Since the deal took effect at the start of January, the SIS coverage of Shelbourne Park racing has been restricted to far flung fields.
But the popularity of Saturday night racing at the Dublin venue has brought about a quick change and the full programme for the next two Saturdays will be beamed live into British SP offices, with customers then betting into the Shelbourne pools.
One suspects that if this new offering proves popular with the British punters, more and more UK offices will take the Shelbourne product. This would be a huge bonus for the sport here with increased revenue coming into the game.
The new audience will have the pleasure of witnessing the big clash between Broadstrand Lad and unbeaten Milldean Panther in the first semi. It should be quite a spectacle though I suspect that the younger dog will improve further from last week’s run and maintain his incredible career record.
With six inside seeds the second semi looks a real bookies’ beano and genuine chances can be given to all six runners. Best drawn is Airforce Roger and he might be the one.
The Kudos Supersprint kicks off at Curraheen Park tomorrow night with the first three of the seven first round heats but the big guns will be in action in the final two heats on Saturday. Now, it’s quite possible that a new star or two will appear out of the earlier heats but the odds are that the winner will emerge from the quartet of Shoemakers Lad, Barefoot Allstar, Knockglass Billy and Cambushmore.
The 24 dog €1,400 Crossfield Kennels Puppy Oaks (March ‘10) has been put back a week and will now commence on Saturday week. Also that night the GOBA Getting Out Stakes will be a €350 Open 550. This year’s McCarthy Insurance Group Oaks will commence on Saturday, March 31st and will have a winner’s prize of €6,500. There will be a gala sponsored meeting in aid of Ballygarvan GAA on Friday, March 16th and the race will include Open 525, A1 525 & 575, A2 525 and A3 575.
Last year’s Gallivan Murphy Hooper Dolan Juvenile Classic became a tremendous guide to the classics and among the participants were Derby finalists Rockchase Bullet and Rockview Head as well as Oaks winner Droopys Twirl, Laurels winner Razldazl Rioga, Champion Stakes Plate winner Meadow Bank Owl and ECC Timber Open 550 hero Royal Patrol.
We wonder will this year’s event live up to the tradition of this top event? We will get a fair idea tomorrow evening when the first round will be run. The one that leaps out of the draw is the Graham Holland trained Catching Dreams after the son of Ninja Jamie did a brilliant 28.65 qualifying trial around the track last week. He’ll be a red-hot order for the second heat.
A series of €1,000 24 dog Stakes will be run at Waterford with the first round heats on four successive Fridays in March. First up tomorrow week will be the Avalon Kennels A4 525. Then there will be three events sponsored by track bookmaker Paddy Sharkey. These are A5 (Bg) Racedogs 525 on March 16th, D3 (Bg) 730 on March 23rd and A4 (Bg) 550 on March 30th.
A new face at Kilcohan Park these days is that of Carl Pallas who has been appointed Sales & Marketing Manager for the South-East region. A native of Waterford, he has considerable management experience and his major remit in his new job is to increase brand awareness and sales for the Waterford region.
Also on the official side of things, the word from that the IGB is that over 1,000 people have so far replied to the Online Survey which is open to all greyhound followers in advance of the Board formulating their Strategic Plan for the Industry.
There was a most interesting meeting at Wimbledon on Tuesday when seven Irish greyhounds were in action on the supporting card for the Racing Post Juvenile Championship. The only winner was Dolores Ruth’s Razldazl Marilyn which confirmed the impression that she can be a champion stayer as she simply destroyed the likes of Express Trend and Lonely Boy with a devastating burst of pace at the fifth bend.
Razldazl Jayfkay lost out by three parts of a length to Boher Paddy in 28.44 after a thrilling battle over 480 metres but the big performance of the night was the runaway victory of Eden Star in the Racing Post Juvenile. He was a mile clear at halfway before eventually winning by four lengths in 28.59. One wonders will he be able to survive six rounds of the English Derby?
Limerick Track will resume Monday night racing from next week and efforts are being made to promote the weekly meeting. As the Limerick based new IGB member Brendan Moore says: “Monday was always a great traditional night for racing in Munster but now it is just Limerick and Youghal. There is a huge catchment area in Limerick and Liam (Kennedy) currently has a pool of 550 dogs which is far too many for just two nights’ racing per week. It also forces Liam’s hand when it comes to trying to cater for better class racing at the weekends”.
It is planned to start a 24 dog stake each Monday with the semi-finals and finals being staged on the Saturdays. Next Monday the Kudos Creative Catering Open 525, with a winner’s prize of €1,200, will get under way as well as the final of the March Is On @ Stud A1 525. Then on Monday week the 24 dog €1,200 Kudos Catering A1 575 will commence. This new initiative should provide the splendid new stadium with a major boost.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved