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    Popular Greyhound Racing in Australia: Million Dollar Chase, Melbourne Cup, and Others
Popular Greyhound Racing in Australia: Million Dollar Chase, Melbourne Cup, and Others

Popular Greyhound Racing in Australia: Million Dollar Chase, Melbourne Cup, and Others

Greyhound racing enjoys significant popularity in Australia, drawing fans to the track for the spectacle, excitement, and the chance to have a great time while placing bets with the potential to make money. At one point, dog racing faced a ban in the country due to reported cases of cruelty to animals. However, governmental decisions were made to reform the industry, with humane societies overseeing the process by providing homes for retired greyhounds. Subsequently, racing bans were lifted, and competitions resumed, much to the delight of fans and supporters.

The enthusiasm and interest in racing across the country are remarkable. According to statistics, 80% of Australians have either placed a bet or participated in a lottery. With approximately 50 tracks in the country, greyhound racing occurs several times a week, attracting thousands of bets and involving numerous national and foreign bookmakers. Large national competitions, including the Melbourne Cup, Million Dollar Chase, Australian Cup, among others, particularly captivate spectators.

Melbourne Cup

This prestigious competition unfolds every November in Sandown Park, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. It comprises a three-week series of qualifying and qualifying races over a distance of 515m, with 64 competing greyhounds. The best among them reach the finals, where the main prize is awarded.

From 1956 to 1964, the Melbourne Cup operated as a handicap race. The initial prize in the first competition was £500, claimed by the greyhound Rocket Jet. The prize fund gradually increased, reaching $100,000 in 1996. Noteworthy winners include Rapid Journey in 1998, a legend with an impressive track record. In 2023, the two-year-old greyhound Aussie Rocks secured a substantial prize of $650,000. The 2021 Melbourne Cup final witnessed the course record being broken, with Hard Style greyhound Rico covering the 515m in 28.91 seconds, breaking the 29-second mark for the first time. Ten Melbourne Cup champions have been named Victorian Greyhounds of the Year, with five earning the title of Australian Greyhounds of the Year, and three greyhounds enshrined in the Australian Hall of Fame.

The Million Dollar Chase

Since 2018, a regional Million Dollar Race has been an annual event at Wentworth Park, located 2 km from Sydney, New South Wales. The racing series spans the state, with greyhounds undergoing qualifying races at 17 regional tracks in the month and a half leading up to the Grand Final at Wentworth Park. This inclusive approach ensures the participation of all communities in the struggle, revealing the absolute champion of the year.

Initially planned as a one-off event in 2018, positioned as the world's richest greyhound race, the first winner was the greyhound Mystic Riot, trained by the Lagojans in Western Sydney. Subsequently, with the support of Tabcorp NSW TAB, Australia's largest gambling campaign, the race became a regular annual event. In 2020, trainer Lagojan's greyhound Handsome Prince became the champion of the world's richest race. In 2023, the sixth Million Dollar Race was won by trainer Selena Zammit's greyhound Jay Is Jay. Notably, 100% of the entry fees for the series contribute to the Greyhounds as Pets charity, addressing issues related to the adoption of greyhounds after the conclusion of their racing careers.

Australian Cup

The Australian Cup, running since 1958, stands as one of the largest greyhound races in the country. The track's location has changed several times and is currently situated at the Meadows Greyhounds Club in Broadmeadows, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. The Australian Cup Carnival is a highly-profiled sporting event in the Australian calendar, attracting thousands of fans annually. The greyhound competitions are the main attraction of the carnival, with the prize fund for the cup set at $300,000.

The 2023 Australian Cup winner is Fernando Nick, trained by David Gill. Remarkably, this victory came in the four-year-old dog's 101st race. At the end of his racing career, Fernando Nick delighted his fans by winning the final race by 3.5 lengths, covering a distance of 525m in a time of 29.85 seconds.

Australia hosts numerous prestigious races annually, including the Adelaide Cup, Perth Cup, Golden Easter Egg, and many others. Simply participating in such races is a great honor, with the winners becoming heroes and favorites, fostering public interest in the competition and contributing to the further development of the industry in the country.


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