TAB Melbourne Cup heats night is widely regarded as the best night of greyhound racing on the calendar, and it’s not hard to see why.
The 64 greyhounds drawn into heats have combined for 1024 race wins and earned a staggering $7.3m in prize money, and features nine individual group 1 winners and a further 10 chasers that have tasted success at group level.
“They’re outstanding heats, but you’d expect nothing less,” said Michael Floyd, Racing and Media Manager.
“For a fan of the sport, this is the meeting you pencil in to your diary each year because you get to see the best greyhounds in country on the one night of racing. There are no easy heats – every heat features group race winners and multiple city race winners. Every greyhound will have to earn their spot in the final.”
Interestingly, while none of the 2015 finalists have returned for the this year’s series, nine greyhounds are lining up for their second TAB Melbourne Cup series, including leading contenders Zambora Brockie, Unlawful Entry, Jesaulenko and Blazin’ Bomber.
Nine interstate trained greyhounds will make the trip to Sandown Park including national champion Worm Burner and group 1 Vic Peters winner Ando’s Mac.
Three time Melbourne Cup winning trainer Jason Thompson has seven runners engaged, as has dual Cup winning trainer Andrea Dailly. A total of 35 trainers have a runner in the Melbourne Cup heats.
The winner of each heat will progress to the $600,000 final – the world’s richest greyhound race – to be run on Friday 18 November. The box draw for the final will be conducted at Sandown Park on Sunday 13 November.
Rounding out a massive night of chasing, star stayer Burn One Down headlines the heats of the group 1 Bold Trease. The winner and runner up of each of the four heats progressing to the $145,000 final on Melbourne Cup night.
The first of 12 races on Friday night will be run at 7.08pm and entry to the track is free. TAB is offering a $10,000 guaranteed First Four pool on each of the 12 heats.
Click here for the full fields and form for Friday’s massive night of racing.
Melbourne Cup heats, by the numbers
Heat places: 64
Greyhounds automatically exempted: 31
Group 1 winners: 9
Group race winners: 19
Prize money earned: $7,360,718
Metropolitan wins: 454
Interstate trained greyhounds: 9 (5 QLD, 3 NSW, 1 SA)
Trainers with multiple runners:
7 Andrea Dailly
7 Jason Thompson
5 Jeff Britton
4 Blake Shillington
3 Anthony Azzopardi
3 Robert Britton
3 Tony Brett
2 Andrew Stewart
2 Brett Bravo
2 Darren Pattinson
2 Brooke Ennis