Derby final put back a week to avoid All-Ireland clash

The date for the final of the 2017 Irish Greyhound Derby has been pushed out to the fourth Saturday in September to avoid a clash with the All-Ireland Football final. 

That was the most significant feature of the fixture list for 2017, which was revealed yesterday afternoon. The Derby, run over six rounds, will get underway on Wednesday, August 17.

There is an inevitable knock-on effect from the Derby being a week later than previously, and that comes in Limerick, where the Irish Leger, rather than finishing on the last weekend of October, as it did this year, will come to a close on Saturday, November 4.

But the changes have not affected the Night of Stars, which will take place a fortnight later, on November 18, at Shelbourne Park.

The Laurels will also take place a week later than in 2016, with the final to take place on Saturday July 22, off a starting date of June 24.

The full list of dates has been published on the Irish Greyhound Derby website.

More immediately, the feature event of this week’s racing action is the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium Supporters’ Club Kingdom Derby, which takes place tomorrow night in Tralee. Black Tom will be a leading fancy after his semi-final success, in which he had to ride to trouble at the last bend before holding the late run of Millbank Alex.

Senans Forever was the quicker of the semi-final winners, but College Paradise caught the eye in defeat and may be the one best equipped to cope with what could be a rough race, with so many well-matched runners in the line-up for the €8,000 winner’s prize. The action gets underway at 7:42pm.

It looks as though the search for a new home for the English Derby is all but over, and Towcester is expected to be announced as the track to take over the staging of the classic. If it is confirmed, it will be quite a coup for the Northamptonshire venue which opened two years ago.


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