Temora is set to host a Regional Qualifying Final of a new greyhound racing series that will culminate in the world’s richest race at Wentworth Park on Saturday, October 20.

The showpiece event, The Million Dollar Chase, will unveil Australia’s champion dog and shine a spotlight on NSW’s revitalised greyhound racing industry.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said playing host to a Regional Final of the new series was great news for Temora and local greyhound racing participants.

“It will generate a lot of new interest and attract new visitors, and will provide local breeders, trainers and owners with the chance to share in a million-dollar prize,” Ms Cooke said.

“I know the people of Temora will get behind their champion dogs and cheer them home in the event finals.”

Temora Greyhound Racing Club will host Regional Qualifying heats on September 16 followed by a final on September 23. The top two dogs from that race will represent Temora in the 64 dog finals series at Wentworth Park, with the winner to receive $1 million.

Minister for Racing Paul Toole said the Million Dollar Chase was a great initiative for the greyhound racing industry and would support those in NSW who participate in and earn a living from it.

“The magnitude of the event will attract worldwide interest as well and interstate and intrastate participation and visitation to regional towns across NSW, providing a real boost for regional economies,” Mr Toole said.

Every greyhound in Australia is eligible to enter the series which will carry total prizemoney of $1.7 million and feature Masters, Young Stars and Country finals in addition to the main event.

Greyhound Racing NSW CEO Tony Mestrov said the Million Dollar Chase was also aimed at boosting industry participation levels and promoting greyhound welfare in NSW.

“There is no better way to encourage more interest and participation in greyhound racing and shore up the future of local clubs than by hosting the most prestigious event in the world,” Mr Mestrov said.

Mr Mestrov said a key condition of entry for the series was that every participant must sign an agreement to re-home their dog or adopt their dog after its racing career, and entry fees from every race will include a donation to the GAP program.

“This is symbolic of GRNSW’s ongoing commitment to cultural change and improved animal welfare outcomes,” Mr Mestrov said.

The 11 Regional Qualifying Finals in the inaugural Million Dollar Chase series will be held in Bathurst, Bulli, Dubbo, Grafton, Lismore, Maitland, Nowra, Richmond, Temora, Wagga and Newcastle (Ladbrokes Gardens).

A Country Classic event known as the Ladbrokes Regional Reward with a $10,000 first prize will also be run as part of the Million Dollar Chase Series. This race will be open to greyhounds domiciled in NSW before June 1, 2018 and restricted to greyhounds who are trained more than 150km from the Sydney CBD.