By MIKE HILL
YOU only have to look at the list of winners to see that it takes a special dog to win the $67,000 Group 2 Ballarat Cup (450m).
And victory can greatly assist in the making of a potential stud dog.
Recent winners include Zambora Brockie (2016), Aston Dee Bee (2017) and Aston Kimetto (2018), while in the past the likes of Shining Chariot (1987), Malawi\’s Prince (\’91), Lansley Bale (\’98), Whisky Assassin (\’04) and Dyna Lachlan (\’09) have been successful.
And in a major shift, this year\’s $47,000-to-the-winner feature has been moved from its December timeslot.
Manager Rod Ward said the Ballarat club had become part of a new \’racing festival\’ with the Cup moved to April month with heats on Monday, April 5, and the final on Friday, April 9.
\”Following the highly successful Gippsland Festival of Racing in the eastern part of the state, Greyhound Racing Victoria encouraged clubs to launch a western series,\” Ward said.
\”And the feedback from trainers has been positive.\”
Earlier this year GRV launched its inaugural Western Festival of Racing, incorporating more than $700,000 in prizemoney across eight spectacular nights of racing in the west of the state from late February through to early May.
Clubs participating in the racing bonanza are Horsham, Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool – each producing a G2 Cup series.
Hoping to attract a host of talented greyhounds from all around Australia to country Victoria, the \’Western Festival\’ kicked off with the Horsham Cup final early last month. It was won in sensational fashion by the Andrea Dailly-trained star Shima Shine.
The classy dual G1 winner stormed home from last to finally break his country cups hoodoo.
Ward said the Ballarat club had staged a very successful Cup series last December – won by the Correy Grenfell-trained Yozo Bale – and he was expecting another bumper meeting this month.
\”We\’re expecting some high-quality dogs from the state\’s leading trainers,\” he said.
\”The Cup over the years has proved to be a good launching pad for potential stud dogs and we always have some of the state\’s premier sprinters engaged.
\”2019 was a golden year. Whiskey Riot and Western Envoy had quinellaed the Melbourne Cup the previous month and the same two greyhounds quinellaed our Cup, only the placings were reversed with Western Envoy winning.\”
Ward said he was hoping for at least six to eight heats for this month\’s big feature.
\”We\’re anticipating some of the state\’s best sprinters and we could even receive some interstate runners,\” he said. \”However, with COVID we\’re not quite sure on numbers.\”
Ward also revealed that the club was planning to fill the now vacant Cup timeslot in December with a new feature event.
\”This year we will introduce the Eureka Cup to our festive calendar,\” he said. \”We are still working through a few things, including prizemoney.
\”We\’ve been encouraged by the general public who like the atmosphere of a big Christmas meeting.\”
Previous winners of the Ballarat Cup, first held at the old Broadway Park complex:
1960 Rebby Boy, 1961 Dalemee, 1962 Eerie Town, 1963 Alrarniv 1964, 1965 Unknown, 1966 Unknown, 1967 Unknown, 1968 Baytown’s Son, 1969 My Gina, 1970 1971 Fawn Metal, 1972 Master Caleb, 1973 She’s My Girl, 1974 Fawn Capri, 1975 Ben Boro 1976 Ernie Diro, 1977 “Not Held”, 1978 “Not Held”, 1979 Nelson’s Mate, 1980 Swift As Light, 1981 Johnny’s Monaro, 1982 Satan’s Shroud, 1983 Total Claim, 1984 Lady Lilly, 1985 Trisun, 1986 “Not Held”, 1987 Shining Chariot, 1988 Kepler, 1989 Hay Dinney, 1990 Welcome Stranger, 1991 Malawi’s Prince, 1992 Wild Pirate, 1993 Dallas Duo, 1994 Tivoli Man, 1995 Malawi Law, 1996 King Of Talent, 1997 Young Darren, 1998 Lansley Bale, 1999 Tom’s Legacy, 2000 Puff Daddy, 2001 Carlisle Jack, 2002 Knockabout Wok, 2003 Puzzle Prize, 2004 Whisky Assassin, 2005 Magic Trance, 2006 Witch Magic, 2007 Go Wild Jack, 2008 Vee Man Vane, 2009 Dyna Lachlan, 2010 Greta Bale, 2011 Up And Away, 2012 Maverick Tiger, 2013 Ronin Izmir, 2014 Luca Neveelk, 2015 Shared Equity, 2016 Zambora Brockie, 2017 Aston Dee Bee, 2018 Aston Kimetto, 2019 Western Envoy, 2020 Yozo Bale.