Government support for greyhound racing’s night of nights

Sandown Greyhound Racing Club hosts the Melbourne Cup on Friday night. 259689_01 Picture: UNSPLASHED

Friday night’s Melbourne Cup at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club will be bigger and better than ever with backing from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Racing Martin Pakula announced on Wednesday 24 November that the government is allocating more than $20,000 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund to support the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club’s efforts to make the Cup the best on record.

The club is contributing more than $60,000 to support the event.

Minister Pakula said that the event will provide a wonderful opportunity for spectators to return to live events.

“Sandown’s Melbourne Cup meeting is always a great night of racing and I’m sure greyhound fans will enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to be back on track,” Minister Pakula said.

“We’re proud to help clubs like Sandown put on these showcase events.”

Since December 2014 the state government has approved almost $2 million to support 35 racing events and four infrastructure projects at Sandown.

This year’s Melbourne Cup meeting will include eight feature finals on a 12-race card.

The meeting is the culmination of three weeks of elite greyhound racing that has produced a final field of eight dogs for the Cup, with the winner on Friday taking home $500,000.

Burden Park Bowling Club in Springvale will take particular interest in the race, having drawn the favourite Aston Rupee in the Racing Club’s Community Sweep.

Trained by Devon Meadows trainer Glenn Rounds, Aston Rupee is in excellent form, having won its last four races as part of a sensational calendar year.

The winner of the sweep will pocket $6000 from a $13,000 total prize pool to put towards their club after a difficult period due to the pandemic.

The meeting will be held in Covid-safe settings with everyone on course required to be double-vaccinated,

Extra staff will be on hand to help patrons comply with Covid-safe requirements.