Racehorse trainers across Victoria are once again faced with the allure of a $25,000 purse and the coveted mantle of “King of the Bush” as Betfair’s annual series of the same name gets underway this weekend.
Commencing at Swan Hill on Sunday, the series consists of nine legs run at various Betfair-sponsored country Victorian race tracks. It culminates with a three-venue finale on Melbourne Cup day.
Points will be awarded to placegetters in each leg; the trainer who collects the most points across the series will collect the cash prize and title of King (or Queen) of the Bush.
Last year’s inaugural event saw part-time Swan Hill trainer Con Kelly putting paid to the likes of Victoria’s premier trainer Peter Moody in a sensational victory. The win enabled Kelly to fulfil an otherwise improbable lifelong dream of travelling overseas.
“The King of the Bush is a boon for country racing,” Kelly said. “Trainers have never had the opportunity to win $25,000 like this before. I’m still pinching myself! It’s a great initiative by Betfair.”
Betfair CEO Andrew Twaits expressed the company’s commitment to supporting racing at all levels. “We are extremely proud of the relationships we’ve developed in recent years with 14 regional Victorian clubs, as well as that with the Melbourne Racing Club and others throughout the country,” Twaits said.
“We’re devoted to developing initiatives to help broaden the awareness of racing, bring an element of fun to the industry and are pleased to be able to contribute to the long-term viability of all codes and levels of racing, in particular our partner clubs.”
Country Racing Victoria CEO Scott Whiteman praised the ongoing support of country racing from Betfair and the repeat of the series following the 2009 success.
“The King of the Bush is a great initiative by Betfair and represents a tremendous opportunity for smaller country trainers who can target their horses at the series for a chance to pocket some substantial prizemoney,” Whiteman said.
The King of the Bush will be crowned at a presentation at Betfair Dunkeld races on November 13 2010.