Australian Cup

Group 1 Australian Cup winner Hecton Bale. PIC: Paul Munt.

The Australian Cup has undoubtedly been one of the most-revered events on the annual greyhound racing calendar since its inception almost six decades ago.

The race is held over 525m at The Meadows and offers a staggering winner’s cheque of $250,000.

The most recent edition of the race was won by Andrea Dailly’s superstar greyhound Hecton Bale, making it two wins from the past three editions for the leading trainer.

Betting on the Group 1 Australian Cup

Being one of the flagship races within the sport, there is always enormous betting interest throughout the entire Australian Cup series.

All of our recommended online bookmakers provide fixed odds betting on both the heats and final, with odds released during the week once the final fields and box draws have been announced.

By opening markets so early, punters are able to study the form and shop around between bookies in order to secure the best prices for their chosen runners.

Some bookmakers, such as Bet365 and Sportsbet, also release ‘all-in’ markets, which allows to bet on the winner of the final prior to the heats being run and won.

This can provide terrific value, with inflated odds generally available for several leading contenders and even outsiders you think could play a bold part in the series.

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History of the Australian Cup

The inaugural running of the Australian Cup took place in 1958 when it was run as a handicap event over 675 yards at the old North Melbourne track. The winner was the mighty Rookie Revel, which claimed the feature as the backmarker coming off an eight-yard handicap. Despite finding interference throughout the race, Rookie Rebel came home like a train to defeat Magic Babe by three lengths on the line, earning trainer Wally Hooper £800 for the win.

The event was held over the 675-yard distance at North Melbourne until 1962, with no race held the following year whilst the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association made the move to a new track at Olympic Park. In 1964 the race was run and won over 560 yards, remaining a handicap race until 1965.

The Australian Cup was held at Olympic Park until the closure of the track in 1998. In 1999 it was held for the first time at The Meadows where it was run over 518m until 2001. Since that time it has been held over the 525m trip.

Fanta Bale
Fanta Bale winning the Group 1 Australian Cup. PIC Paul Munt

The Australian Cup was the richest race in Australia between the years 1960 and 1962 when it was worth £1,400 to the winner and again from 1964 to 1978. In 1979 it was equal with the Melbourne Cup, with both races being worth a substantial $30,000. In 1983 the prize money was bolstered to $50,000 which saw it once again become the most lucrative event until 1989.

Interestingly, the Australian Cup is a rare feature event on the calendar to have featured a dead heat, with the 2003 running resulting in the judge being unable to split Most Awesome and Blackjack Tom.

Since its inception the race has been won by some of the best greyhounds the sport has seen, with the honor roll boasting names such as Benjamin John (1969), Tangaloa (1980), Eaglehawk Star (1985), Ginger (1989), China Trip (1992 & 1993), Mancunian Girl (1994), Brett Lee (2001), Bogie Leigh (2004), Velocette (2009), Buckle Up Wes (2014), Dyna Double One (2016) and Fanta Bale (2017).

Group 1 Australian Cup – the recent years

  • Hecton Bale overcame a seemingly unsuitable box eight draw to salute in the most recent edition of the Australian Cup. The black powerhouse wasn’t brilliantly away, but managed to work his way to the front of the pack to win by five and a half lengths in a blistering 29.54.

    2018 Australian Cup results

    March 3, 2018. The Meadows MGRA First Prize $250,000
    Winner: Hecton Bale (Fernando Bale x Searle Bale) Born: Sep ’15 Black Dog
    Owner: Paul Wheeler. Trainer: Andrea Dailly.
    Time: 29.53. Margin: 5.4 x 1.6
    Others in finishing order: Hasten Slowly, Opal Nera, Zipping Inglis, Raw Ability, Dyna Forrest, Slick, Chasin’ Crackers.

  • Having already won the Group 1 Hume Cup and Rookie Rebel at The Meadows, Fanta Bale dropped back to the sprint trip to record a sensational win in the 2017 Australian Cup. The daughter of David Bale and Ucme Typhoon overcame an awkward draw in box eight and was far too classy for her rivals when stopping the clock in 30.01.

