• Friday, 05 May, 2023,
  • by Peter Quilty

150 up: Special milestone for coursing

Victoria’s coursing season kicks off at Longwood this Sunday in the year we celebrate 150 years of greyhound racing in this state.

Greyhound racing first began in Victoria way back in 1873 in the form of coursing and, judging by participation in this weekend’s season opener, interest in this traditional form of racing remains strong.

Coursing is one-on-one racing up the straight track with greyhounds competing up to three times across a day in a knockout competition. Betting occurs exclusively at the track with an on-course bookmaker.

“We had 155 nominations for this Sunday’s meeting,” revealed National Coursing Association of Victoria Secretary, Heather Villinger.

“We conduct 10 events at each of our meetings and we ideally need 80 nominations to fill the card. So to have more than 150 greyhounds nominated for our first all-maiden meeting looks promising for the season ahead.”

Greyhounds can begin coursing from 16 months of age, with maidens being any greyhound that hasn’t won a coursing event before, regardless of what they have achieved on TAB tracks.

“In coursing, greyhounds can compete from 16 months of age, whereas they can’t race at TAB tracks until they reach 18 months,” Heather explained.

The benefits of coursing include improving the balance of younger greyhounds, prolonging careers of older dogs, increasing fitness levels and providing a change of scenery for race dogs that may have gone stale.

Prize money is paid down to fourth (defeated semi-finalists) and is, at a minimum, the equivalent of Tier 3 stake money.

A second all-maiden meeting will follow next week at Lang Lang (14 May), as the season works its way towards a historical 150th running of the Waterloo Cup in late August.


Total prize money: $200K+

Tracks in operation: Lang Lang & Longwood
Total meetings: 9
Total days of coursing: 12
Minimum coursing age: 16 months
Maiden criteria: Never won a coursing event
Puppy Criteria: For greyhounds whelped on or after 01/03/2021
Puppy Classics: Sylvester Doyle Puppy Championship, Victoria Derby (males only) and Victoria Oaks (females only)

VIDEO SERIES: Coursing tips with Peter Craig

Common questions

Prolonging careers

Avoiding welfare issues

Check out the entire series here

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.

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