Background To The Chairman’s Cup

This Saturday night will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Chairman’s Cup, a race inaugurated by the to honour its past and present chairmen. What is now the fifth major distance event conducted over 720 metres at each year, it originally started life as a stepping-stone contest for stayers who were starting out on the road to the top. That all changed in 2007 when it was opened up to the best 32 stayers nominated.

Inaugural running

The first Chairman’s Cup was run on 11 August 1984, over 732 metres on the grass surface at Harold Park. Secret Secret annexed the event, defeating No Exceptions and future top-liner Sharyn’s Vogue in 43.43. Note: for some strange reason the GBOTA has recorded the name of this inaugural winner as Secret Ash. Whether the greyhound had its name changed after the Cup I don’t know, but at the time it won the race it was definitely Secret Secret (Sole Force x Northville Moss). The following month Secret Secret won the at Harold Park. I know it’s 30 years ago, but seriously, how can peak bodies get something as simple as the name of the greyhound that won the inaugural running of a premier event so wrong?


It has only been contested over two distances: 732 metres at Harold Park and 720 metres at Wentworth Park, first on grass between 1988 and 1991, and on the sand since 1992.

When Is The Race Run

It was contested in August from 1984 until 2000, with the only exception being the 1997 version, run in late July. Since 2001 it has been run in September.

Biggest Winning Margins

Arisara won the 2002 final by seven lengths, Swazi Flash (1988) scored by six lengths and Amity Bale (2009) won by five and a quarter lengths.

Closest Winning Margins

Dolly’s Gal (1993) and Sharden Blaze (1998) both scored by just a head, while Siso (1992) and New Seika (1996) received the judge’s nod by a neck.

Most Successful Trainer/s

Alan Pringle is the only trainer to have more than a single winner, scoring in 1988 with Swazi Flash and in 1994 with Miss Cruise.

Only Dual Winner/s

None. Being a restricted event between 1984 and 2006 meant that no winner could come back and defend a title.

Only Reserve/s To Win

None. The closest was in 2007 when the second reserve ran second to Flashing Floods.

Dual Finalists

What’s New (dead-heat fifth 2003, Won 2004), Slick Lee (third 2010 & 2011).

Some Beaten Stars

Sharyn’s Vogue (third 1984), Chief Mocka (second 1987), Sonic Wave (third 1987), Alastic Rebel (third 1992), Bonza Boy (second 1996), Dalalla (second 1998), Gallant Seagull (third 1998), Arvo’s Athena (third 2004), Fallen Zorro (third 2008), (third 2009), Forty Twenty (sixth 2010), (second 2012), He Knows Uno (fifth 2012), Smart Valentino (second 2013)


The 1997 final was delayed by nine days. Scheduled for 19 July, the meeting that night was abandoned after five races when a power failure in an electricity sub-station blacked out the track. Additionally, that final five finalists sired by Worthy Reward, but they were blown out by the -trained Amico Mio. The Worthy Reward progeny ran second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth. Amico Mio later went to New Zealand and raced with success.

Sharden Blaze was the first Victorian stayer to win the cup, taking out the 1998 final.

The 2007 final featured the unusual situation of having both reserves gaining a start. I Love Lucy was scratched and replaced by first reserve Lyn’s Daisy, while pre-post favourite was also scratched and replaced by second reserve Just Friends. The latter managed to run a strong second behind Victorian star Flashing Floods.

By contrast, the 2010 final was reduced to just six starters with no reserves and a late scratching.

Chairman’s Cup (G3)

1984 Secret Secret
1985 Sarah Bale
1986 Major Look
1987 Classy Vogue
1988 Swazi Flash
1989 Lilac Livery
1990 Hey Bee
1991 Copper Magnet
1992 Siso
1993 Dolly’s Gal,
1994 Miss Cruise
1995 Wide Receiver
1996 New Seika
1997 Amico Mio
1998 Sharden Blaze (V)
1999 Platinum Prince
2000 Yaroun Express
2001 Fiasco (V)
2002 Arisara
2003 Somersby Faus
2004 What’s New
2005 Arapina Miss
2006 Red Dusk
2007 Flashing Floods (V)
2008 (T)
2009 Amity Bale (V)
2010 Your Signature
2011 Shimaguni (V)
2012 Know Peace (NZ)
2013 Proven Impala (V)

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Tom Cavanagh
Tom Cavanagh
5 months ago

The winner of the first Chairman’s Cup in 1984 was Secret Secret and not Secret Ash.There was no name change.