Great Chase returns to Shepparton

By Aydin Payne

With the weather beginning to warm up with the change of seasons, the action at Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club is also starting to heat up.

Today the TAB Great Chase comes to Shepparton for another instalment of racing and it's all for a good cause.

All Victorian clubs are involved and invite local community organisations that care for the intellectually or physically disabled, and offer free catering, merchandise and chance to share in $2000 in prizemoney.

Now in its 16th year, the Greyhound Racing Victoria event heads around racing clubs, with more than $600 000 donated to Victoria's disability sector through the Great Chase.

The event has been supported by the TAB since 2008.

And all organisations that attend today's event are invited along to the Great Chase Grand Final at the Meadows in Melbourne with the chance to win an extra $24 000 in prizemoney.

Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club manager Carl McGrath said the day would be fantastic as the club continues its involvement with the community.

"It should be a fantastic day, we try to be involved with as many charitable events as possible," he said.

"We have 135 people from the groups coming from right across the region, from Echuca and Seymour, coming down on Thursday."

• In other news, the club has decided to make entries to race trials free for a six-month period.

Shepparton becomes the second greyhound club in Victoria — following The Meadows — to implement the free race trial program.

McGrath said the experiment was aimed at increasing the number of greyhounds at the club's race trials.

"It's to try and see how well it is received within the area," he said.

"Hopefully we see a general improvement of numbers and people using the trials.

"Part of this free trial is a matter of encouraging people to get along to trials.

"If we see that it works and that the numbers go up, we will look to bring it in full time."