By Isaac Murphy
The new and improved TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival has been met with resounding affirmation from several of Queensland’s leading trainers. Steve Scott, Travis Elson and Tommy Tzouvelis spoke glowingly at the opportunities for their greyhounds and the growth of the code in Queensland.
The Carnival includes the repositioned Group Two Queensland Derby and Bogie Leigh Futurity. Then follows a Speedstar style Group Three Golden Ticket as a lead in to the $235,000 Group One Gold Bullion. The carnival is rounded out with the Listed Gold Cup over 710 metres and the Golden Sands Group Three over 600 metres. There’s a total of over $500,000 in feature prize money in the December to January block.
Reigning Queensland male Greyhound trainer of the year Steve Scott said he couldn’t be happier with the revamped scheme hoping to see more prize money in the pockets of Queensland trainers and owners.
“I was rapt with the announcement of the Summer Carnival series. I’m certainly hopeful of having a few of mine in multiple races. I think that’s the beauty of it there is a race for every type of greyhound.”
“We’ve got Farmor Fearsome in the form of his life at the moment. If he’s still showing us improvement, I wouldn’t hesitate to throw him in races like the Derby, Golden Ticket and even the Gold Bullion,” he said.
“Then to finish the carnival with the Gold Cup and the Golden Sands is perfect for a dog like Stevick who can run 710 but is probably more suited at a Group race over the 600 metres.”
“We’d love to feature heavily but even if we don’t, just to have races like that available at home, it saves us the travel and puts us right up there with the rival states in terms of prize money.”
Travis Elson and his classy bitch Silver Stunner look like a duo made for Summer success, the trainer especially looking forward to the innovative Group Three Golden Ticket, with the heats to be four dog shootouts and the finalists going head to head in match races. The winner is given an automatic spot in the Gold Bullion Final.
“The format for The Golden Ticket is made for her racing pattern,” Elson said.
“We all know how she operates being slow away before going into overdrive down the back and on the way home.”
“So often she’ll find trouble in an eight-dog field but cut that in half for the heats and if she qualifies for the finals that’s only one dog she has to avoid. A free ticket into the Gold Bullion Final would be the cherry on top.”
Known for her strength, Elson didn’t rule out a crack at the Golden Sands 600 at the back end of the carnival either.
One of Queensland’s leading trainers for decades and a man always striving for growth in the industry, Tommy Tzouvelis was similarly pleased with the structure of the carnival giving greyhounds of all ages and distance preferences a shot at a Group Race and the money.
“Having the Derby and Futurity in December really changes things up, but that’s a big positive for us this year with a few young ones set to be coming through at that time of year.”
“I’m probably most excited about the carnival for Miss Gingin. She represented Queensland as a stayer at the Nationals, but she’ll appreciate the small fields in the Golden Ticket and has gone sub 35 seconds over the 600 metres a number of times as well.”
Tzouvelis pointed out the mutually beneficial relationship between Garrard’s Horse and Hound who are sponsoring the Gold Cup and the Gold Bullion, also highlighting the expansion of the code in the last year.
“It’s great to see Garrard’s involved again. So many of us trainers use their products particularly from the Albion Park store and to have them showing faith back in the industry is pleasing,” Tzouvelis said.”
“Looking at the revenue we’re bringing in as an industry through gambling it shows people have faith in greyhound racing and don’t mind having a bet given the form available for punters.”
“For Racing Queensland to be re-investing that money in greyhound racing is a huge vote of confidence for the future, things are looking up.”