Paul Dolan
Paul Dolan Warren Lynam

Series change to bolster audience

THE national championships of greyhound racing are under way.

As a rule, state finals for the sprint and distance championships are run on various nights of the week.

This year things are unfolding a little differently.

Each state final will be run next Thursday night.

Sydney's Wentworth Park, Perth's Cannington and Launceston in Tasmania will stage "one off' Thursday race meetings to coincide with Brisbane's Albion Park, Melbourne's San-down Park and Adelaide's Angle Park, for which Thursday is the main meeting of the week.

The 12 finals, six for the sprint and six for the distance, will be run over a compact period of around 90 minutes from 7.34pm.

The idea is to command a captive audience who will not only be watching on Sky Racing but betting turnover should be significantly higher than a regular Thursday night.

All the races will be shown on Sky 1 along with other regular Thursday venues.

Sky 2 will concentrate specifically on the championship races.

States participating will be Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

With the grand finals being run at Sandown on Friday, August 24, Victoria gets two runners in each final.

The eighth spot in the finals will be determined on rankings of the main contenders in each state.

Million dollar race

I NEVER thought I would see the day when a greyhound race would be worth one million dollars to the winner. But it's about to happen.

A new series called the Ladbroke's Million Dollar Chase will be run through September and October, culminating in a $1 million to the winner final at Sydney's Wentworth Park on Saturday night October 20.

Heats will be run at various venues including Lismore and Grafton which should attract plenty of Queensland trainers.

Greyhounds trained anywhere are eligible to compete.

This new initiative is a huge turnaround as it was only a couple of years ago that then New South Wales premier Mike Baird threatened to shut down greyhound racing in that state due to the live baiting revelations.

Now the state government, along with sponsor Ladbrokes, has created this exciting new concept.

The richest greyhound race in the world is currently the Melbourne Cup at Sandown, worth $420,000 to the winner.

Surely the Victorians won't get into a prizemoney war with NSW. But nothing would surprise.

Cup challengers

GREYHOUNDS from five states will contest Sunday night's $25,000 to the winner Darwin Cup.

Strictly speaking, that's not correct. There are runners from four states and the Northern Territory.

Regular Ipswich participant Tom Tzouvelis won heats with Del Rey in 31.91 and Soft Sand in 31.95.

Steve Kavanagh, from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, won with Joyce Rumble in 31.76.

Former Queenslander Steve Whyte, now based in Victoria, won a heat with Weeona Jimmy who ran the quickest time of the night, 31.70.

Perth trainer Tim Mullany has three finalists following Pride of Charlie, Confinement and Stanga Bolt each finishing second in their heats.

The lone locally trained runner is Crocodile Crush for Steele Bolton.

The box draw is: 1 Crocodile Crush, 2 Stanga Bolt, 3 Confinement, 4 Weeona Jimmy, 5 Pride of Charlie, 6 Del Rey, 7 Soft Sand, 8 Joyce Rumble.

Consider this

IT is better to argue against a hundred idiots than have one agree with you.

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