A few hurdle races have crept into the programme in recent weeks at Curraheen Park and while there have been limitations, it seems there could be grander plans for the longer term.
As a punter, I’ve never been a great fan of hurdling, the obvious issue being that it’s often the last refuge of a scoundrel greyhound.
But run right, it can work.
In 2001, connections made no secret that Switchtoplanb had his name changed to suit his change of focus, and it worked beautifully as he went on to pick up a cheque of almost €6,500 for winning that year’s Grand National at Harold’s Cross.
If Curraheen is intent on becoming the home of hurdle racing, then there is only one way to do it: all out! And rumour has it that their plans are afoot to resuscitate the discipline.
If appearing randomly during the year, they will suffer from the issue mentioned above. But as part of a strategy to have championship races on the calendar, there’s no reason why they can’t be successful.
If the money and the programme is there, the appetite will follow, and trainers will be more inclined to school their dogs over them. For a long time, there was no incentive to do so.
And there have been modifications to the obstacles themselves. After being shown the scissors, they’re now much more inviting for greyhounds.
In truth, they don’t take a whole lot of jumping but still require a certain technique and focus.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re in favour of hurdling and would be interested in running greyhounds over them, this might be a good time to express your intent to Curraheen.
A proverbial show of hands would likely increase the impetus with which the discipline is revived, and a Munster National and Champion Hurdle might not be that far away.
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