The spotlight of the greyhound racing world will be on Victoria’s two premier tracks, Sandown Park and The Meadows in November and December this year for a reshaped festival, showcased by five feature Saturday nights of premium racing and entertainment, where a total of over $4.1 million will be won.
The 67th running of the most coveted race in Australian greyhound racing, the Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park, will reach new heights in 2022, headlining a revamped racing program, prizemoney increases and innovations to present a series of blockbuster events in Melbourne.
First run in 1956 and won by some of the all-time greats of the sport, total prizemoney for the final of the Melbourne Cup (515m) will increase to $1 million this year, the highest purse in the history of the iconic feature, while a number of supporting events will also benefit from a prizemoney boost during the new 5-night festival of super Saturdays.
The Group 1 Topgun (525m), Hume Cup (600m) and Topgun Stayers (730m) meeting heralds the start of the new Melbourne festival of greyhound racing at The Meadows on November 5 before Sandown Park hosts the Melbourne Cup Carnival with three consecutive super Saturday nights featuring the four-dog Shootout and Melbourne Cup preludes meeting on November 12, followed by heats of the Melbourne Cup and the Bold Trease (715m) on November 19, before culminating with the Group 1 finals of both on November 26.
The curtain will fall on the festival of racing when The Meadows hosts the final night of action with the second instalment of The Phoenix (525m), the world’s richest slot race in greyhound racing, which will, for the first time, carry a $1.65 million total prize pool with a cool $1 million to be shared between the connections and the slot holder of the winning greyhound.
GRV Acting CEO Stuart Laing said the changes to the racing program and uplift in prizemoney establishes this festival of Premier Racing as the richest greyhound carnival in the world, creating a new level of excitement for the sport.
“Trackside fans will experience greyhound racing like never before as we showcase elite racing, featuring the nation’s best greyhounds and trainers competing for lucrative prizemoney and all on Saturday nights to appeal to and engage with the broadest audience possible both on and off the track.
“Unique entertainment and hospitality offerings will be a feature of each Saturday night and after over two years of restrictions, we look forward to welcoming big crowds back to experience exhilarating greyhound racing trackside.
“I thank and applaud both metropolitan clubs for their vision and innovation in coming together with GRV and our partners to create a showpiece festival such as this that reinforces greyhound racing in Victoria as the pre-eminent greyhound jurisdiction in the world,” Laing said.
Sandown Greyhound Racing Club CEO Adrian Scott said the increase in prizemoney to the Melbourne Cup only enhances the preservation of its prestige and history.
“No other race in the sport is as storied as the Melbourne Cup. We know the Cup carries a lot of magic in the hearts and minds of owners and trainers and with fans of the sport and it’s therefore important that the prizemoney on offer remains aspirational and competitive with the sport’s other major events.
“We thank GRV for the on-going support of the Melbourne Cup in helping us make the great race even greater and we look forward to presenting an elite racing and entertainment experience at Sandown Park during the festival,” Scott said.