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Great Chase benefits community groups

Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club general manager Troy Harley believes the benefits of the annual Great Chase series is two-fold.

PATRICK O'MEARA November 8, 2012 4:05am

Favaloro (yellow jacket) sneaks home to claim the first heat of the Great Chase.


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Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club general manager Troy Harley believes the benefits of the annual Great Chase series is two-fold.

One — it provides high-quality racing, with the final categorised a Group Two race.

Two — it allows for community engagement.

The Great Chase series is in its 10th year and has seen community groups, who care for the intellectually and physically disabled, pocket more than $250000.

The groups are assigned a greyhound and if it wins the home-track heat the group receives $500, a semi-final $1000 and the final $5000 plus 10 per cent of the dog’s earnings during the next 12 months.

Heats kicked off at Shepparton’s twilight meeting yesterday and will continue at tracks across Victoria until Tuesday.

The semi-finals will be staged at Geelong and Warragul on Monday, November 19 ahead of the final at The Meadows on Wednesday, November 28.

Yesterday’s winners were, in heat one Favaloro trained by Longwood’s Bernard Groom and then a double for Benalla trainer Paul Donohue in the next two heats with Proven Song and Proven Dash.

The first two winners were drawn to PALSINC-Nelson Street and the last was drawn to Vision Australia.

Harley said it was a great event.

‘‘We have more than 100 people down here from nine different groups and they had a great time,’’ Harley said.

‘‘They get up close and personal with the dogs and it is great for us and great for them.’’

It marked a strong week for the club, following the success of the inaugural Hawaiian-themed meeting on Saturday night.

Harley said people had embraced the meeting, which is set to become an annual event on the club’s calendar.

‘‘It was a great night,’’ he said.

‘‘We had 500 (spectators) on-course and 300 of them would have been dressed up.’’

Rowan Hiscock, of Kialla Lakes, won the main prize of a trip to Hawaii.

‘‘He was dressed very appropriately in a grass skirt and with a Hawaiian shirt, he was just about ready to board the plane there and then,’’ Harley said.

The club has been given an extra meeting on Saturday, December 8 and Harley said the club would consider making it a Christmas-themed meeting.

He said it would be a twilight meeting.

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