Knights promotion to raise funds

THE Newcastle Knights have gone to the dogs.

The Knights and greyhound racetrack, The Gardens, have joined forces for an exciting opportunity to raise money for charity through the deeds of a racing greyhound named Knights Defender.

The dog will be raced by Dally M Winger of the Year and NRL leading try-scorer, Akuila Uate, with all prizemoney generated donated to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Services and the Hunter Surf Life Saving Association.

Knights Defender was due to have his first start yesterday in the fourth race at The Gardens, with the flashy chaser jumping from box seven.

Rugby league fans will recall the previous intervention into the ‘dishlicker’ caper when former star Terry Hill and his dog, Nads, raised a huge amount for charity in conjunction with the Footy Show.

Newcastle Knights CEO Steve Burraston is excited about the promotion that is aimed at raising funds for the two local charities and helping promote the Knights’ membership campaign.

“We are all looking forward to seeing Knights Defender run this week and if he can win some prizemoney for the two charities that would be great,” he said.

“Aku was the perfect choice to be the face of this campaign, being a natural speedster himself and one of our members’ favourite players.

“Let’s hope Knights Defender can show some speed like Aku and put a few smiles on the faces of our members and the community.”

New South Wales National Coursing Authority general manager Adam Dobbin was also full of enthusiasm for the concept.

“The NCA is proud to be involved in such a great initiative, through its racing operation at The Gardens,” he remarked.

“Showcasing Knights Defender at The Gardens is something we are really looking forward to, so hopefully everyone will jump on board and follow his progression with interest.

“Let’s hope it captures the imagination of the greater Newcastle community and we can raise some much needed funds for charity.”

Richard Jones, from Westpac Rescue Helicopter Services, which is supported by the Coffs Coast Advocate, is delighted to be in the Knights Defender kennel.

“It is a pleasure to be involved in this promotion with the Knights, SLSA Hunter Branch and the NCA and we look forward to a successful outcome for all concerned,” he said.

In the spirit of the promotion, Greyhound Racing NSW will allow Knights Defender to wear a special ‘Knights’ race vest at each of his starts, allowing supporters to track his efforts even closer. Knights Defender will be trained under the watchful eye of Group One winning trainer Robert Smith, who recently won the $100,000 Paws Of Thunder in Sydney.

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