GRNSW Successful In Securing A Slot In TAB Phoenix

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) is delighted to have secured a slot and ensured the State and its participants will be strongly represented in the inaugural running of the $1.145 million TAB Phoenix. 

The Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA) announced on Sunday night the eight successful applicants, with each slot holder to now select a greyhound as their representative for the new feature event which will be held at The Meadows on December 18. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to have been successful in securing a slot for the TAB Phoenix,” GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov said. “We have seen the success of a similar slot-based race in thoroughbred racing, The Everest, here in Sydney and the way it has captured the imagination of the public.

“As soon as we heard about the Phoenix we wanted to be involved, firstly, because it would guarantee that a NSW greyhound and NSW trainer would have a place in the field. 

“But for us it was more than just buying a box in the field. Some people have asked why GRNSW would buy into a Victorian event? We did so because we believed the event, and its promotion and exposure to a wider audience, would be hugely beneficial to the greyhound racing industry as a whole, and we felt that with our involvement, the industry in NSW would also be beneficiaries.

“As soon as I heard that we had been successful in gaining a slot, there was sense of a great excitement, and I’m sure now the announcement has been made, that excitement will filter through to the entire industry in NSW.

“And just as we experienced with the TAB Million Dollar Chase, we will be using that excitement and our promotion of our selected runner, and the event, as an opportunity to bring a new audience into the sport.

“During this time of uncertainty and lockdowns, every piece of good news is embraced, and while we unfortunately were forced to postpone the TAB Million Dollar Chase this year, we now have another event on our calendar to pour energy into. We can now start planning around how we select the right dog and be in the race to walk away with the $750,000 on December 18.” 

A total of 14 applications were made to the MGRA from a variety of parties interested in securing one of the eight slots. The other successful applicants were: naming rights sponsor the TAB, the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners, and Trainers Association (GBOTA), Dogs WA, Ray Borda, Racing Queensland, the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) and Sportsbet.

While he will look forward to the usual NSW-Victorian rivalry, MGRA Chief Executive Officer Ashley Baker also praised the support from GRNSW of his organisation’s new feature.

“With the Million Dollar Chase being postponed due to COVID, it’s fantastic to see the support from Tony Mestrov and the team at GRNSW,” Baker said. 

“Tony was one of the first to congratulate The Meadows and GRV (Greyhound Racing Victoria) and I look forward to seeing their Phoenix campaign unfold as we head towards December 18.

“I’ve no doubt they’ll have a high-class greyhound representing them on the night and look forward to some interstate rivalry.” 

Following their success in acquiring a slot, GRNSW will now consider a number of options in how they select a greyhound to represent the NSW industry in the Phoenix.

“When we submitted our application for the slot, our racing department and media and marketing teams started thinking about options and opportunities on how we could select our runner,” Mestrov said. 

“Now that we have the slot we will look at all suggestions to determine which is not only the best for GRNSW and the industry here in NSW, but particularly best for our participants so that they too can get involved, be a part of this wonderful concept, and come along for the ride.”