The Minister for Racing Denis Napthine says the opportunity to drive home in a brand new Mazda Miata MX 5 or a Mazda 2 and meet Hawthorn AFL premiership player Jarryd Roughhead will prove major drawcards at the ever-popular Sandown Cup meetings on 17 and 24 May.
Dr Napthine said the Coalition Government’s Raceday Attraction Program established to increase on-course attendances at racing is assisting in putting on these two magnificent nights of racing, entertainment and the chance to drive home in a new car.
“The two-day Autumn Carnival features Australia’s richest race for stayers, the Group One Sandown Cup,” Dr Napthine said.
“This year, global greyhound sensation ‘Miata’ is being aimed at Cup glory. Wherever Miata has been racing she has been smashing the track record and now she is lining up Sandown.
“And it just so happens one of Australia’s zippiest and most popular cars, the Mazda MX 5 is is also called the ‘Miata’.
“As a special promotion, if Miata wins the Sandown Cup, one lucky spectator is guaranteed to win a Miata MX-5 valued at $52,000. But even if Miata is unsuccessful, someone on-course will still win a Mazda 2 valued at $17,000.
“As well as that there will be entertainment for all ages, ticket giveaways and further prizes worth up to $2,500, including travel vouchers,” Dr Napthine said.
Berwick Mazda Dealer Principal Grant Handley was equally excited to be part of such an exciting program, “Miata is one of the most exciting and popular greyhounds we’ve ever seen in Australia,” said Mr Handley.
“And the Miata MX 5 is one of the world’s favourite sports cars. It’s a fantastic fit – experience the thrill of one of greyhound racing’s iconic races and you could win a one of the world’s iconic sports cars.”
Greg Miller, Chief Executive Officer of the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club said the support to attract people to the Sandown Cup would turn a great night into a night not to be missed.
“The funding from the Victorian Government is much appreciated and will no doubt allow more people to see the fantastic sport of greyhound racing,” Mr Miller said.
“Sandown has been a leader in Raceday Attraction Program initiatives with the outstanding success of its summer cricket club series run at its Sunday afternoon meetings.
“The program was such a success, clubs had to be turned away and now the local football clubs have the chance to enjoy the benefits of this great club series,” Mr Miller said.
The Coalition Government will provide up to $33,410 towards the events and entertainment, with the Club and Greyhound Racing Victoria providing a further $79,500.
Dr Napthine said the greyhound racing industry is worth $200 million to the Victorian economy and close to 2,000 jobs.
“For this reason the Coalition Government strongly supports greyhound racing and through our $79.5 million Victorian Racing Industry Fund and is aiming to grow the economic benefits,” Dr Napthine said.
Heats of the Group One Sandown Cup (over 715 metres) will be run on 17 May with finals on 24 May. To be in the running for the major car prize, patrons must be trackside on Thursday 24 May.