Racing going live to bookie shops
The long-touted live coverage of Irish Greyhound Racing in bookmakers' offices across Ireland and the UK is finally set to kick off from Tuesday, September 1.
It will initially be on a 12-week trial basis with Turf TV providing the coverage from three tracks on specific days. The tracks involved in the scheme will be Curraheen Park, Mullingar and Youghal and there will be a change of some race dates to accommodate the venture.
Matinee racing will be shown from Mullingar on Sundays (3.14pm start) and then it will be Youghal on Mondays (7.0pm) and Curraheen Park on Tuesday nights (7.0pm).
The new schedule of race nights for the 12-week period will be Curraheen Park on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; Mullingar on Saturdays and Sundays and Youghal on Mondays.
On the completion of the trial period, Thursday night racing will be reinstated at Curraheen Park from November 26 to facilitate the Christmas Party season, while Mullingar will race on Fridays and Saturdays from November 27.
The expectations are that in October the audience will expand to include a further four million online users with the facility to view the racing live. Turf TV owns live broadcast rights for 34 of the UK's leading racecourses and has media rights agreements through to 2018 as well as having long-term contracts with the major bookmakers in the UK and Ireland.
Flying puppies on show
Thankfully, there have as yet been no rumours of injury or doubts regarding any of the 96 survivors in the BoyleSports Irish Derby at Shelbourne Park.
Ballymac Matt remains the 8/1 favourite with the sponsors while their other leading prices are 10 Farloe Blitz, 12 Ballydoyle Honey and Laughil Duke and 16 bar.
While on the subject of Shelbourne, tonight's card is unusually interesting for a Wednesday fixture and it is a "must-see" meeting for agents and buyers on the prowl for promising young dogs. The €3,000 Shelbourne Unraced has attracted a high-class entry
The four heats are crammed with potential stars. Owen McKenna's Exactly (8.30) may be the one ahead of David Kennedy's Inslips Cain in the first heat while the second could see Graham Holland's Ballinakill Gusto (8.45) oblige. We have John Tuohy's 28.59 qualifier Trade Freddie (9.00) and Holland's 28.61 qualifier Ballinakill Boots running in the third heat, while the final qualifier could be best left to Pat Guilfoyle's Newlawn Tom (9.15).
Bet of the night can be Eddie Hackett's Ding Dong Dunne (9.30) in the Novice 750 as he goes for a third win on the trot on his debut over the trip from an ideal draw.