National Sprint and Distance Championship betting

The National Championships are two of the most exciting events on the Australian greyhound racing calendar, representing a unique series of racing encompassing chasers from each state around the country.

Greyhounds from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania contest heats and finals over both the sprint and distance trips in their home state, with winners of every state final meeting for a National showdown, with the venue for each final varying each year.

The winner of each National Championship collects $75,000, with the 2017 series of each event being run and won at Albion Park in Queensland.

Best bookmakers for betting on the National Championships

As two of the main races to be held each year, the National Sprint and Distance Championships attract the best of the best from each state in Australia.

With such high quality greyhounds contesting the series’, there is always plenty of betting activity both on the State and National finals.

All of our recommended online bookmakers offer betting on the National finals, with many, such as Bet365 and Sportsbet, also providing fixed odds markets for the State qualifiers.

Some bookies also offer all-in markets on the winner of the National finals prior to the running of the heats in each state – allowing punters to pinch some great value if they believe they can spot the winner of the final early in the series.

History of the National Sprint and Distance Championships

The National Championships have been conducted in numerous forms since their inception, with the Sprint first being held at Harold Park in 1965 when won by NSW chaser Best Sun.

For more than a decade the Sprint Championship alternated between the four metropolitan tracks in Sydney and Melbourne until 1977 when it was staged at the Gabba in Brisbane.

The Distance Championship was first conducted in 1969 when won by Victorian stayer Amerigo Lady at Wentworth Park, before heading to Sandown for the 1970 edition. The Distance final of 1971 was held at Hobart and since that time has alternated around the states.

In 1990 the Australian Greyhound Racing Association was formed, with the national body, formed of member clubs from around the country, overseeing the series’ from that point onwards.

Early on, the two championships were held at different times of the year until a cost factor in 1994 saw both events run concurrently in the same state across two nights of stellar racing. The first time both the National Sprint and National Distance were held on the same night was in 2002 at Albion Park.

Since its inception, the Championships have had varying ways of determining the finalists for the national showpieces.

For the last quarter of a decade the states have conducted heats followed by a final to determine their representatives, with the home state each year allowed two finalists in both the Sprint and Distance.

The only state not represented in either national final is the Northern Territory which has not taken a part in either series since 2002.

From 2002 until 2009, due to the large breeding numbers in both NSW and Victoria, these two states alternated to fill the remaining spot in each final.

However, in 2008 a controversial rule was passed at the AGRA National meeting and came into effect the following year.

The new concept saw the spare position in both finals filled by the highest ranked sprinter and stayer, according to the AGRA rankings, to have competed in a state final but not have won.

Dubbed the ‘Wildcard’ position, it was immediately effective – with Jarvis Bale winning the 2009 National Distance Championship at Cannington after gaining entry into the final as the recipient of that year’s Wildcard invitation.

Both events remain a highly sought after title to this day, with every state having produced a winner of the Sprint, with Tasmania the only state left to have not won the Distance trophy.

National Sprint and Distance Championships – the recent years

The honour roll for the Sprint Championship boasts some of the finest names in greyhound racing, none more famous than the mighty Fernando Bale who won the 2015 final at Wentworth Park.

The star chaser claimed the accolades for Victoria, giving the Garden state its third win in four years, having also produced Fabregas (2012) and Xylia Allen (2013).

In 2016, the most recent edition of the National Sprint was won by South Australian greyhound Worm Burner, giving his home state its first winner of the feature since Casino Tom saluted in 1993.

The black dog defeated a classy field including star Victorian Zambora Brockie, collecting the $75,000 winner’s cheque and stopping the clock in a phenomenal 29.17.

As for the Distance Championship, the 2016 edition was won by Victorian stayer Ring The Bell for Gerry O’Keeffe. The son of Kinloch Brae and Absolute Stunna settled mid-field before unleashing a powerful finishing burst, claiming his first victory at the highest level.

It was the third successive win for Victoria in the Distance Championship, with former champion Sweet It Is winning both the 2014 and 2015 finals, before controversially being disqualified from the latter due to a positive swab which saw Lady Toy, also from the Garden State, collect top honours.

