Limerick Greyhound Stadium and Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium will jointly host the first ever global webcast transmission coming simultaneously from two Irish greyhound racing venues on Saturday 23 July.
The programme will be broadcast live from both venues and will feature the final of the Townviewfoods.com Champion Stakes from Shelbourne Park followed by the final of the Red Mills A3 All Ireland Series from Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
Both will be carried live worldwide on www.rte.ie/sport from 9.00pm on Saturday.
This year marks the 26th running of the Townviewfoods.com Champion Stakes and during that time it has become firmly established as one of the top events on the greyhound calendar.
The two-run spectacular was the brainchild of the late Scottish entrepreneur Bobby Jack who failed to get approval for such a competition in the UK and then approached the Irish Greyhound Board with his rather ambitious plans.
He eventually received the blessing of the Irish authorities and then set about getting the project off the ground. He brought on board a number of ‘nominators’ who provided the finance, along with the owners who dug deep to enter their greyhounds in what was at the time the most valuable two-run event in the world of greyhound racing.
The first Champion Stakes was won by Storm Villa, a dog trained by Matt O’Donnell for Ennis businessman Pat Hogan. The brilliant tracker also won the St Leger at Limerick later that year.
The Champion Stakes has since gone from strength to strength and has become the absolutely ideal introduction to the Irish Derby which annually follows a week or two later.
This is the second year of the Town View Foods sponsorship and Delores Ruth, last year’s winning trainer, has litter brothers Kingo and Razldazl Jayfkay going to traps. Both happen to be half-brothers of Makeshift, who won last year’s Champion Stakes in 29.20.
The Red Mills A3 All Ireland Series is in its first year, and the final from Limerick is the culmination of competitions hosted across the country with greyhound stadia and counties vying for honours.
This year’s finalists will represent the stadia: Youghal (Dower Phanter), Harold’s Cross (Hannahs Grandad), Kilkenny (Old Road Ben), Waterford (Sparta Nessi), Tralee (Ballymac Reilly) & Clonmel (Crossfield Kurt).
‘This is a great opportunity for Irish greyhound racing to broadcast to the world,’ said Irish Greyhound Board Head of Marketing, Orla Strumble.
‘The one-hour webcast will include features on the sport and interviews with those involved and will showcase the best of greyhound racing in Ireland today.
‘We already have a strong online community through the IGB website and this exposure will raise the profile of the sport again.’