Former Origin stars Chris Walker (QLD) and Terry Hill (NSW) will help ignite the passion for their respective teams in the inaugural UBET Origin Greyhound Series at Albion Park on July 12.
A first of its kind event, the $120,000 UBET Origin Greyhound Series will pit Queensland and New South Wales’ best greyhounds against one another across three races while Brisbane is alive with interstate rivalry.
Racing Queensland Greyhound Development Strategy Manager Adam Wallish said securing Hill and Walker was a great coup for the inaugural series.
“Racing Queensland is delighted to partner with Greyhound Racing NSW to ensure the UBET Origin Greyhound Series is one of the most exciting greyhound events on the Australian calendar for years to come,” Mr Wallish said.
“Terry and Chris were two fierce competitors in the Origin arena, and are keen followers of racing, which makes them the perfect ambassadors to promote the series.”
Hill represented NSW on 14 occasions between 1993 and 2000, and has been a keen owner and follower of greyhound racing for a number of years.
“I’ve been lucky enough to experience the thrill of Group 1 racing in Queensland on a number of occasions and I look forward to being able to share my experiences with everyone on track on the night,” Hill said.
Former Queensland flier Chris Walker played six Origin matches in winning series’ for Queensland between 2001 and 2002, scoring four tries. He has always taken a keen interest in racing.
“I can’t wait to be involved in the first UBET Origin Greyhound Series and hopefully, cheer home another Queensland victory at Albion Park,” he said.
The 2018 UBET Origin Greyhound Series will be contested over three races. The two main races will feature four runners from each state. There will also be a match-race between one greyhound from each state to potentially decide the series. The series comprises:
- The UBET Origin Sprint (520m)
- The UBET Origin Distance (710m)
- The UBET Origin Match Race (520m)
Hill and Walker will announce ‘train on’ squads of 25, selected by a panel of experts from each state, at the 2018 UBET Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival launch at the Breakfast Creek Hotel on June 7.
The final fields announcement will be made following the Group 1 Winter Cup Final at Albion Park on July 5, with the box draw to be staged on Monday July 9. The box draw will be conducted by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards.
UBET Origin Night will also feature the first ‘Queensland Emerging Origin Stars’ race for QLD greyhounds aged less than 27 months.
Mr Wallish said: “It is hoped that some of the greyhounds that line up in this event will be wearing the maroon for Queensland by the 2019 UBET Origin Greyhound Series.”
Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse said: “Everyone at Brisgreys is excited to host this new-look Origin series, with fantastic prize money thanks to major sponsors UBET.”
UBET Spokesman Gerard Daffy said: “As proud supporters of greyhound racing in Queensland, UBET jumped at the opportunity to sponsor this exciting first-of-its kind series for the code.”
Greyhound Racing NSW CEO Tony Mestrov said: “Greyhound Racing NSW looks forward to working alongside Racing Queensland to make this series a success. Everyone at GRNSW will be cheering for the Blues, and I know our trainers will be out to ensure the inaugural shield heads south of the Tweed River.”
- Doug Lutherborrow (Racing Queensland)
- Luke Gatehouse (Brisgreys)
- Gerard Daffy (UBET)
- CELEBRITY COACH: Chris Walker
New South Wales Selectors
- Wayne Billett (GRNSW)
- Ryan Earl-Najjor (GRNSW)
- Tim Newbold (Tabcorp)
- CELEBRITY COACH: Terry Hill