A New South Wales team reeling from its defeat in the inaugural TAB Origin Greyhound Series has revealed a star-studded line up to take on Queensland at Albion Park on June 6.
Both Queensland and New South Wales announced their squads of 25 at the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival launch in Brisbane on Thursday night.
Queensland won the 2018 Origin Series 2-1 and will turn to some of its team members from last year to try and keep the shield north of the border when the two sides clash 24 hours after the State of Origin rugby league opener at Suncorp Stadium.
Racing Queensland Greyhound Strategy and Development Manager Brenton Scott said the TAB Origin Greyhound Series had been a game-changer for the sport.
“It is critical to the future of our industry that we aim to attract new fans to our sport,” he said.
“Our Origin concept is a proven winner and attracted record wagering for Queensland greyhound racing in 2018. With thanks to our major sponsors TAB, I am sure the 2019 series will be just as popular with punters and participants.”
New South Wales are likely to start warm favourites after selecting the likes of Zipping Bailey (Golden Easter Egg winner), Mystic Riot (Million Dollar Chase winner), Federal Lilly and Nangar Kash among a strong list of entrants.
Queensland’s squad will be headlined by 2018 Distance winner Double Gee, up-and-coming staying star Bago Bye Bye, Wise Misty and Dam Slippery.
TAB Senior Media Communications Advisor and Queensland selector Gerard Daffy fears the shield may be headed south of the border in 2019.
TAB Opened the Series Winner market shortly after the squads were announced, with NSW firm favourites at $1.50. Queensland will take the underdog tag into the series as $2.60 outsiders.
“On paper, and form, the New South Wales runners look to have an edge,” Daffy said.
“However, Queensland will have the home-track advantage and as we all know, anything can happen when these two states go head-to-head in the sporting arena.”
Former Origin rugby league stars Chris Walker (Queensland) and Terry Hill (NSW) have re-joined the campaign. Hill is determined to ensure Walker isn’t holding the Origin shield aloft again in 2019.
“We’ve got the upper-hand on the rugby league field so the time is right for the Blues to strike in the greyhound series as well,” he said.
Walker, who showed greyhound-like qualities on the field for Queensland during the early 2000s, said he was excited to be involved in the series yet again. “I had such a great time helping to promote greyhound racing during the series last year and I couldn’t wait to be involved in 2019,” he said.
“Hopefully the mighty Queenslanders will lift the trophy again come June 6.”
The squads will be narrowed down to nine (plus emergencies) before the Origin Box Draw to be filmed in an interactive studio on Monday, June 3. The format will remain unchanged in 2019 with the following events:
- 60,000 Origin Sprint 520m ($40k to the winner)
- $60,000 Origin Distance 710m ($40k to the winner)
- $30,000 Origin Match Race 520m ($25k to the winner)
Racing Queensland has again partnered with the Mark Hughes Foundation in its quest to defeat brain cancer. The ‘Blue Dog for Brain Cancer’ promotion will be run on TAB Origin Greyhound Night. If the ‘Number 4’ greyhound wins any race on the night, Racing Queensland will donate $1000 to the cause. There will also be ‘Beanies for Brain Cancer’ on sale throughout the night.
The TAB Origin Series will complement a new-look TAB Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival, which recently welcomed the Group 1 Brisbane Cup into the fold, which will for the first time be run for a whopping $375,000 in stakes.
Other major feature races during the 2019 Carnival include:
- Group 1 $150,000 Gold Cup Final
- Group 3 $60,000 Flying Amy Classic Final
- Group 3 $37,500 Winter Chase Final
- Group 3 $37,500 Rockhampton Cup
- Group 3 $37,500 Townsville Cup
- Queensland National Sprint and Distance Finals
Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse said he looked forward to hosting Australia’s best greyhounds at the club over the coming weeks.
“The changes to the carnival and recent prize money increases will ensure the quality of racing in 2019 will be first-class,” Mr Gatehouse said.
2019 TAB ORIGIN GREYHOUND SQUADS
QLD: Amber Marie, Bad Benny, Bago Bluff, Bago Bye Bye, Big Bad Bob, Brandi Alexander, Charming Chaos, Corykodi, Dam Slippery, Double Gee, Elusive Star, Hara’s Dazza, Hay Billy, Infrared Star, Infrared Lad, Maurice Minor, Nan’s Magic, No Clyde Needed, Rasheda, Regal Recall, Regal Topaz, Richmond Road, Rio Brave, Silver Stunner, Wise Misty.
NSW: Banjo Tifia, Black Forge, Blue Moon Rising, Buck’s Fortune, Catch Me Curly, Cosmic Bonus, Dual Keroma, Embye, Federal Lilly, Feral Franky, Fernando Blaster, Good Odds Harada, Good Odds Meghan, Irinka Lizzy, Jamella Jet, Kanzan, King Kratos, Little Digger, Mystic Riot, Nangar Kash, Pindari Express, Poco Dorado, Two Times Twice, Veloce Nero, Zipping Bailey.