Sand under paw for Gunnedah

SATURDAY marked the end of an era for the Gunnedah Coursing Club when the last meeting on the grass surface was held.

After Saturday’s last race the track is being torn up to be replaced with a clay-based sand track.

A 12-race card that included five “Last on the Grass” finals over, one for every distance at the track with two 347m sprints.

GBOTA chairman Geoff Rose said it was a big day for the track, the club and the region. “Everyone is excited about it,” Rose said.

“It will improve the quality of races here greatly. Getting the TAB is next – that is the next big step without a doubt.”

The club put an application to the TAB at the end of last year and are awaiting a result.

“There is a Greyhound NSW board meeting on January 29 and we will hopefully find out then.”

On Saturday the winner of the ‘Last on the Grass’ finals was given a commemorative leather collar and lead at a small on course presentation.

The two 347m races were won by the The Glenda Bush trained Rip Stix, and then the Scooby Six-owned Yo Cool Maxie showed his class to notch his 24th career win.

The Barry and Ros Evans trained blue four-year- has now amassed just under $50,000 in prize money, and is a favourite of the trainer.

“He is our special dog, and will become the family pet soon when he retires,” Ros Evans said.

The ‘Last on the Grass’ 440m was won by the Maureen West-trained Takeshi..

The blue two-year-old jumped in front and never looked back.

The 512m race was won by Bit Vane and trained by local favourite William Marmara.

The final race of the series was over the long trip of 576m, with Kevin Campbell’s Hot Thing going in as heavy favourite and living up to the hype. He has won twice and run a second at the track this year.

During the presentations the winning trainers praised the work of the club and the association.

Directly after the 12th race the fence and rail were removed and the grass cutter arrived early Sunday morning.

Barring bad weather the new sand track should be complete in a fortnight’s time.

The first ever Gunnedah sand track race will be on Thursday February 22, and will involve an opening ceremony and celebration.

The track will be open for at least a week prior to the first meeting to allow the dogs to get used to the surface.

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