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By Dr Eliot Forbes
The latest wagering results are positive for greyhound racing in Queensland. Wagering turnover is up 16.4% year on year for the six months to the end of December 2017.
There are many reasons for the increase in support including the quality of racing and the general increase in popularity for the code which continues to win new fans.
Quality racing took place at Ipswich during the month of February with the heats, semi-finals, and final of the Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial. The time-honoured event is the richest series in the world for maiden greyhounds. Racing Queensland received 72 nominations for the heats on Saturday 10 February which saw the stars of the future step out on the racetrack, many for the first time.
Twenty-nine greyhounds received the $500 Queensland bred first starter bonus. Five greyhounds also received the $500 Queensland bred maiden bonus. At the time of writing, Fernando Bonus for trainer Evelyn Harris was the favourite to take out the final after scintillating runs in both the heats and the semi-finals.
Further evidence of the quality of racing was on display recently during interstate race events. Del Ray won the Group 2 Launceston Cup for trainer Tom Tzouvalis.
In Victoria, Queenslanders performed exceptionally well during the first week of the three week Australian Cup Carnival at the Meadows in Melbourne. Champagne Sally came 3rd in the Group 1 Zoom Top over 725m, a solid performance for trainer Ray Burman. Three races later, the John McCarthy trained Slick came in second in the Group 1 Temlee over 520m.
Slick and Opal Nera qualified for the Australian Cup final, with Opal Nera finishing third.