Geelong Cup Festival Ambassador Named

Channel Seven sports reporter Dylan Howard is the ambassador for the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club’s 2008 ‘Blue and White Festival of Racing’ (October 3-31).

Howard commenced his career as a journalist with the Geelong Advertiser. He still writes an opinion page for the paper’s Saturday edition, titled “Howard’s Way”.

Howard joined Channel Seven in 2005 as a sports reporter, primarily focusing on AFL. He was acknowledged for his breaking news report on the sacking of former Carlton coach Denis Pagan.

The festival kicks off tomorrow night with six heats of the Group 2 Geelong Australia Gold Cup (457m).

Local legend Graeme Bate of Lara has a four-strong team – Keeko Bale, Gisborn Bale, Taipan Bale and Hastings Bale – in a bid to claim his seventh Geelong Cup. Bate’s previous winners are Satan’s Shroud (1982), Modern Gossip (1987), Fair Sentence (1989), Cerin Bale (1998), Suellen Bale (2001) and Dyna Checa (2006).

Patrons will enjoy free admission during the heats, semi-finals (October 10) and final (October 17), which carries a $40,000 first prize plus gold cup valued at $1200.

Speed queen Betty’s Angel, trained by Paul Bartolo of Little River, will parade the cup finalists to the starting boxes. Winner of the 2006 Australian and Victorian Greyhound of the Year gongs, Betty’s Angel ($436,620) is also third on Australia’s all-time stakes list.