As a spectacle, Sandown Park delivered on TAB Melbourne Cup night to the extent of which Victorian greyhound racing has never experienced before.
Live music ran in the Doghouse for most of the night, and when the band hit the track for an earth shattering performance of AC/DC classic ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top’, Sandown Park was pumping like never before.
The world-renowned Nitro Circus lit up the centre of the track with airborne motorbike stunt moves that had the crowd’s hearts racing, and for the third year running the afghan hounds raced around the track bringing plenty of laughs and cheers.
One lucky patron got to spin the Sandown Superwheel, which landed a heart-breaking one notch shy of the $600,000 top prize. She was still happy however, leaving the track $10,000 richer.
All this on a night in which $600,000 was on the line in the world’s richest greyhound race – the Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup Final – where the biggest ever first prize ($420,000) in Australian greyhound racing was won by Dyna Villa.
Racetrack sweetheart Sweet It Is earlier won the other Group 1 on the night, the Bold Trease for stayers, where her trademark powerful finish lifted the adoring 4,000-strong crowd to its feet.
Race caller James Van de Maat, who has a sound knowledge of the three codes of racing, said of the night: “You wouldn’t find a better night of entertainment at a race meeting for any code, anywhere in the world. Flemington does it very well during the Spring Carnival, but in terms of a variety of first-class entertainment, Sandown Park on greyhound racing’s TAB Melbourne Cup night is number one.”
Many casual punters save their one bet of the year for thoroughbred racing’s Melbourne Cup, but if you are going to attend one race meeting a year, nothing tops greyhound racing’s TAB Melbourne Cup.