Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has announced an exciting program of greyhound racing for the 2018–19 racing year, with 1192 race meetings and $47 million in prizemoney up for grabs.
One of the highlights of the season will be the 2018 Greyhound Clubs Australia (GCA) National Sprint & Distance Championship Finals, which will be held at Sandown Park on Friday, August 24. Victoria last hosted this premier racing event in 2013. GCA, which conducts the annual championship, has announced that for the first time all State finals will be held on the same day, which will make for a thrilling build up to the National Final.
GRV’s CEO Alan Clayton said the 2018/19 program would deliver an entertaining year of racing with the best dogs in Australia racing regularly in Victoria.
“We have 13 racing clubs in Victoria which put on race meetings every week, including major feature events that attract thousands of people every year,” Mr Clayton said.
“GRV continues to focus on greyhound welfare and racing integrity, while maximising racing opportunities and prizemoney for participants. We are the biggest supplier of racing code in Australia, and this 2018-19 program reinforces our commitment to providing great entertainment that attracts crowds and underpins a thriving sport.”
He added that greyhound racing was important to Victoria as it contributed $400 million to Victoria’s economy each year, and a major part of that impact flowed through to country Victoria.
The 2018-19 program promotes racing in regional areas, with 11 Country Cups and special events, while preserving the existing program at Sandown Park and The Meadows, which host the majority of Victoria’s Group 1 races.
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Sandown Park hosts the richest greyhound race in the world, the $600,000 Melbourne Cup on 23 November, the same night as the Group 1 Bold Trease for stayers. The Australian Cup Carnival will be held at The Meadows in February-March 2019, featuring $1.3 million in prize money and five Group 1s – the Temlee, Rookie Rebel, Zoom Top, Australian Cup and the Fanta Bale Super Stayers.
Major regional events in 2018 include: Bendigo Cup 6 July; Shepparton Cup 4 August; Healesville Cup 9 September; Geelong Cup 26 October; Ballarat Cup 8 December; Sale Cup 26 December. Major events for 2019 include: Warragul Cup 12 January; Traralgon Cup 26 January; Cranbourne Cup 9 February; Horsham Cup 9 March; Warrnambool Cup 1 May.
Other key initiatives include:
- The Gippsland, Warrnambool Seaside and Bendigo Easter Carnivals have all been confirmed for 2018-19.
- The Warragul St Leger and the Western Districts Derby (Ballarat) have been granted group status by the GCA.
- The Shepparton Cup moves back one week with the final to be held on Saturday 4 August, a week after the Group 1 Maturity Classic at The Meadows.
GRV’s Chairman Bernie Carolan congratulated the clubs and GRV’s racing department for pulling together another great year of racing.
“The program maintains our commitment to 23 race meetings over a standard week and accommodates dogs at all levels and stages of their racing careers, from maiden and aged races to group-level,” Mr Carolan said.
“The 2018-19 racing year will be the first financial year that the full effects of GRV’s $2.55million boost to prizemoney kicks in,” he said. “This funding boost for participants, which was introduced in November 2017, directly focuses on increasing prize money to be shared between owners and trainers at the lower levels of racing.”
All 1192 race meetings for the 2018-19 racing season can be viewed on GRV’s racing portal, FastTrack at fasttrackgrv.org.au