Greyhound racing in western Victoria will reach a significant milestone in Horsham on Saturday.
Horsham Greyhound Racing Club will present its 40th annual Horsham Cup meeting at Horsham Showground.
The club formed a few years before the first cup meeting after heavy lobbying from MLA Jim Mccabe and was the culmination of many years of greyhound events in the region dating back to the days of early European settlement.
During its 40-year history the cup meeting has produced notable winners including Tempix, 1980, Lansley Bale, 1998, and Kantarn Bale, 2000.
Horsham club manager Justin Brilliant said the 2018 meeting appeared set to produce another vintage year with some of the nation’s best racing dogs lining up for a slice of a $67,000 prize pool.
“Widely regarded as Australia’s best sprinter, Aston Dee Bee cruised through his heat last week at his first look at the Horsham track,” he said.
“Sitting fifth in the all-time prizemoney list at almost $800,000, Aston Dee Bee already has Australian and Melbourne cups on his CV, is on a 25-start streak of not missing a place and will be a short-price favourite.
“But Aston Dee Bee might not have it all his own way, with a couple of rising super stars in Tiempo Dinero and Out Of Range ready to knock the champ off his mantel. Tiempo Dinero ran the quickest time in the heats and if he can jump cleanly in the final will give them something to chase.
“Out Of Range is a two-time Groupone winner from just 19 career starts and will no doubt improve with the experience gained from the heats last Friday.”
Mr Brilliant said Horsham Cup night also presented an opportunity for the club to celebrate the achievements of two ‘vastly different’ women of the sport, with the running of Sylvia Penny and Jan Wilson memorial events.
“Sylvia was a life member who dedicated herself to the club through time spent on the committee, ladies committee, fundraising and volunteering. Jan was a state parliamentarian and chairperson of Greyhound Racing Victoria who led the industry through a time of enormous growth and foresight to leave a legacy of the fantastic sport we now enjoy,” he said.
Mr Brilliant said the meeting would feature family-friendly activities such as jumping castles, a giant slide, face-painting, mini golf, a V8 simulator and more.
“Kids also have a chance to win one of four family memberships to Halls Gap Zoo, while the ‘big kids’ can enjoy the punter club run by greyhound expert and race caller James Van De Maat, the inflatable Olde England Pub and a chance to win vouchers.”
The club will run a shuttle bus service from 6pm along fishing camp areas of the Wimmera River. Entry is free of charge.