Greyhound racing’s richest race – November’s Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup – will be even richer in 2014 with total prize money for the final going from $500,000 to $600,000.
In another new initiative, host club Sandown Park is moving the race from its traditional Thursday night timeslot to a Friday night, while the breakdown of prize money is at $420,000 (1st), $120,000 (2nd) and $60,000 (3rd).
The Friday Melbourne Cup is on a one year trial basis.
A sensational run by All Strung Out saw the greyhound just fall short of winning the Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic (520m) at Wentworth Park last Saturday night.
The race was won by Bessy Boo, trained in NSW by Christine Proctor, however All Strung Out’s trainer Glenn Rounds was far from disheartened by the performance of his charge.
“It was a top run…I thought he went really well. It’s just a shame he’s not the best of beginners,” Rounds said.
Had All Strung Out run one place better it would have meant four Peter Mosman Classics in a row to Victorian-trained greyhounds.
However, Rounds will now focus on the Group 1 Maturity Classic (525m) at The Meadows, with the three-week series to begin on 12 July.
“I’ll be setting him for the Maturity Classic next and I’ll probably race him at The Meadows before then.”
“I’m not sure how he’ll go being a slow beginner at The Meadows, but I’ll be hoping he can give a good account of himself,” the Devon Meadows trainer said.
Heats of the Group 2 TAB Bendigo Cup will be run tomorrow with Gippsland’s best greyhound Luca Neveelk – who is aiming for 10 straight wins – among the drawcards.
Trained by Gerry Kleeven, Luca Neveelk has had just 12 starts for 11 wins, and he is one of a number of young greyhounds poised to take over from the injured Black Magic Opal and retired pair Paw Licking and Ronan Izmir, who have dominated Victoria’s country cups scene over the past 18 months.
The final will be held on Friday night, and with the start of the new financial year upon us prize money for Victorian country cups have shot up to a minimum $45,000 (1st), $13,000 (2nd) and $6,500 (3rd), plus an extra $10,000 to the winner if registered through breeding incentive scheme, GOBIS.
The legendary Paul Ambrosoli, widely considered greyhound racing’s number one race caller, will call his final meeting at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Long regarded as the voice of Sydney greyhound racing, Ambrosoli will retire after an outstanding 50 year career, with Sky Racing’s Tim Newbold to take up the reigns.
Written by Andrew Copley