National Sprint Championship – honour roll

1965 – Harold Park – Best Sun (NSW)
1966 – Olympic Park – Kinta’s Son (VIC)
1967 – Wentworth Park – Meteor Paso (NSW)
1968 – Sandown Park – Princess Kerry (VIC)
1969 – Harold Park – Red Zero (NSW)
1970 – Olympic Park – Regal Hermes (VIC)
1971 – Wentworth Park – King Miller (NSW)
1972 – Sandown Park – Lord Galaxy (NSW)
1973 – Harold Park – New Mariner (VIC)
1974 – Olympic Park – Temlee (VIC)
1975 – Wentworth Park – Cooperroo Flyer (NSW)
1976 – Sandown Park – Clover Duke (NSW)
1977 – Gabba – Bowetzel (VIC)
1978 – Angle Park – Mr Toewhyte (WA)
1979 – Cannington – Acclaim Star (NSW)
1980 – Harold Park – Fast Sapphire (NSW)
1981 – Olympic Park – Kate’s A Scandal (SA)
1982 – Gabba – Madonna Lee (QLD)
1983 – Harold Park – Winifred Bale (NSW)
1984 – Harold Park – Busy Vintage (TAS)
1985 – Sandown Park – Scenic Spa (SA)
1986 – Angle Park – Stetson (SA)
1987 – Hobart – Fremantle Echo (WA)
1988 – Gabba – Dancing Gamble (QLD)
1989 – Cannington – Sandi’s Me Mum (WA)
1990 – Sandown Park – Sandi’s Me Mum (WA)
1991 – Wentworth Park – Jessica Casey (NSW)
1992 – Olympic Park – Mr. Slick (VIC)
1993 – Angle Park – Casino Tom (SA)
1994 – Wentworth Park – Gallant Ruler (NSW)
1995 – Sandown Park – Flying Amy (QLD)
1996 – Albion Park – Shayne’s Champ (VIC)
1997 – Angle Park – Prince of Tigers (WA)
1998 – Cannington – Rapid Journey (NSW)
1999 – Wentworth Park – Henry Hand (NSW)
2000 – Launceston – Placard (NSW)
2001 – The Meadows – Heinrik Bale (VIC)
2002 – Albion Park – In The Frame (VIC)
2003 – Angle Park – Elite State (QLD)
2004 – Cannington – In For Life (NSW)
2005 – Wentworth Park – Pure Octane (VIC)
2006 – Launceston – Immortal Love (NSW)
2007 – Sandown Park – Bit Chili (NSW)
2008 – Wentworth Park – Knocka Norris (QLD)
2009 – Cannington – Dashing Corsair (QLD)
2010 – Angle Park – Smooth Fancy (NSW)
2011 – Albion Park – Metz Magic (QLD)
2012 – Hobart – Fabregas (VIC)
2013 – The Meadows – Xylia Allen (VIC)
2014 – Cannington – Chica Destacada (NSW)
2015 – Wentworth Park – Fernando Bale (VIC)
2016 – Angle Park – Worm Burner (SA)

National Distance Championship – honour roll

1969 – Wentworth Park – Amerigo Lady (VIC)
1970 – Sandown Park – Sargood (VIC)
1971 – Hobart – Saki Dasher (VIC)
1972 – Harold Park – Bubble’s Luck (VIC)
1973 – Gabba – He’s Some Boy (VIC)
1974 – Angle Park – Corcoran (VIC)
1975 – Gabba – Dotie Wilson (NSW)
1976 – Angle Park – Bolta’s Gift (VIC)
1977 – Harold Park – Woolley Wong (NSW)
1978 – Hobart – Dusty Ginny (NSW)
1979 – Olympic Park – Mary Marella (VIC)
1980 – Sandown Park – All Promise (VIC)
1981 – Launceston – Shamrock Jewel (VIC)
1982 – Angle Park – Bay Road Queen (SA)
1983 – Hobart – Ten Guitars (VIC)
1984 – Cannington – Princess Baden (SA)
1985 – Launceston – Melmade Gazza (SA)
1986 – Gabba – Kristy’s First (QLD)
1987 – Olympic Park – Mystic Hope (VIC)
1988 – Wentworth Park – High Intensity (VIC)
1989 – Angle Park – Julep (SA)
1990 – Olympic Park – Clean Machine (VIC)
1991 – Gabba – Just A Charm (QLD)
1992 – Wentworth Park – Pace Galore (VIC)
1993 – Cannington – Billy’s Blondie (QLD)
1994 – Wentworth Park – Miss Cruise (NSW)
1995 – Olympic Park – Boronia Blossom (QLD)
1996 – Albion Park – Boronia Blossom (QLD)
1997 – Angle Park – Ibrox Park (NSW)
1998 – Cannington – Paradise Street (WA)
1999 – Wentworth Park – Kobble Creek (QLD)
2000 – Launceston – Osti’s Joker (VIC)
2001 – Sandown Park – Tip Top Tears (VIC)
2002 – Albion Park – Boomeroo (VIC)
2003 – Angle Park – Arvo’s Junior (VIC)
2004 – Cannington – Classy Customer (NSW)
2005 – Wentworth Park – Texas Gold (NSW)
2006 – Launceston – Bothing (SA)
2007 – The Meadows – Flashing Floods (VIC)
2008 – Wentworth Park – Mantra Lad (VIC)
2009 – Cannington – Jarvis Bale (VIC)
2010 – Angle Park – Blue Lorian (NSW)
2011 – Albion Park – Dashing Corsair (QLD)
2012 – Hobart – Miata (WA)
2013 – The Meadows – Smart Valentino (NSW)
2014 – Cannington – Sweet It Is (VIC)
2015 – Wentworth Park – Lady Toy (VIC)
2016 – Angle Park – Ring The Bell (VIC)