Mestrov described the actions of DAHS as “undermining” the sport’s participants, less than 24 hours after the Dapto club issued a statement saying its registration had lapsed and it had ended racing at the venue.
“This is firstly a win for the participants of greyhound racing in NSW,” Mestrov said. “It is unfortunate that it took a court order to obtain access to the Dapto venue, but we promised to fight for the participants and we have won the right to conduct a meeting at Dapto [on Thursday night].”
Earlier on Thursday GRNSW appointed an administrator, former chief steward Grant Carroll, to take over the running of the club.
Carroll had been denied access to the track an hour before the injunction application, which heard DAHS’ decision was made on Monday, and locks on the gates had been changed.
In delivering his decision, Justice Pembroke called Dapto dogs “not only iconic, they might be the most famous dog meeting in the country” and said the appointment of Carroll was lawful.
It has resuscitated hopes greyhound racing won’t be finished at Dapto, with the parties due back in court on Monday.
Earlier, DAHS called for Mestrov to quit after the industry regulator launched the desperate legal action to ensure racing is not lost to the venue, which has hosted greyhound racing for more than 80 years.
A day after “blindsiding” GRNSW officials by announcing their intention to end racing at Dapto, the DAHS issued a stinging appraisal of Mestrov.
The governing body and club had been at loggerheads over a new funding agreement, which the DAHS described as “commercially unviable”. It described Mestrov’s tactics as “reprehensible”.
“The Dapto Agricultural and Horticultural Society calls for the resignation of Greyhound
Racing NSW CEO Tony Mestrov,” it said in a statement.
“Mr Mestrov inaccurately stated that we have not responded to his financial questions, when
in fact our accountant has responded to all of them in writing. We also provide Greyhound
Racing NSW with our audited financials every year. We have nothing to hide.”
The message from GRNSW is, simply, that if the Dapto club does not have the ability to run greyhound racing at this venue – then we will
Mestrov called the society’s funding agreement complaint as nothing more than a “convenient excuse and smokescreen”.
“The message from GRNSW is, simply, that if the Dapto club does not have the ability to run greyhound racing at this venue – then we will,” Mestrov said.
“Dapto is the only one of 15 GRNSW TAB clubs not to have signed up to a guaranteed funding arrangement for the next three years, and we now suspect there are ulterior motives at play as to why.
“We are highly suspicious about the DAHS financial accounts presented to us about their financial position for the Dapto Greyhound Racing Club – and we believe that the DAHS board’s refusal to comply with lawful requests for more information on their accounts and financial reporting procedures is a very loud alarm bell about what is going on within the club.”
He said GRNSW viewed the community development plans of the Dapto site with “great suspicion”.
The Dapto dogs employs about 15 staff on a casual basis and DAHS previously said it would work on redeployment opportunities for those affected.
Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.