The Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup is the flagship event held at Maitland each year and is run over the 450m trip.
The final is normally packed with quality, attracting a number of high quality speed dogs to contest the feature around the one turn Hunter Valley circuit.
The series is typically run in late March – early April, fitting in well around other feature races in the state such as the Golden Easter Egg (held on Easter Saturday), with the club also ensuring its meeting does not clash with any provincial Victorian Cups to allow interstate raiders a chance to contest the race and guaranteeing the best possible greyhounds line-up for a crack at the title.
Betting on the Group 2 Maitland Cup
Because it generally attracts interstate interest as well as a range of leading local contenders, there is always plenty of betting activity on the series as the best speedsters line-up for the feature.
Most of our recommended online bookmakers will offer fixed odds betting in the lead up to the heats and on the final once the box draw has been conducted. Some of the bookies also offer all-in markets for the final, allowing punters to snare some tantalising odds about quality dogs prior to the heats which may be massive overs on what you can secure after the qualifiers if they light up the track.
Maitland Cup history
The Gold Cup was first run in 2003 as a group 3 event. The inaugural running was taken out by Thread Prince in 26.74 over 457m on a grass track, with connections collecting $12,000 for the win.
The race was not run in 2004 due to track upgrades, but has been run every year since over 450m distance on loam.
For the first two runnings, the event was sponsored by the Maitland Supporters Club, with the Maitland branch of the Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) joining as co-sponsors in 2006.
The event was sponsored by PPK Mining for the first time in 2014 when won by Kel Greenough’s Paw Licking, with 2016 set to be their third year as the official sponsor.
The race was run as a group 2 feature for the first time in 2010, taken out by Reg Kay’s Elite Blue Size, the only greyhound to win the race twice, which collected a $25,000 winner’s cheque, before returning in 2011 to take home a $30,000 prize purse.
$40,000 was on offer for the final between the years 2012 and 2015, with the race currently worth $36,000 to the winner due to prize money cut backs for feature racing which was introduced after the live baiting scandal.
Maitland Gold Cup – the modern years
2016: Marbo Magic, trained by Cowra’s Paul Braddon, showed great early toe to win from the fifth box. The son of El Grand Señor and Willow Blaze jumped at $4.10 and won the $36,000-to-the-winner purse. Victorian raider Aston Bolero briefly challenged but Marbo Magic booted clear in the straight, to win in a time of 25.02. Read a full report here.
2015: Spacecraft gave Lorraine Atchison her first group win as a trainer when scoring in a sensational 25.08. It was a family affair, with Atchison’s sister and brother-in-law Carol and Jeff Eaton running second with their speedster La Grand Logie and Ron Bell, who trained Spacecraft’s mother Cristalle for Atchison, finishing third.
2014: One of the best one turn sprinters of the modern era, Paw Licking won the 2015 Maitland Gold Cup in thrilling fashion. After breaking the track record in his heat the week prior, Paw Licking returned to the Hunter to win in a slick 25.05 on a wind and rain affected track.
2013: Black Magic Opal announced his arrival on the big stage with a super win in the 2013 Cup. Trained by Les and Carol Hudson, ‘Max’ was the baby of the field but his class shone through – with his potential noticed by leading conditioner Jason Thompson whose clients would later purchase the son of Magic Sprite and Glamorous Opal. Under Thompson’s care Black Magic Opal became a star, winning the 2014 Group 1 Melbourne Cup.
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup honour roll
2003 – Thread Prince 26.72
2004 – Not Held
2005 – Watuira Banner 25.46
2006 – Needa Mint 25.62
2007 – Run The Risk 25.09
2008 – Awesome Hustler 25.43
2009 – Magnifique 25.14
2010 – Elite Blue Size 24.93
2011 – Elite Blue Size 25.07
2012 – Oaks Road 25.16
2013 – Black Magic Opal 24.92
2014 – Paw Licking 25.05
2015 – Spacecraft 25.08
2016 – Marbo Magic 25.02