IPSWICH BOOST: Greyhound enthusiasts Beverley Chappell (with her runner Mrs Bonteen) and Peter Wilson (with Wild Surfer) welcome the return of Saturday night racing.
IPSWICH BOOST: Greyhound enthusiasts Beverley Chappell (with her runner Mrs Bonteen) and Peter Wilson (with Wild Surfer) welcome the return of Saturday night racing. David Nielsen

Saturday night all right for family racing

SATURDAY night greyhound racing will return to Ipswich this month, 12 years after the club held its last Saturday night meet.

An eight-race program will be held fortnightly from November 10 and Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club manager Merv Page believes Ipswich people will support the new events.

"The local greyhound community have been asking for this for a long time," Page said.

"It's up to them now to get out and support it.

"A lot of us on the committee can remember what Saturday nights were like, it was a packed house.

"Since then there has been a lot of development in and around Ipswich so we think it's a good opportunity to promote the town."

The meetings will be non-TAB events but patrons will be able to bet on local races with two on-site bookmakers as well as accessing Tote facilities for racing around Australia.

Page said the real winners will be the wider Ipswich community who will now have another legitimate family entertainment option on Saturday nights.

"We believe there is a lack of entertainment options in Ipswich on Saturday nights and this gives the chance to working trainers and families to get to the meetings," he said.

"Our weekly race meetings are too early and just don't allow people to get there. But this is a great night out for a family.

"We find we get a lot more people to the dogs in school holidays so we think this will attract the same crowd as that."

The meeting costs will be shared by the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club and Racing Queensland with the state body to cover the costs of prize money.

Page said the green light to reintroduce the weekend event was a boost to the whole greyhound community and the club had high expectations for the new meetings.

"We did race Saturday afternoons about nine months ago when Capalaba was flood affected," he said.

"That proved quite popular but that won't come close to the interest in Saturday nights.

"This could be a nice financial boost for the club but we have always been one of the most financial greyhound or racing clubs in Australia anyway.

"We are doing it for ourselves but this is also for the town."



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