    2017 Australian Cup results

    March 4, 2017. The Meadows MGRA First Prize $250,000
    Winner: Fanta Bale (David Bale x Ucme Typhoon) Born: Aug 2014 Black Bitch
    Owner: Paul Wheeler, Trainer: Robert Britton.
    Time: 30.01. Margins: 2.8 x 1.4.
    Others in finishing order: Eminent Reality, Aeroplane Bob, Aston Bolero, Matt Machine, Monaro Monelli, Blazin Bomber, Lightning Frank

  • Dyna Double One became the second greyhound in world history to accumulate more than $1M in prize money when taking out the 2016 Australian Cup. The black dog settled in behind Black Frenzy before unleashing a powerful finishing burst, hitting the lead and charging clear to score in 29.75. The win was also monumental in the sense that Dyna Double One was just the third greyhound to achieve the Melbourne Cup – Australian Cup double, joining former champions Tangaloa and Rookie Rebel.

    2016 Australian Cup results

    March 5, 2016. The Meadows MGRA First Prize $250,000
    Winner: Dyna Double One (Barcia Bale x Crystin Bale) Born: March 2013 Black Dog
    Owner: Brendan Wheeler. Trainer: Andrea Dailly.
    Time: 29.75. Margins: 3.1 x 3.51.
    Others in finishing order: Black Frenzy, Diego Bale, Moreira, Ernest Bale, Aston Bolero, Pop The Cork, Xtreme Knocka.

  • Gerry Kleeven celebrated the biggest success in 50 years of training when winning the 2015 Australian Cup with his home bred sprinter Luca Neveelk. The blue dog was poorly away but mustered plenty of pace to draw level with Lamia Bale around the first turn before hitting top gear and sprinting clear to record victory by three-quarters-of-a-length over Quartz Bale in 29.97.

    2015 Australian Cup results

    March 7, 2015. The Meadows MGRA First Prize $250,000
    Winner: Luca Neveelk (Talk’s Cheap x It’s a Neveelk) Born: May 2012 Blue Dog
    Owner: Paul Kleeven. Trainer: Gerald Kleeven.
    Time: 29.968. Margins: 0.67 x 4.46.
    Others in finishing order: Quartz Bale, Hostile, Sisco Rage, Emrys, Samus Allen, Recruitment, Lamia Bale.

  • Tasmanian superstar Buckle Up Wes gave nothing else a chance in the 2014 Australian Cup, leading all the way from box seven to score in 29.74. The son of Collision and Everlong Bale defeated a star studded field including Keybow (second), Dyna Nalin (third), Kiss Me Ketut (seventh) and Marcus Joe (eighth).

    2014 Australian Cup results
    March 1, 2014. The Meadows MGRA First Prize $250,000
    Winner: Buckle Up Wes (Collision x Everylong Bale) June 2011 Black Dog
    Owner: Johnson Sutton Synd, Trainer: Edward Medhurst.
    Time: 29.74. Margins: 1.75 x 5.24
    Others in finishing order: Keybow, Dyna Nalin, Hallelujay Henry, Musquin Bale, Marcus Joe, Kiss Me Ketut, Innocent Til.

Group 1 Australian Cup – honour roll

1958 Rookie Rebel
1959 Rocky Ros
1960 Meadow Val
1961 Copeland
1962 Take A Bow
1963 “Not Held”
1964 Old Tops
1965 Worthing
1966 Billy Vee
1967 Fawn Nulla
1968 Swanston Lass
1969 Benjamin John
1970 The Smoother
1971 Black Diro
1972 Blackamoor Lad
1973 Half Your Luck
1974 Kim’s Monaro
1975 Ungwilla Lad
1976 Odious
1977 Listowel Sue
1978 Count D’Argent
1979 Boundless
1980 Tangaloa
1981 Pete’s Advice
1982 Royal Rumpus
1983 Drop Of Wine
1984 Tangairn
1985 Eaglehawk Star
1986 Bright Judge
1987 Regal Post
1988 Golden Blessing
1989 Ginger
1990 Spread Eagled
1991 Franklin Deano
1992 China Trip
1993 China Trip
1994 Mancunian Girl
1995 Bonjase
1996 Tenthill Doll
1997 Smooth Rumble
1998 Fibba
1999 Mandatario
2000 Arvo’s Express
2001 Brett Lee
2002 Isa Brown
2003 Most Awesome / Blackjack Tom D/H
2004 Bogie Leigh
2005 Pure Octane
2006 Miss Spicy
2007 Pete’s Conquest
2008 Tasman Queen
2009 Velocette
2010 Dyna Lachlan
2011 St.Pierre
2012 Zara Zulu
2013 Spud Regis
2014 Buckle Up Wes
2015 Luca Neveelk
2016 Dyna Double One
2017 Fanta Bale
2018 Hecton Bale