Feature Races at The Meadows

Feature Races at The Meadows

It’s city racing week after week at The Meadows. However, like any greyhound racing track, it’s the big feature races people come to see and owners and trainers want to win.

Multiple chances to see sensational group level greyhound racing close to Melbourne.

The Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA) oversees and manages no less than 10 Group 1 Races across the racing year (plus many other feature races, like The Phoenix).

It provides greyhound racing lovers plenty of opportunities to witness history in the making and for owners and trainers to race their chargers at the highest level. Below offers a quick guide on the history of these show stopping races and lists of all the winners.

Be sure to check out what upcoming feature races and events soon to hit The Meadows, brought to you by the Melbourne Greyhounds.

Feature Races

Australian Cup

Of all the feature greyhound races held across Victoria each year, none have quite the same level of prestige as the Australian Cup.

First run in 1958, the first Australian Cup winner was the now much heralded champion Rookie Rebel (1958). The race was run and won at the Arden Street Oval track in North Melbourne. The initial First prize was 1600 pounds which has grown significantly with the 2024 edition of the race now carrying a $300,000 winner’s purse.

Notable winners include race record holder Brett Lee (2001), Blackamoor Lad (1972), Tangaloa (1980) Royal Rumpus (1982) back-to-back winner China Trip (1992-93) and more recently, Fanta Bale (2017), Tommy Shelby (2021) and 2023 winner Fernando Mick.


The Top Gun, as the name suggests, is a search for the 'gun' sprinters and stayers in the nation. An invitational race, dogs are selected by a panel of experts see who reigns supreme. The first Top Gun was run back in 1993 and has since seen champions El Grand Señor (2010), Buckle Up Wes (2014), Fernando Bale (2015), Up Hill Jill (2017) and Shima Shine (2020) salute in the 525m sprint.

The race was honoured as a Group 1 in 1999 and sees greyhounds race for a first prize of $150,000. Usually run in early November, this race lights up The Meadows crowd like no other race on the calendar.

Maturity Classic

The Maturity Classic was first held in 1970 at Olympic Park in Melbourne with a first place prize money of $1,250 being offered before incremental prize money increases saw the Maturity Classic rise to be worth $30,000 at the turn of the century. Of the 52 winners, only 8 female greyhounds have won: Warrenwood Girl (’75), Overflow Love (’77), Coriole (’99), Shereen Bale (’11), Mepunga Hayley (’14), Dyna Patty (’18), Qwara Bale (’21) and last year’s winner Wow She’s Fast (’22).

Some of the most famous winners and most noted start with Temlee (74), Satan’s Legend (78), Pharaoh’s Mask (86), New Tears (87), Hay Dinney (88), Best Of Blue (89), Eureka Man (90), Northern Legend (95), Brett Lee (2001), Hallucinate (2004), El Grand Senor (2010) Shereen Bale (2011), Barcia Bale (2012) Marcus Joe (2013), Fernando Bale (2015) and recent greats, Sennachie (2019), Simon Told Helen (2020) and Wow She’s Fast (2022).

The Phoenix

Known around the globe as the world's richest greyhound race, The Phoenix is a slot holder race, by where applications can be made to buy a slot in the race and choose a greyhound to run in it for the first prize of $1 million.

First run in December 2021, The Phoenix is the newest, most exciting race to hit the greyhound racing calendar in recent memory. In 2022 the event become the richest greyhound race in the world, with a total prize pool of $1.65 million and a $1 million winner’s cheque. Thus far only two dogs have won the three editions of the race - the queen of the track 'Wow She's Fast' in 2021 & 2022, who was nominated by Sportsbet on both occasions as their slot selections and 'Schillaci' in 2023 who was Ladbrokes Racing Club Slot selection.

Silver Chief Classic

You won't find too many races like the Silver Chief. This Classic is one steeped in tradition, first being run in 1964. Directors of the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA) saw fit to name 'The Classic' after the greyhound “Silver Chief” who was whelped in 1936 and owned by Ray Herbert. Silver Chief was a “Waterloo Cup” winner in 1939 and performed admirably on the speed coursing circuit as well. He raced in both Melbourne and Sydney and was keenly sought after for stud duties once his race career finished.

