THE Victorian government has injected $95,000 into the upcoming Australian Cup Carnival at The Meadows which will celebrate its 60th running in 2018.
The three-week carnival commences tonight with the running of the Group 1 Temlee, Rookie Rebel and Zoom Top as well as five preliminary heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup, with the final on March 3 worth $250,000 to the winner.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said the government was pleased to be throwing its support behind the equal second richest greyhound racing in the country.
“The Australian Cup Carnival showcases quality greyhound racing at its best and provides a raft of entertainment across three big nights,” Pakula said.
“We are proud to support the 60th anniversary of this iconic event that has produced some of Australia’s greatest greyhound performances and entertained generations of racegoers.”
Since 2014, the Labor government has contributed more than $815,000 to support a range of infrastructure projects and racing events held at The Meadows.
Locally, the racing industry in metropolitan Melbourne generates more than $1.5 billion annually for the Victorian government and helps sustain almost 14,000 full time equivalent jobs.
Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association General Manager Marg Long welcomed the funding from the government and urged locals to head to the track to be a part of the action.
“We’d like to thank the Victorian Government for its keen support of greyhound racing at The Meadows, and its generous contribution to the Australian Cup Carnival,” Long said.
“This will be a wonderful series of family race nights, and we encourage racegoers from across Melbourne and the city’s surrounds to join us for the carnival.”
There is set to be plenty of action at the track over the next few weeks, featuring entertainment such as jumping castles, a photo booth and show bags. A special colour run obstacle course will be at the track for children at the February 24 meeting.
Former North Melbourne AFL player Brent Harvey will also be making appearances on track on February 24 and March 3 in his role as the ambassador for Greyhound Racing Victoria. Shaun Cosgrove, the former voice of the Price is Right, will also be the MC for the carnival.