Bathurst Cup now Group 3 status

Caption: The Dennis Barnes-trained Nangar Diva was another recent high quality winner of the Bathurst Cup, taking out the feature in 2020. (Photo courtesy of the Central Western Daily)

By MIKE HILL

“IT’S our grand final and we’re expecting another high quality series,” says Bathurst Greyhound Club track manager Jason Lyne.

He was referring to the upcoming $25,000-to-the-winner Bathurst Cup (520m), which will carry Group 3 status for the first time.

\”We\’ve been racing for G3 prizemoney for several years but this is the first time the Cup has had Group ranking,\” Lyne said.

\”It\’s a very prestigious event and well supported by leading city and country kennels.

\”We always have our share of high quality dogs engaged.\”

To support his claims Lyne highlighted last year\’s Cup final in which multi-group finalist Zulu Warlord defeated grand sprinters Winlock On Top and Fire On Ice.

Eight nights earlier Zulu Warlord had finished third to Wow and Winlock On Top in the $75,000-to-the-winner G1 Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park. (Wow was later disqualified from the race with Winlock On Top and Zulu Warlord elevated to first and second).

And in the 2020 Cup, Dennis Barnes\’ talented chaser Nangar Diva was victorious, beating a star-studded field that included Slingshot Hammer, Shima Breeze and Good Odds Harada.

Other recent winners include Caitlyn Keeping (2019), Miss Splendamiro (\’18) and current track record holder Falcon Fury (\’17).

Lyne said the unique structure of the one-week Cup series (heats January 31 and final February 4) was popular with trainers.

\”We run the heats on a Monday and the final four nights later on the Friday,\” he said.

\”It\’s good prizemoney and it doesn\’t jeopardise a dog\’s chances in the big city features.

\”The Cup is sandwiched between the highly-rated Paws Of Thunder at Sydney\’s Wentworth Park and the Australian Cup carnival at The Meadows in Melbourne.

\”Many trainers are comfortable with the four-day turnaround from heats to final.

\”The series is capped to four heats with many of the runners well-experienced sprinters accustomed to pressure racing.

\”Over the years we\’ve had some wonderful chasers contest and win the big final.\”

Lyne said the Cup was virtually his club\’s grand final and a great opportunity to promote the code to the wider community.

\”It\’s a great night out for the family,\” he said.

\”We don\’t get many Friday night meetings so we try to make it something special for patrons.

\”We have a big night planned.\”

As well as the Cup final, the club has programmed a series of support features including a maiden final with $10,000 to the winner, several memorial races and a middle-distance event carrying $5000 to the winner.

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