Andy McCook is under no illusions as to how lucky he is to be at the forefront of the return of live sport in New Zealand today. And, in turn, the NZ racing industry and the many who rely on it for their income are lucky to have the dogs.
McCook trains greyhound and the dogs are not just the first of the three racing codes to come back with a race kicking off at noon today at Addington Raceway and Events Centre. They are also the first live sport to occur in the country since we entered lockdown on the 25th of March.
This meeting is responsible for turning the key that restarts the huge machine that is racing in New Zealand, an industry that supplies work for many people and entertainment for many others.
McCook, who is responsible for training the dogs alongside his wife, Janine, is excited to get things started up again, and, he says, so are the dogs. He said that he can’t wait to get back to work, albeit under very different circumstances, says the trainer, who is also an expert on form and a TV presenter on racing.
Greyhound racing had strict protocols in place for the two meetings televised today which are set to attract bettors from all over the country and across the Tasman. No crowds, owners, or kids allowed, and dogs and handlers were kept far apart, something that got particularly tricky after the race. McCook says they just have to get used to the new normal.
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