An international greyhound will be invited to contend the Group 1 Temlee (525m) and be automatically seeded into the heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup (525m) at The Meadows if they accept the invitation in 2015 in a move aimed to internationalise the $1.1 million Carnival.
Thoroughbred racing has long used the presence of international horses to increase the publicity surrounding particular events, most notably the Melbourne Cup, and now it is greyhound racing’s turn to show off its international appeal.
Any greyhound that contests the Irish Derby final will be invited to contest the Australian Cup series, with the invitations to be issued to each dog in the order they finish.
The greyhound that accepts the invitation will need to begin vet work at least seven months prior to export to Australia to be eligible for the ten-day quarantine period.
Chairman of the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA), Eddie Caruana, commented that The Meadows was excited to welcome the international raiders to the venue for the Australian Cup Carnival.
“We are very proud to be able to offer this opportunity to the best greyhound the U.K has to offer.
“There has been a long planning process that has gone into this decision to offer a position in the Temlee and Australian Cup series with the direct intention of affording the greyhound the best chance to compete against the Australian greyhounds with enough preparation.
“The Temlee and Australian Cup series were chosen because it is out of the Irish greyhound racing season and is far enough away from the gruelling Irish Derby that it gives the greyhound the best opportunity to be at its peak.
“The Australian Cup series is one of the most prestigious greyhound racing events in the world and with the addition of an international greyhound the 2015 carnival is going to be one of the biggest yet,” Mr. Caruana said.
Chief Executive of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV), Adam Wallish, said this was an important step in recognising the internationalism of the sport and the global reach of greyhound racing.
“Victorian greyhound racing attracts a lot of interest internationally already and with the addition of an international greyhound to next year’s Australian Cup Carnival, this interest is set to explode.
“At GRV we have the strategic objective of becoming the most respected greyhound racing authority in the world and with the advent of special international attractions like these, we are sure to see the benefits in terms of our overall respect, and popularity in the international greyhound racing community.
“I congratulate Eddie Caruana and his team of the MGRA for their forethought and innovation and look forward to seeing an international greyhound racing in next year’s Australian Cup series,” Mr. Wallish said.
Further information about the invitations will be released throughout the year.
Link to the Irish Greyhound Board Website:CLICK HERE