Cork greyhounds: Increase in race entry fee a talking point for owners

Cork greyhounds: Increase in race entry fee a talking point for owners
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE big talking point in the world of Irish greyhound racing over the last week or so was the announcement that race entries would be increased from €10 to €15.

However, entries to SIS racing will remain at €10 with a restructured prize money system.

There’s obviously a mixed reaction to the increase in entry fees to non-SIS racing. However, I think it’s much better than reducing prize money. In fairness, the prize money for graded racing is very good. 

I was only looking at the opening race in Youghal last night, an A7 event, with a winner’s prize of €255. The feature on the card was an A1 affair, with the winner bringing home €350. That’s really nice money.

In terms of the restructured prize money for SIS racing, a lot of people are happy that the third, fourth, fifth and sixth will receive €40. Most people that run dogs on the SIS program have several dogs running and this will prove very beneficial.

SIS racing is set to return on June 29, with Youghal set to get the ball rolling on the Monday night. I’ve spoken to a number of trainers and owners over the last few weeks, all are excited about the return of SIS racing. 

With SIS racing not returning till the 29, it gives owners and trainers the time to have their dogs in perfect condition. Overall, SIS racing has gone down very well. In particular, in Youghal and the smaller tracks nationwide. It’s definitely not ideal for Curraheen Park and that has been a big talking point in recent weeks. 

Hopefully, that will be sorted sooner rather than later. The board will either have to give Curraheen Park an extra night of racing or bring the SIS racing to another track.

Please note that race fixtures will take place behind closed doors without public access.

It’s great to have racing back and we have a number of big events in the weeks ahead.

In a statement, the IGB said: 

“Following a special meeting yesterday of the Board of Bord na gCon on the challenges facing the industry arising from Covid-19, the Board has agreed an objective of maintaining ordinary prize money race grants at current levels for 2020 subject to the following...

"An increase in ordinary race entry fee from €10 to €15 (entry fees have remained unchanged since conversion to € in 2002) from resumption of racing activity. Maintain entry fee at €10 for SIS meetings but on basis of a restructured prize money model as set out below.

"The revised model will come into effect on the resumption of SIS activity and will apply to all SIS race meetings at Mullingar, Tralee, Youghal, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork and Limerick."

“The Board has also committed to continuing its programme of cost reduction and restructuring across all areas of the business. Payroll costs (as per annual accounts) have reduced from in excess of €9M in 2015 to €8.162M in 2019. The reduction in payroll costs during 2019 was €240K. Further reductions in costs are expected and anticipated for 2020.

“Our key focus in the area of care and welfare has been maintained throughout the period of suspension of activity with the Covid-19 Greyhound Care Payment Scheme and the advancement of major initiatives including the Greyhound Traceability System which is well advanced and will be operational in Q4 2020.

“The board is confident that the resumption of all activity over the coming months, in accordance with the Government Roadmap, will be of significant assistance in improving overall commercial performance.

"Restaurants at all our stadia will reopen for business on June 29 and operate in full compliance with all Covid 19 protocols.

“The board looks forward to delivering an intensive schedule of racing events in the remaining period of 2020.”

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