The Group 1 Melbourne Cup will soar to $1 million in prizemoney and be staged in prime time on a Saturday night under a reshaped Festival of Racing unveiled by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV).
November and December will see the spotlight of the greyhound racing world shift to Sandown Park and The Meadows where five showcase Saturday nights will dish out more than $4.1 million in prizemoney.
Last week, GRV announced that this year’s The Phoenix at The Meadows would carry a total purse of $1.65 million with a Victorian record $1 million to the winner.
And with the time-honoured Melbourne Cup reaching a $1 million purse, the 67th edition of the showpiece Sandown Park event will boast a $650,000 first prize in 2022.
In unveiling the revamped Metropolitan Festival of Racing, GRV Acting CEO Stuart Laing said the changes will bring about a whole new level of excitement for the sport of greyhound racing.
“The Metropolitan Festival of Racing is the richest greyhound carnival in the world,” Laing said.
“Trackside, fans will experience greyhound racing like never before as we showcase elite racing, featuring the nation’s best greyhounds and trainers competing for lucrative prizemoney and all on Saturday nights to appeal to and engage with the broadest audience possible both on and off the track.
“Unique entertainment and hospitality offerings will be a feature of each Saturday night and after over two years of restrictions, we look forward to welcoming big crowds back to experience exhilarating greyhound racing trackside.”
The Metropolitan Festival of Racing will launch on Saturday November 5 at The Meadows highlighted by the Group 1 Topgun, Group 1 Topgun Stayers and Group 1 Hume Cup.
The spotlight then shifts to Sandown Park for the next three Saturdays for the Group 3 Shootout program before the two-week Group 1 Melbourne Cup series gets underway.
Rounding out the Saturday night racing extravaganza will be the lucrative The Phoenix meeting at The Meadows on December 17.
Laing added that the newly announced Festival of Racing reaffirms Victoria’s premier standing in the global greyhound racing landscape.
“I thank and applaud both metropolitan clubs for their vision and innovation in coming together with GRV and our partners to create a showpiece festival such as this that reinforces greyhound racing in Victoria as the pre-eminent greyhound jurisdiction in the world.”
News Corp understands that further announcements around exciting new broadcast initiatives for the Festival of Racing are imminent.
Originally published as Greyhound Racing Victoria unveil world’s richest greyhound carnival at Sandown Park and The Meadows