to launch a new Saturday morning circuit of Australian greyhound racing from this week.
From Saturday, Sky Racing 1 will cover a three-state greyhound circuit, comprising over 30 races each Saturday morning between 8:00am and 12:00pm and finishing before the key local domestic thoroughbred racing starts.
Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) will each have one meeting every week, while Racing Queensland (RQ) and Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA) will alternate weeks as the third meeting.
This will open with meetings at Ballarat, Temora, and Townsville.
The first of 32 races will be Ballarat’s opener at 8.35am, while Temora’s 10th event will round-out the circuit at 11.40am.
“Domestic Saturday morning racing is something we have been weighing-up for some time and, after a trial earlier this year, we felt the best fit, especially outside of daylight savings time, was to have a three-state greyhound racing circuit," Tabcorp’s EGM Media & International Darren Pearce said.
“It is great to be able to support our racing partners who have an appetite to race on a Saturday morning and we will continue to review the content and how we can keep evolving it over time, especially when we get into daylight savings months.”
Greyhound Racing Victoria CEO Alan Clayton said the addition of Saturday mornings was a great initiative and provided something positive for people to look forward to at a much-needed time.
“The new timeslot has already proven to be a bonus for all involved with great feedback received from our meeting at Shepparton last Saturday. We look forward to continuing to strengthen this into the future,” he said.
“GRNSW are delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of this exciting new programing with Sky Racing and Tabcorp," GRNSW CEO Tony Mestrov said.
"While it has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone over recent months, we have been pleasantly surprised by the dramatic surge in turnover on NSW greyhound races, with record breaking amounts being held each week.
“With turnover, and clearly confidence in our sport, at an all-time high, we have to applaud and thank Sky Racing and Tabcorp for giving us this additional timeslot on Saturday mornings - leading into what is always a massive day of thoroughbred racing - to showcase greyhound racing.”
Racing Queensland COO Adam Wallish said: "The Queensland greyhound industry continues to go from strength to strength."
“As we continue to innovate in the Sunshine State, the addition of a matinee meeting on a Saturday morning provides the opportunity to showcase Queensland greyhound racing to new audiences both here in Australia and across the globe.”
GRSA CEO Matthew Corby said: “The Saturday morning timeslot has clear potential and lends itself perfectly to a greyhound offering. It is a great opportunity for the various states to promote our code to a new audience.”
In another major boost for greyhound racing, Sky Racing has expanded its showcase coverage of Thursday night’s “Nationals” night of racing from two to 3.5 hours to ensure all individual state finals are included.
Sky Racing 2’s coverage will now commence at 18:00 AEST and kick-off with a hot Victorian Sprint Final at 18:09, thanks to GRV agreeing to schedule its feature race as the 10th event, so that Sky can include coverage of the race from the COVID amended Sandown card.
The earlier start also means Sky will showcase both New Zealand finals from Addington at 18:24 and 18:50 as part of the program.
Young gun Dan Huddy will host an “around the grounds” detailed preview coverage of the remaining finals from 19:00 to 20:00, taking in the action from Wentworth Park, Albion Park, Angle Park, Hobart and Cannington, before the series resumes at 20:07 from Brisbane HQ.
With Sky Racing 2 now part of Foxtel’s residential base tier package and open to more than two million Foxtel subscribers, this is a fantastic opportunity to deliver a stellar night of greyhound racing to a broad local and international audience.
“Showcasing such an important night as the ‘Nationals”, along with the introduction of the Saturday morning circuit further shows our support for greyhound racing,” Pearce said.