Decision Looms On Perth Cup Carnival

A meeting on Monday between Greyhounds WA and Racing and Wagering WA will decide whether the Group 1 Perth Cup and Galaxy switch dates.

Adam Dobbin

22 March 2021

A meeting on Monday afternoon between Greyhounds WA (GWA) and Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) will decide whether the Group 1 Perth Cup and Galaxy switch dates.

On Sunday morning, Perth’s two flagship events were thrown into the spotlight when the NSW GBOTA elected to move the Golden Easter Egg carnival forward a week in response to the devastating weather conditions pounding New South Wales.

Most had anticipated that the showpiece Easter event would revert to a modified two week series in order for the $250,000-to-the-winner finale to remain in its traditional Easter Saturday slot.

But the decision was made for the series to maintain its three-week status with heats to be run and won this Saturday night while other events, including the Group 1 Association Cup (720m), to go back a week also.

The result of that decision was for the showcase program of finals – including the Golden Easter Egg and Association Cup – being staged on Saturday, April 10, the same date slated for the Group 1 Perth Cup (520m) and Galaxy (715m) heats at Cannington.

With a group race calendar already bursting at the seams, the movement of the Easter Egg amid the worst floods NSW has experienced in 60 years, has generated some unintended consequences.

4,000 kilometres separates Sydney and Perth yet it’s the flagship WA carnival that will potentially be the greatest effected.

Somewhat surprisingly, if GWA and RWWA elect to push back a week with heats of the two group 1 events on April 17 and the finals on April 24, it doesn’t present all that many grievances on the calendar.

In fact, the next group 1 events to be staged post the Perth Cup and Galaxy isn’t until mid-May when the Sapphire Crown and Harrison-Dawson series’ get underway at Sandown Park.

There will undoubtedly be other key factors WA officials will need to consider when forming a decision but purely on the alignment of racing dates, it looks achievable.

Steve Withers, trainer of $5 pre-post Perth Cup favourite Tommy Shelby, will await a decision from RWWA before deciding what to do next with his star conveyance.

The same goes for trainers with stayers the ilk of Stanley Road and Sunset Bourbski which are on an Association Cup trail before eyeing a tilt at the Group 1 Galaxy.

Other races compromised by the shifting of dates include the Maitland Cup and Ballarat Cup.

Expect the Maitland Cup to move back a week to cater for the date changes while the Ballarat Cup heats are to be staged on Easter Monday, meaning a clash of some form was always inevitable.