Young journalist Bridget Scott recently assumed the role of Media Officer at Greyhound Racing Victoria. Here she pens her experience at the 2016 $355,000 Group 1 Australian Cup – held on March 5 at The Meadows…
I now know that the Australian Cup is an event not to be missed in the greyhound racing world. Not only did this recent occasion mark my first time at The Meadows, but it was my first real exposure to a standard of dog racing which I’d never seen before.
Keep in mind, the greyhound racing wasn’t the only thing that stood out, as the quality of the complex and atmosphere of the event made this a not-to-be-missed experience for everyone in the industry.
For the crowd of more than 4,000 people, there was certainly no shortage of entertainment, with 12 races on the night just part of the parcel.
The energy of the crowd, including punters, trainers, owners and more was contagious and, with a bird’s eye view from the dining area, I watched below as everyone geared up for a big night of racing.
As a 22-year-old girl with a narrow knowledge in greyhounds as well as little experience trackside, I wondered what my experience at one of Victorian greyhound racing’s night of nights would be like.
However, it didn’t take long for me to immerse myself amongst the excitement and – despite the fact I don’t bet – I quickly found myself looking for the best spot to watch the next race.
Six months ago I had only ever watched the odd greyhound race at Warragul, and never displayed a whole lot of interest, but half a year down the track and I was urging everyone around me to take a look at the $25,000 to-the-winner race.
I made sure I was down by the track when Gilberto and his owners were presented with their first place prizes, and again prior to the main race.
The Meadows impressed me with a huge display of entertainment prior to the Australian Cup, including a laser show and a performance which, if they weren’t already revved up enough, excited the crowd even more.
The mood during the Australian Cup race was unbelievable and it was obvious that a lot of people had some form of vested interest in the race, be it financial or emotional.
I’ll admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the proceedings of the night and it didn’t take long for me to start asking questions, as my interest sparked from the moment I arrived.
If my Australian Cup experience was anything to go by, I eagerly look forward to attending more big race meetings in the future, and I would recommend it to anyone.