And following on from the popularity and success of the Geelong Cup precedent, all heats will be random blind draws, meaning no trainer or greyhound will get a free ride in to the $30,000 to the winner final as occurs with seeded heats.
BGRC president Ken Bennett in announcing the stake increase for the 2008 Ballarat Cup, said he was proud the Ballarat Cup could “maintain its place as one of the state's major provincial feature events”.
Mr Bennet in announcing an increase to the final winners stakes, also made note of increased stakes for all the Ballarat Cup Heats
But the big news from Mr Bennett was that for the first time in the cup's history, there will be a blind draw for the heats.
The Geelong Cup has for the past two years employed a similar format or random blind draws for the heats and it has been received highly favourably amongst owners and trainers as it gives every greyhound and trainer a fair and equal chance to make the final.
This does not occur with Greyhound Racing Victoria's (GRV) traditional policy of “seeding” each and every heat and final that it grades.
Under the GRV's seeding policy the best greyhounds in the grader's opinion are firstly seperated and placed in their own heats and then those heats are filled with lesser quality greyhounds. The objective being to aid the best greyhounds, in the grader's opinion, to making the final.
Understandably this policy is not in the best interest's of fair and equitable racing and the Geelong and Ballarat Clubs should be commended for taking a stance and returning a fair and level playing field to their most prestigious races.
Mr Bennett said the cup was the club's chance to showcase greyhound racing to the Ballarat area, as well as providing families with some great entertainment.
“The cup final night will have plenty of activities for all patrons – young and old,” he said.
Free entertainment will include magician Barry Govan, as well as face painting and a jumping castle for children.
Children 15 years or under will also go into the draw for an Apple iPod, with one to be drawn for a girl and one for a boy who are on course.
Adults have also not been forgotten as those who are on track will go into the draw for betting vouchers.
As a bonus for trainers who have a runner in the heats, each will also go into a draw for a MTD ride-on mower valued at $3200.
The 2008 Group 2 PETStock Ballarat Cup Heats will be run on Wednesday 3rd December 2008 and trainers are reminded that nominations will close at 12:00pm Friday 28th November 2008 with the GRV. The 2008 Group 2 PETStock Ballarat Cup Heats will carry prizemoney of $1800 for 1st, 2nd $520 and 3rd $260; with the Final worth $30,000 for 1st, 2nd $8750 and 3rd $4285.