Dapto Megastar is aptly named

DAPTO MEGASTAR ( 520m)

Group 1 ($75,000 to the winner)

Heats December 2. Final December 9.

By TERRY WILSON

RECENT results suggest that the naming of the Illawarra area’s biggest greyhound event, the Dapto Megastar, has been particularly relevant.

That’s because the past two Megastars winners have been out and out champions.

In 2019 Good Odds Harada saluted the judge for trainer Frank Hurst after winning the Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park two months earlier.

Then last year it was the turn of ultra-smart Flying Ricciardo (Kristy Sultana) to land the big prizemoney after beating the equally ultra-smart, but unfortunately now deceased, Simon Told Helen.

Since the classic’s inception the Megastar has been a magnet for the leading dogs and nothing much is expected to change this year.

The race has a strong history. It started in 2010 with a Group 3 staging but it was an invitational event.

It was elevated to G2 status in 2012 before it became a G1 feature the following year when Peter Rocket took the honours, beating Queensland sensation Glen Gallen.

Until recently, the Megastar was the first Group 1 event of any racing code to be held in the Illawarra region and typified the work put in by officials who, over the years, had some fairly significant hurdles to overcome.

The club was first formed way back in 1856 but it was not until 1936 that a sub-committee of the Dapto Agricultural and Horticultural Society was formed and work started on enclosing the harness track to allow greyhounds to race.

The first greyhound meeting was held at Dapto on February 25, 1937, with a total of 108 pounds in prizemoney. The club was approved to host 40 meetings a year.

Since then the grass racing surface was switched to loam.

The Army took over the showgrounds and buildings as World War II raged. But it was back to the dogs in control in 1944.

Then in in July, 1992, the front office building caught fire.

But the major issue came in 2019 when here was the scandal that threatened to blow the Dapto dogs to smithereens.

It was essentially conflict between the two bodies GRNSW and Dapto Horticultural Society.

Yet the club has survived it all without being closed down.

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