HORSHAM’S greyhound racing track has re-opened for trials.
Works meant the track has been closed since October 2016.
The re-opening comes after four months of demolition work on the track, before track re-construction began in February.
Horsham Greyhound Racing Club manager Justin Brilliant said the work had been smooth sailing.
“We are now having a month of trialling to get the track up and ready. It will give us time to get out all of the teething problems,” he said.
Mr Brilliant said possible issues might include ensuring the timing system is correct, the photo finish process is perfect and the sand has had time to settle.
“It’s all those sorts of operational things that make the day run better,” Brilliant said.
The first meeting on the new track is on August 1.
“We are two weeks into trials now and next week we have a picnic meeting,” Brilliant said.
Brilliant said a picnic meeting was a trial run where trainers brought their dogs to race for no prize money.
Trainers from across the region have been travelling to Bendigo, Warrnambool and Ballarat to race and Brilliant said they were excited to return to Horsham.
“They’re sick of travelling. They are really excited to get onto the track,” he said.
The University of Technology Sydney did research on greyhound welfare and came up with a track design to help the dog’s longevity in the sport.
Brilliant said the club sent a model of its track and the university responded with a plan the club then trialled.
“They gave it a tick. It’s better for the dogs to race on what we’ve designed,” he said.
“It’s going to be a great test case.
“One of the ground-breaking things is that at our short distance of 410 metres, the dogs used to start off at a shoot and the dogs would run to the rail and have to cut around the corner.
“Now we have a crane with lift-on boxes so the dogs will jump and run in a straight line, which is a really big test case for racing Victoria. We are the guinea pigs before (Greyhound Racing Victoria) rolls it out to other tracks.”