Change of distance a Geelong Cup success story

\"\"Caption: Shima Shine took out the Horsham Cup, the first leg of the $700,000 Western Festival of Racing which also incorporates the Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool Cups (Photo: BlueStream pictures) 

 

Group 2 Geelong Cup (520m)

Best greyhounds nominated

Heats April 16. Final April 23

$47,000 to the winner

 

By DAVID BRASCH

WHEN Simon Told Helen downed a celebrity field to win last October\’s 520m Group 2 Geelong Cup, club officials sat back and saluted the success of the switch in distance for the time-honoured series.

The Cup had been run over 460m for decades and seen some superstar sprinters win – greats like Hooked On Scotch, Thirty Talks, Shima Song, Black Magic Opal, Dyna Tron etc, etc, etc.

\”The club made the decision to switch to 520 metres and we were entirely happy with that decision after the result of last year\’s race,\” said Geelong president Brian Parkinson.

Simon Told Helen downed Bobby The Brute, Tiggerlong Tonk, Shima Shine, Gladiole Bale, Catch The Thief, Sweet As Emm and Yozo Bale.

Geelong could not have hand picked a better field of eight.

\”Obviously our aim this year will be to emulate that,\” said Parkinson.

This year the Geelong Cup is part of the $700,000 Western Festival of Racing which incorporates the Horsham, Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool Cups.

Each race runs for a winner\’s cheque of $47,000.

Parkinson says his club is keen to approach GRV to provide in the future a bonus for any dog that can win two of those cups in the same year.

\”It would be a feat for any dog to do that especially as the distances vary among the cups,\” he said. \”You need a pretty special dog to win two of these Cups in the one year.\”

Horsham, won by Shima Shine early in March, is over 485m, Ballarat is 450m, Geelong 520m, and Warrnambool 450m.

Geelong has already written to many of the top trainers tempting them to the Cup carnival with their 520m stars.

\”We are also putting on a special event worth $10,000 prior to the Cup series to attract trainers to our track as a lead-in to the Cup,\” said Parkinson.

To enable the Western Festival of Racing, both Ballarat and Geelong have had to program two runnings of their Cup in the one financial year.

Parkinson has been president at Geelong since May last year and is confident his club is set for a bright future.

\”We have some very strong board members and an enthusiastic young club manager in Ray Bartolo,\” he said.

\”Ray is intelligent and understands the whole box and dice of greyhound racing coming from a family so entrenched in the industry.

\”Greyhound racing needs young people and it is happening, slowly but surely.\”

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