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VIDEO: Launching Pad a Sweepstakes Sensation

Sandown Park’s annual Group 2 Launching Pad (515m) series is the biggest sweepstakes event in the greyhound racing world, with over $400,000 in prize money distributed across the three weeks.

Jason Thompson, trainer of last Thursday night’s 2016 Launching Pad winner Buck Forty (pictured above), indicated that he has changed his opinion on the series, which is for greyhounds with 1-6 wins and requires a $2,000 entry fee when entry into every other greyhound race in Victoria is free.

“I was a bit sceptical about the concept but I think we (as trainers) take it for granted that with all the races we (normally) go in the entry is free.”

“I think the format of the race (is good) whereby across the three weeks you get the chance to recoup most of the money you put in if you have the right amount of luck, or the right dog.”

“I was a bit sceptical about the concept but I think we (as trainers) take it for granted that with all the races we (normally) go in the entry is free.”

“I’m more than happy to be in it this year, it’s a fantastic concept,” Thompson said.

The wide distribution of prize money saw around 50 per cent of the 85 greyhounds that competed in the 2016 series recoup at least $1,000 in prize money, which was half the entry fee.

The 2016 Launching Pad started with 11 heats on the first night, each boasting $10,000 in prize money, with more than 80 per cent of the competing greyhounds qualifying for the second night of the series.

The second night incorporated four Semi-finals ($14,500 prize money each) as well as four Consolation Semi-finals ($11,500 prize money each).

The third night was the culmination of the rich event with the Group 2 Launching Pad Final boasting $215,500 in prize money ($150,000 to the winner), while the Launching Pad Consolation Final saw a further $22,000 in prize money distributed.

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