An unexpected bonus for participants and the Bendigo club as traditional Easter feature races, the Gold Rush Maiden and Stayers Cup return to the program as well as the 2020 Bendigo Cup reaching club record stakes in July.
The uncertainty around potential COVID-19 restrictions and calendar changes resulted in the postponement of the rich Gold Rush Carnival feature races at Easter but with greyhound racing in Victoria surging ahead the BGRA has rescheduled the $10,000-to-the-winner maiden series and $12,000 to the winner staying event.
“The BGRA prides itself on being an ideal starting point for young greyhounds and as the Gold Rush Maiden has been conducted for 15 years it would have been disappointing if there was a gap in the honour roll and the race not held in 2020,” said BGRA Manager Troy Harley.
“It’s fantastic to be able to conduct these two significant events on our racing calendar and is an opportunity to put some of the Clubs feature race stakes back on the table for participants to chase that looked like it was lost a few weeks ago. The Club is appreciative of the support from GRV in allowing necessary calendar changes to see these races run.”
The Gold Rush Maiden will be shortened to a two weeks series on June 13 and 19 and the Stayers Cup will be run on June 19.
“The BGRA has been exploring the opportunity to get the Bendigo Cup to group 1 level.
In a further boost to stakes injections the BGRA is excited to be able to offer a Club record $50,000 first prize in the Bendigo Cup for 2020.
“The BGRA has been exploring the opportunity to get the Bendigo Cup to group 1 level. With a rich history and through hard work over many years growing the profile of the Bendigo Cup we believe group 1 status can be justified and would be ideal recognition for the region,” said Harley.
“There are several components to securing group 1 status with one being the first prize money. There are many variables that need to come together over the next couple of years however the opportunity is there now to take a step forward in that process and we consider it the right move.”
The Club is planning extensive social media coverage of the 2020 Bendigo Cup series with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.
The winter feature events schedule for Bendigo now includes:
- Gold Rush Maiden (425m) – heats June 13, final June 19 – 1st $10,000
- Bendigo Stayers Cup (SE 660m) – June 19 – 1st $12,000
- Vic Bred Maiden (425m) – heats June 26, final July 3 – 1st $7,500
- Group 2 Bendigo Cup (SE 425m) – heats June 28, final July 3 – 1st $50,000
- Winter Cup (Mx 4/5 660m no city wins 601m+) – heats June 26, final July 3 – 1st $10,000
Superstar sprinter Crimson Vixen takes out last year’s Bendigo Cup. Photo: Clint Anderson.