Further to recent successful trials of Friday racing at Mount Gambier, GRSA has announced a change to the weekly schedule of SA Sky race meetings from January 1, 2013. Effective from that date, Mount Gambier will alternate with Gawler in the Friday timeslot on a fortnightly rotation and continue to race every other week in the Sunday matinee timeslot that it currently occupies. Under the new cycle, Mount Gambier will race Sunday into Friday and then break for nine days before their next Sunday meeting.
After five trial meetings for Mount Gambier in the Friday timeslot the level of wagering returns was sufficient for GRSA to back the Club with a weekly racing opportunity within the Sky schedule. Friday wagering activity has demonstrated a level of inelasticity on the basis of ‘venue preference’. Furthermore, it is GRSA’s expectation that wagering turnover will continue to increase for Mount Gambier Friday meetings in the context of heightened venue ‘familiarity’ arising from more frequent scheduling.
Mt Gambier Greyhound Racing and Coursing Club secretary treasurer Mr Barry Shepheard said “We feel the changes to the scheduling are terrific for greyhound racing in the South East, this along with the increases in prize money from October 1 will help build a solid foundation for racing opportunity and returns to participants in the area”.
The scheduling of weekly racing at Mount Gambier reflects a key element of the 2012 GRSA Strategic Plan which identifies weekly racing as a (minimum) fundamental requirement of a viable TAB track region. This balanced approach to regional scheduling will contribute to GRSA realising a number of five-year targets including all TAB tracks racing at least once weekly, nominations being extended for less than 10% of meetings and the minimum scheduling of 6 weekly Sky (TAB) meetings across the longer term.
The Mount Gambier strategy produces multiple benefits for the industry in SA – the most important being the promotion of that region’s underlying viability.
Separately, the new schedule is expected to relieve future supply issues, improve nomination depth and in time grow overall weekly wagering.
In conjunction with the change, and subject to nominations, the Angle Park Wednesday meeting will immediately be expanded from 10 to 12 races as a means of maximising the opportunity in the inner region, with those additional racing opportunities favouring 388m racing.
The Gawler Friday meetings will exclusively support 400m races subject to sufficient nominations for that distance being received from 1st January 2013.