By BRAD McGRATH
THE Sandown Greyhound Racing Club has announced the Melbourne Cup will carry a record $500,000 in prizemoney, including a first prize of $350,000.
The announcement on Thursday night means from this year the Melbourne Cup will be the richest greyhound race ever run.
“The Melbourne Cup is our flagship event and we are proud to elevate its prizemoney to a level never before seen in greyhound racing,” SGRC chairman Geoff Dawson said.
“With over $1 million in prizemoney on offer throughout the November Superdogs series, this year’s edition of the Melbourne Cup promises to be the most keenly ever contested.”
The club will also elevate all five of its group 1 events to a minimum of $100,000 to the winner. The heats are worth at least $7000 to the winner. Five listed events have been added to the calendar, giving the club 16 black type races through the year. The club will also run 12 grade 5 finals worth $12,000 to the winner.
“Sandown Park has long been Australia’s leading greyhound facility and is delighted to offer such an exciting feature event calendar that caters for such a wide range of greyhounds,” Sandown chief Greg Miller said.
“The club’s ability to offer such amazing prizemoney for its feature races is testament to the hard work not only of those at Sandown, Greyhound Racing Victoria and the state government, which has been a great supporter of greyhound racing, but also of the owners, trainers and punters who continue to support the club and industry.”
The Melbourne Cup announcement is possible thanks to $450,000 from GRV and comes as part of its decision to raise prizemoney from $30 million to $36million for 2012-13. The cup final will be run on November 22.