Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Vince Curry Memorial Still Setting the Pace

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Vince Curry Memorial Still Setting the Pace

Article excerpt

FOR several years during the 1990s, Dapto and Ipswich greyhound clubs had something of a 'one-upmanship' battle.

Both clubs stage feature maidens.

At Dapto, south of Sydney, it's the Leagues Club series. At Ipswich it's the Vince Curry Memorial.

Seasoned administrators Bill 'Dumpling' Dwyer at Dapto and Chris Williams at Ipswich were keen to see their events remain Australia's richest for maidens.

When Dapto raised the ante, so did Ipswich.

"Bill was rightly regarded as superman among greyhound administrators and he threw out a serious challenge to our Vince Curry," Williams said.

"But we were determined to remain the richest. In 1995, when Dapto looked like matching our $20,000 winner's prize, we went to $21,000 with the assistance of sponsor Roofshield. "Bill eventually put up the white flag. It was all good fun really but Ipswich won the day."

Both events have been won by some wonderful greyhounds. Dwyer passed away in 1997 but would be proud of the winners of the Dapto feature since then.

Nowadays, the Vince Curry is worth $25,000 to the winner and remains Australia's richest maiden. The Multiquip Magic Maiden at Wentworth Park at Easter carries a winner's cheque of $20,000. The Dapto Leagues Club maiden in September is worth $15,000 to win.

The format of the Vince Curry has been unchanged since the race's inception in 1985, run in memory of the doyen of Queensland race broadcasters.

It's staged over four nights. This year's series will start with non-betting qualifying heats on February 6.

Nominations close Wednesday. Then there's quarter-finals on February 17, followed by semis on February 24 and the grand final on March 3. Busy trial sessions at the Ipswich Showgrounds augur well for plenty of nominations for the Vince Curry series.

Last year, 86 runners contested 24 heats on the opening night. Club president Merv Page says he would be surprised if those numbers aren't bettered next week. Last year, High Earner ran 30.47, the quickest time in the opening round and went on to win the final.

I RUN the risk of offending someone by trying to list the best eight winners of the Vince Curry but let's have a go anyway. …

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