By Russell Bennett
Champion Gippsland sprinter Catch The Thief secured himself a ticket into the Group 1 Adelaide Cup after his second close finish in a match race series in as many weeks recently.
Although Catch The Thief won his match race convincingly over Alfieri, just 0.002 seconds separated the match race series victory at Angle Park over Golden Night. Victorians have claimed the past six Adelaide Cups, which includes last year’s winner Hooked On Scotch. Catch The Thief, which is trained by Matthew Clark when in Victoria, is currently in the care of Petar Jovanovic. Catch The Thief won the Group 2 WA Derby and Group 3 Warragul St Leger, was runner-up in the Group 3 Speed Star, and was a finalist in the Group 1 Vic Peters Classic and Group 3 Cranbourne Classic. He’s also won 12 of his past 17 starts, and so far only been unplaced five times in his career.
Meanwhile, the Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) board has signed off on an additional $2.84 million annually to be directed into prizemoney throughout Victoria, from the start of this October.
“This increase, along with three extra race meetings which we have already introduced, will see returns to participants of more than $52 million across the year and more investment into regional Victoria,” GRV chair Peita Duncan said.
“Such an investment not only assists all our participants but also has a flow-on effect into businesses throughout regional Victoria where many of our participants work and live.”
Duncan also added that the increase is aimed at grassroots provisional racing, which holds key broadcasting slots in the weekly program, and which provide a pathway into metropolitan racing.
Total prizemoney for each provincial open race will rise to $2725, mixed 4/5 races will increase to $2500, grades 5-7 will expand to $2360, and maidens will be worth $2005.
“This will significantly benefit greyhounds who are starting their racing careers, and support more participants to race at Provincial Level 2 instead of Tier 3 racing,” Duncan said.