Noreen and JP Manus to sponsor new €150,000 Limerick puppy stake

The richest ever greyhound competition in this country — outside of the Irish Derby — will be staged in Limerick next March, thanks to the generous sponsorship of JP and Noreen McManus.

The Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake will be run in memory of Noreen’s late parents and it will carry a total prize fund of almost €150,000. The winner will collect a massive prize of €80,000 with the runner-up earning €20,000 and the third €10,000.

Run over 525 yards and catering for 2011 whelps, there will be qualifiers staged at every track in Ireland as well as five in the UK.

The event will also have an associated nomination event which will see every GAA club in County Limerick given a nomination to be decided by open draw. This will have a pool of €20,000 with the winning club receiving €10,000 and a free Benefit Night at Limerick Stadium which could also earn the club considerable funds.

The other club prizes will be €5,000 and €2,000 while the unplaced finalists will earn €1,000.

Noreen McManus said yesterday: “This will be an exciting event for the greyhound industry and my family and I are delighted to be associated with this stake named in honour of our parents Con & Annie Kirby

IGB Chairman Phil Meaney was also delighted: “We are thrilled about the potential of this fantastic new event which firmly establishes our industry as a world leader in exciting racing as well as a breeding nation.

“This event creates a new niche in Greyhound racing. We expect a worldwide audience and we are extremely grateful to JP and Noreen who want the greyhound industry to further develop in the Midwest on the back of the opening of our new stadium”.

The first round will be run on March 1 and 2 with the final to be run on March 30.

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