The Victorian Government is supporting the 60th anniversary of greyhound racing’s iconic Australian Cup Carnival at The Meadows.
The three-night race series kicks off tonight – Saturday, 17 February – followed by a second race meeting on Saturday, 24 February, and culminating with the Group 1 Australian Cup – worth $250,000 to the winner – on Saturday, 3 March.
The Labor Government is contributing $95,000 to the carnival from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund Raceday Attraction Program, while the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association is providing more than $243,000.
Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula acknowledged the enormity and history of the $1.3 million Australian Cup Carnival.
“The Australian Cup Carnival showcases quality greyhound racing at its best and provides a raft of entertainment across three big nights,” Mr Pakula said.
“We are proud to support the 60th anniversary of this iconic event that has produced some of Australia’s greatest greyhound performances and entertained generations of racegoers.”
Each race night will feature a range of entertainment, including jumping castles, a photo booth and show bags. A special colour run obstacle course for children will be on offer at the 24 February meeting.
Member for Broadmeadows, Frank McGuire, said funding for the Australian Cup Carnival would provide enormous benefit to the local community, both in an entertainment and an economic sense.
“This is a boost for greyhound racing at The Meadows which will help support local jobs and benefit the economy,” Mr McGuire said.
Pop-rock musician Brett Little will feature across the carnival, while Jason Singh of Taxiride, Reece Mastin from X Factor, and Dale Ryder of Boom Crash Opera will appear on 17 February. The carnival finale on 3 March will feature 2018 Country Music Male Artist of the Year, Shane Nicholson.
Former North Melbourne AFL player Brent Harvey will make appearances on 24 February and 3 March as the ambassador for Greyhound Racing Victoria, while media personality Shawn Cosgrove – former voice of The Price is Right – will MC the carnival’s opening and closing events.
Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association General Manager, Marg Long said her club was extremely grateful for the Government’s support.
“We’d like to thank the Victorian Government for its keen support of greyhound racing at The Meadows, and its generous contribution to the Australian Cup Carnival.”
“This will be a wonderful series of family race nights, and we encourage racegoers from across Melbourne and the city’s surrounds to join us for the carnival.”
Since 2014, the Labor Government has contributed more than $815,000 to support three infrastructure projects and 13 greyhound racing events at The Meadows.
The racing industry in metropolitan Melbourne generates more than $1.5 billion annually for the Victorian economy and helps sustain more than 13,590 full-time equivalent jobs locally.