The Silver Chief Classic is known as the Derby of Greyhound Racing. Champions include Plunder Road, Black Diro, Satan’s Legend, Tempix, Chariot Supreme, Ginger, Light of Fire and Awesome Assassin. Many winners have gone on to produce sons who have also won the Classic. In 2012 leading Victorian trainer Jason Thompson made it five winners of the time honoured event when outsider Godsend saluted. Jason's record is a long way in front of any other trainers.

Hume Cup

Initially called the Lord Mayor’s Cup, the Hume Cup was first run over 675 yards at the MGRAs North Melbourne in 1960. It was retained on the MGRA’s race calendar when the club relocated to Olympic Park in the late 1950s. In 1964, it became known as the Lord Mayor’s Trophy and remained a sprint event until 1988. For a short period it was staged as a distance event, but was discontinued after the 1994 running. Due to the Hume City Council’s support of the MGRA, it was resurrected in 2000 and called the Hume Cup. In 2010, the Hume Cup was conducted over 600 metres for the first time. The Hume Cup was elevated to Group 1 status in 2012. Since then Jethro (2012), Fanta Bale (2016), Black Impala (2018), Aston Velvet (2022) and Hector Fawley (2023) have been standout winners.

A race with a rich history, it now continues the tradition by honouring the local community by being held on what the MGRA like to call their 'Family Race Night'. Family Nights at The Meadows offer FREE activities, giveaways, entertainment and food and are focused on giving back to community in every way possible.


Named after the immortal 'Olympic Park King' Temlee, this race honours the Victorian Hall of Famer. Temlee holds a special place in the hearts of the MGRA. Today 'The Meadows' main dining room is named after this champion. Temlee won 25 races from 37 starts, 13 of them at Olympic Park, and went on to sire 735 litters.

The Temlee was first run in 2003. Past winners have been Paua to Burn (2005), El Galo (2009), Striker Light (2019), Whisky Riot (2020), Aston Rupee (2022) and Wow's She's Fast (2023). A Group 1 race run over the 525m trip at The Meadows, it has grown in stature over the past decade to become one of the most sought after trophies on the greyhound racing calendar. The Temlee (like the Topgun) is unique in that it does not have preludes or heats, with greyhounds selected by a panel to compete in the event based on their performances in the months leading up to the feature.

The Temlee is raced as part of the Australian Cup Carnival, run over three consecutive weeks at The Meadows in February each year.

Rookie Rebel

Another MGRA race named after a track champion is the Rookie Rebel. Some greyhounds are known for their breathtaking speed, while others are known for their outstanding field sense. In the case of this champion sprinter of the late 1950s, it was both.

The Rookie Rebel is a 600m middle distance race, giving opportunity to those dogs who's race powers lie between the sprint and stayers distances. Past winner of the this invitational race include Paua to Burn (2006), Lektra Jay (2012), Fanta Bale (2017), Deliver (2019) and Dookie Devil (2023). The Rookie Rebel is raced as part of the Australian Cup Carnival, run over three consecutive weeks at The Meadows in February.

Zoom Top

Zoom Top, despite the passage of time, remains one of the yardstick greyhounds by which true greatness is measured when comparing greyhounds. Zoom Top had the longest career, in terms of race starts, of any greyhound elevated to the status of champion in Australia. That she remained incredibly consistent and dominant for such a long period contributed much to her exalted status and why a race is now named after her.

Today the Zoom Top is an invitational race, where in form stayers are selected to race over 730m. First run in 2003, winners include Rocky (2005), Miss Grub (2007), Fanta Bale (2018), Tornado Tears (2019) and Stagger Out Lee (2023). The Zoom Top is raced as part of the Australian Cup Carnival, run over three consecutive weeks at The Meadows in February each year.

The Fanta Bale

First run in 1978 as the Gleeson & Tonta Trophy at Olympic Park, this Group 1 Distance Final has stood the test of time. Despite many name changes throughout the years including Australian Super Stayers and recently Fanta Bale Super Stayers. In 2023, The MGRA has made the decision to name the race solely after Fanta Bale, the 2018 winner of the event.

To be run on the same night as the Group 1 Australian Cup, The Fanta Bale has had some of the biggest names in staying racing win over the years including: Destini Fireball (2013 & 2014), Fanta Bale (2018) and recent winners Mepunga Ruby (2022) and Ariarne Bale (2023).

Racing Honour Roll

Australian Cup

Maturity Classic

Silver Chief Classic

Rookie Rebel

Super Stayers

The best way to watch feature racing here at The Melbourne Greyhounds is as a guest in our Temlee Dining Room.