Wentworth Park Racing To Cease As Covid Worsens

RACING in the Sydney city at Wentworth Park will come to a halt for the foreseeable future as the Covid crisis in the Greater Sydney region worsens.

Adam Dobbin

11 July 2021

RACING at Wentworth Park will come to a halt as the Covid crisis in the Greater Sydney region worsens.

On Sunday morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that 77 new Covid cases had been recorded in the past 24 hours and said she would be “shocked” if the state records less than 100 new cases on Monday and possibly for several days afterwards.

Faced with the prospect of current lockdown measures tightening further, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) decided on Sunday to cease racing at Wentworth Park with immediate effect.

“After much consideration and following the latest COVID-19 update from the NSW Government and NSW Health, GRNSW decided that in the best interests of all participants and staff, to temporarily cease racing in the city centre,” the statement read.

“In the short term, these meetings will be replaced by Gosford on Wednesday, July 14, and Bulli Saturday, July 17.

“Both of these meetings will carry city level prizemoney.

“The meeting at Gosford will be graded as provincial and will carry Wentworth Park Wednesday prizemoney, with 515m events for 5th grade and above, with prizemoney starting from $4,000 to the winner, and distance events for 5th Grade and above, with prizemoney starting from $4,400 to the winner.

“Maidens will be $1,500 to the winner and if the balance of the meeting needs to be made up of 388m events, they will carry prizemoney to the winner of $2,500 (5th Grade), $2,800 (4th Grade), and $3,000 (3rd Grade and above).”

The move by GRNSW to halt racing at Wentworth Park has been made on the advice of NSW Health.

“While there are concerns across the entire locked down area, the NSW Government and NSW Health have stipulated that their major concerns focus around areas in the Sydney Metropolitan region, particularly the South West, South and South East of the city,” the statement read.

“As such, GRNSW believe it is best to keep all of our participants away from these areas by stopping them from travelling into the CBD to race at Wentworth Park.”

In the coming week, GRNSW will be forced to begin making decisions in regards to the TAB Million Dollar Chase which is due to get underway in just four weeks time.

Faced with the reality that zoned racing is likely to continue into the foreseeable future and the prospect of state border closures strengthening, it’s understood GRNSW will begin working through options this week for its flagship event as the Covid picture becomes clearer.