UNTRIED greyhound Hairy Garry will receive a rock star welcome to Warrnambool’s Wannon Park tonight for his debut race.
The unassuming dog, which has found recent fame on The Footy Show after being named in honour of co-host Garry Lyon, will contest a 390-metre maiden heat at the south-west track.
The Footy Show is even sending a film crew to Warrnambool to capture his big moment from box four.
Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club general manager Matt Ansell said the hype around Hairy Garry was great for the sport.
“The club and the industry is happy to have a promotional greyhound going around,” Ansell said.
“It really does lift the profile of the sport.”
Ansell said it was a special chance for the Warrnambool club to showcase what it had to offer.
He has encouraged greyhound racing supporters, The Footy Show fans and other locals to attend tonight.
“From our club’s point of view, it is a terrific opportunity to show off what our club can do,” Ansell said.
“We hope that plenty of the town comeS to the track to see Hairy Garry go around.” While there was some hope that regular program panellist Billy Brownless or Lyon himself might travel to the track for the occasion, Ansell said it was unlikely.
However, there will be opportunities for locals to get their faces on television.
“While it is very disappointing no celebrities will be in attendance, the crew will still be filming various parts of the crowd and the race,” Ansell said.
Hairy Garry’s Woorndoo-based trainer Malcolm Lowe will also be on hand at Warrnambool tomorrow.
Part-owner Matt Fruvall said Hairy Garry’s name was fitting for the hirsute canine.
“He got his name because when we got him off the farm we gave him a bath and a brush and the hair that came off him was enough to fill two shopping bags,” Fruvall said.
“I got a phone call from Garry telling me how honoured he was to have a greyhound named after him.”
Hairy Garry will jump out from box four in race four, the last of four Hairy Garry heats, at 7.58pm.
The top two placegetters from each maiden heat will advance to the Hairy Garry final next week.