Mestrov: "Biggest Year Of Racing We've Seen"

NSW greyhound racing's remarkable renaissance is set to reach almost unfathomable levels in 2022 with a raft of top dollar events to be staged.

Adam Dobbin

17 February 2022

NSW greyhound racing’s remarkable renaissance is set to reach almost unfathomable levels in 2022.

With standard prize money on the incline,  2022 will also showcase a suite of lucrative events never before seen in Australian greyhound racing.

Or anywhere else for that matter.

As well as staging of two TAB Million Dollar Chases, the inaugural GRNSW Country Classic (605m), Australia’s richest middle distance event, worth $125,000-to-the-winner, is set to begin in just a fortnight’s time.

And then midway through the year, the world’s richest staying event, ‘The 715’, which carries $500,000-to-the-winner, will be staged at The Gardens.

Today, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) released another key initiative, attaching a unique bonus to this year’s $10,000-to-the-winner Broken Hill Cup which is scheduled for April.

To coincide with the Broken Hill club being granted TAB status for their Cup heats on April 3 and final on April 10, GRNSW has declared that the winner of the Broken Hill Cup will be handed direct entry into the semi-finals of the TAB Million Dollar Chase.

That means the 2022 Broken Hill Cup winner will be one of the 64 semi-finalists shooting for a berth in the TAB Million Dollar Chase Grand Final at Wentworth Park on May 7.

GRNSW has also announced that the winner of the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park on April 9 will secure a place in the MDC semi-finals, setting up the potential for a $1.25 million payday in the space of four weeks for one lucky set of connections.

“This is the biggest year of racing we have ever seen in this country,” GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov said.

“In 2022 we have two Million Dollar Chase events, the world’s richest staying event, The 715m, at Newcastle in June, and next month the world’s richest middle-distance race, the Country Classic will be held in Dubbo.

“Back in 2020 when we last staged the Million Dollar Chase, we introduced tickets into the semi-finals for the winners of the respective State Sprint Championships around the country. This proved very successful with two of those Sprint champions – Tommy Shelby and Shadow Mist – reaching the MDC Grand Final.

 “Again this year we have spots for the eight dogs that won their respective State Sprint titles, but we also decided to do something a bit unique this year with the semi-final ticket for the Broken Hill Cup winner and the Golden Easter Egg winner.”

Mestrov said GRNSW’s decision to support Broken Hill in this manner is another firm commitment to regional racing.

 “The Broken Hill Cup decision continues our concerted effort to support racing in regional NSW where the majority of our participants are based,” Mestrov said.

“It rewards the club for their continued hard work and will hopefully see them attract their best Cup line-up ever. And it’s a nice carrot to dangle for those country trainers who may want to travel to Broken Hill, and also those from South Australia.”

The focus of the MDC will be on regional NSW, with heats and finals to be held at a record 16 regional venues this year.

Casino, Gunnedah and Dapto will kickstart the series on March 31, followed by Goulburn, Temora, Nowra, Bulli, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Grafton, The Gardens, Richmond, Bathurst, Maitland, and then culminating with Lismore and Gosford finals on April 19. The first three in each Regional Final will advance to the semi-finals.

Six city qualifying races will then be held at Wentworth Park on April 23 to determine the final places among the 64 qualifiers, before eight semi-finals are run on April 29 with winners advancing for their shot at the $1 million on May 7.