In the lead-up to the $375,000 Brisbane Cup, the Origin Greyhound Series returns to Albion Park on June 17 with two $60,000 Group 3 races – the Origin Sprint and Origin Distance – along with the Listed Origin Match Race.
The evening also features the Regional Origin Challenge and Queensland Emerging Origin Stars.
In total, nine greyhounds will represent Queensland and NSW next month, with each state naming their preliminary squads of 25 earlier today.
For a third straight year, Terry Hill will lead NSW into battle, and after tasting defeat at the hands of Chris Walker during the inaugural edition in 2018, he returned in 2019 with a powerful line-up to square the ledger at 1-1.
“I’m coming back to win,” Hill said.
“It will be a great night – the Queenslanders put on a great show at Albion Park – but when we’re in the trenches, we’re there to win.”
Queensland has appointed Ben Hannant as coach of this year’s TAB Origin Greyhound Series
During a decorated playing career, Hannant notched up 245 NRL games and won 12 caps for the Maroons – along with six for Australia – as one of the most imposing forwards in the game.
Unbeaten in the Origin cauldron across five series from 2008 to 2012, Hannant is hoping that trend will continue as the newly appointed coach of the Queensland greyhound squad.
“I’ve never lost to NSW and I’m not about to start now,” Hannant said.
“Form goes out the window when you represent Queensland. It’s whoever wants it most, it’s about heart, and it’s bred into us in Queensland.”
Earlier today, Hannant unveiled a talented Queensland squad including a nice mix of youth and experience in the sprinting ranks headlined by Limited Edition and Farmor Beach.
The pair finished one-two in last night’s Listed Carnival Sprint, with Farmor Beach previously contesting the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Final and claiming the Group 2 Ipswich Cup.
Joining them in the Queensland squad is Crazy Cool, who secured the Group 2 Golden Ticket in January, and then went on to run second behind Shima Shine in the Group 1 Gold Bullion Final.
While Sequana, the fastest bitch to have graced Albion Park, is hoping to shake off injury to claim a spot in the final line-up, but in order to do so, she will have to contend with up-and-coming stars, Extra Malt and Orchestrate, who are also pressing their claims.
Extra Malt recently claimed the Group 3 Ipswich Auction Series, while Orchestrate won the Group 3 Rockhampton Cup and Listed Brisbane Young Guns.
In the staying ranks, Maggie Moo Moo, fresh off her appearance in last night’s Group 1 Sandown Cup Final, is among the local contingent.
“The TAB Origin Greyhound Series is one of the highlights on the Queensland racing calendar,” Racing Queensland EGM Operations Adam Wallish said.
“It’s great to have Terry returning in 2021 and we look forward to welcoming Ben to Albion Park.
“The Origin Greyhound Series provides a great warm-up to Super Night before a blockbuster Brisbane Cup.”
Once again, NSW has named a powerful squad including Million Dollar Chase winner Handsome Prince.
The Peter Lagogiane superstar got his first look at Albion Park last night and was electrifying during his track debut.
Not to be outshone, the NSW staying ranks includes Stanley Road, who finished second in last night’s Group 1 Sandown Cup, and is a winner of the Group 1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers and Group 1 Association Cup.
Queensland Origin Greyhound Series Squad
Bad And Boujee, Cooper Dooper, Crazy Cool, Extra Malt, Farmor Beach, Hope’s King, It’s A Rush, Limited Edition, Little Byrnes, Maggie Moo Moo, Micks Recall, Mitchell Street, Nando Dreamer, Orchestrate, Paw It On, Power Point Diva, Pump It, Regal Rocky, Sequana, Smart Lilly, Special Cyndie, Temper Tears, Waikarie Bell, Werina Express and What A Debacle. Coach: Ben Hannant.
NSW Origin Greyhound Series Squad
All Hands Off, Barsandi, Burnt Ends, Dip It In, Ebby Jet Power, Fire Legend, Fire On Ice, Handsome Prince, In Your Time, Incapacitated, Irinka Riley, Jungle Deuce, Kooringa Lucy, Louis Rumble, Pay Call, Prim And Proper, Second Exit, Stanley Road, Stent, Stormy Grant, Vicki’s Queen, Winlock On Top, Wow, Zipping Kyrgios and Zipping Niseko.
Coach: Terry Hill.