Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association (BGRA) is excited to announce several changes to its feature race calendar for the upcoming racing year including a date change for the Group 2 Bendigo Cup.
In 2014 the BGRA made the decision to take the Bendigo Cup away from its Easter timeslot in a bid to open up opportunities to attract the best greyhounds in racing to the flagship event and placed the Cup in July.
The move was an instant success with several Easter Egg finalists making their way to Bendigo’s July Cup including Warrior King, who was placed in the Easter Egg before taking out the inaugural winter held Bendigo Cup.
The winner’s list for the seven winter cups includes race track stars and stud star Fernando Bale, star sprinter and stud dog Aston Bolero, interstate raider Vanderworp and multiple country cups winner Yozo Bale, who in 2020 defeated arguably the best Bendigo Cup field to be assembled.
A date change has been considered for some time when the BGRA consider elevating the Cup to Group 1 status before a change in direction to spread the stake money across a range of events.
News that the Brisbane Cup has been given a significant stake increase this year resulted in the Club revisiting the scheduling change for the Cup and an opportunity presented itself in recent weeks that will see the Bendigo Cup moved to October with heats to be held on Sunday 10 October and the $50,000 to the winner final on Friday night 15 October.
To support the Bendigo Cup and create a Spring carnival of sorts the hugely popular Battler’s Cup will move to October alongside the Bendigo Cup, a Vic Bred Maiden series over 500m will be conducted in the same period as will a new event, The Spring Cup, for up and coming stayers over 660m worth $10,000 to the winner.
In the winter spot BGRA is introducing two new races – The Prospector and the Bendigo Roses – both age restricted events split by sex and each offering a 1st prize of $15,000 with the finals on Friday night 2 July.
The Cup has provided a solid lead up to the Group 1 Maturity at the Meadows and the two new age restricted races, on the back of the Pink Diamond Series, will continue to provide that pathway to the age restricted classic.
Sitting alongside the two new features will be the annual Winter Cup over 660m and the Vic Bred Maiden series over 425m.
“The Club took the punt a few years back by shifting the Cup to winter in search of the best possible field and it worked. The idea of the latest move is two fold – firstly to protect the quality and reputation of the Cup and secondly to open up what has proven to be a popular time for feature races at Bendigo for some new races to be added to the calendar,” said BGRA Manager Troy Harley.
Harley added “One positive to come from 2020 was a reminder that racing is still the most important part of our business and what we are all about – greyhounds and participants first and foremost.”
“The Club is proud of the number of events we conduct that compliment our racing calendar however a restructure to our events program has allowed us to further inject funds into some new races, increase our media and exposure for the industry and participants as well as continue to invest in the facility.”
The BGRA has long been regarded as a participants club and President Bob Douglas ensures it will remain that way.
“Both past and present management teams at the Club have built it up to be what we consider a second to none service facility to the industry. The training facilities are unmatched and much of what has been commenced at Bendigo has been replicated elsewhere.”
“While 2020 was a rough year the BGRA introduced races like the Battler’s Cup, preference to bitches race meetings, commenced live coverage of feature race nights on Facebook and other social media platforms and completed a refurbishment of the old trackside café. 2021 has seen another successful Gold Rush Carnival come and go and we are excited to be hosting the inaugural Pink Diamond Series for
GRV and look forward to our feature race calendar continuing to grow,” said Douglas.
With an ever-increasing feature race program set down for 2021/2022 year social events such as the hugely successful dual code Halloween race night will continue as well as other themed and charitable events with the events calendar to be finalised in the coming weeks.
For further details on the new races, the full BGRA feature race calendar and details of the events calendar keep on eye on the BGRA’s Facebook page and website.
*This article was supplied by the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association
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