With the current Sister Cities Challenge having being put into recess, the sister city pairing of Adelaide and Christchurch has arrived at an agreement that will keep their intercity relationship alive on the greyhound track, albeit on a more limit basis.
The Sister Cities Challenge was originated in 2000 between the two southern located Cities, with the first challenge being contested at Angle Park. With the exception of two years, the challenge kept going in that format until 2009.
Increased costs involving the transportation of four greyhounds and trainers from each jurisdiction saw the challenge being widened in 2009 with the introduction of the sister city pairing of Brisbane and Auckland. However travel and funding challenges have continued to place pressure on the event with the decision recently being made between the four Cities to place the event in recess until further notice.
Since then Greyhound Racing South Australia and the Christchurch Greyhound Racing Club have been in discussion and between them they have formulated the following agreement.
Both organisations will reserve one field position at the heat (semi-final) stage of their respective flagship races. In Adelaide’s case a Christchurch representative will be guaranteed a place within the final 64 positions for the A$107,500 Adelaide Cup at Angle Park over the 515 metres in October each year. The format for the Adelaide Cup is that they run eight heats, with the winners only advancing through to the final.
Christchurch will reserve one field position for a South Australian trained greyhound in the final 32 (semi-final) stage of the NZ$100,000 New Zealand Cup series, contested over 520 metres at the Addington Raceway in November.
Both cities will decide their respective representative by a selection panel. The connections/trainers of three greyhounds for each city will initially be invited to be considered for final selection. Following the acceptance of those invitations, the respective panel for each city will then decide their final representative.
There will be a pre-determined contribution made towards the travel costs of the selective representative. The visiting trainer will be billeted (as per past arrangements) for the period they are involved in the Cup races. The usual residential (greyhound) qualifying clause for each city’s representative will apply.
This agreement allows Adelaide and Christchurch to maintain to some degree the excellent relationship we have formed over the years through the Sister Cities Cup.
This agreement maintains a pragmatic opportunity for connections to travel to Christchurch or Adelaide in search of a major prize and at the same time ensures by way of a selection process that any representative is likely to be highly competitive. It also heavily mitigates the cost issues associated with the previous model.