Perry Barr's St Leger is to receive RPGTV backing for 2019
St Leger part of 2019 sponsorship package for RPGTV.....
BY JONATHAN KAY
RACING POST Greyhound TV has revealed a £100,000 sponsorship package for 2019 which will ensure some of the sport's most famous competitions are staged, including the St Leger at Perry Barr which will almost triple in value compared to last year.
Continued backing of established RPGTV events such as Shawfield's Scottish Derby, Nottingham's Select Stakes and the East Anglian Derby at Yarmouth has been confirmed but, in addition to the St Leger, there are another six competitions being supported.
The package starts with the Steel City Cup at Sheffield, which is being brought forward to a March slot from September in an attempt to spread out the open-race year. In addition, the Category One competition will be staged on three Saturdays rather than in midweek as has been the case in recent years.
“We hope the change in race day for this competition will encourage people to travel to the track to watch some of the best four-bend greyhounds compete," said Sheffield venue director Dave Perry.
Read the full story in Saturday's Racing Post
RPGTV sponsorship 2019::
March: Sheffield - Steel City Cup 500m Category 1 April: Poole - Golden Crest 450m Cat 2 May: Shawfield - Scottish Derby 480m Cat 1 June: Nottingham - Derby Plate 500m plus two other Cat 2 competitions July: Central Park - Champion Hurdle 480mH Cat 1 July: Nottingham - Select Stakes 500m Cat 1 September: Yarmouth - East Anglian Derby 462m Cat 1 November: Perry Barr - St Leger tbc Cat 1 All dates provisional
Sheffield will play host to the Racing Post Juvenile on March 2
Racing Post Juvenile at Sheffield for second year.....
BY JONATHAN KAY
THE Racing Post Juvenile has been confirmed at Sheffield for a second successive year with the invitation race switching to a weekend slot on Saturday, March 2.
Worth £5,000 to the winner, £1,000 for second, £500 third and £300 others, the 500m race brings together the leading puppy performers in the second half of 2018 and is live on Racing Post Greyhound TV and TRP.
In terms of invitations, preference may be given to the winners of, and finalists in, leading puppy competitions from June 2018 onwards with the age limit being July 2016 whelps or younger.
As such, Puppy Classic winner Blue Trooper, Grays Cup Winner (Romford Puppy Cup), Droopys Trawler (Northern Puppy Derby) and Argentina (Puppy Derby) can all expect invitations which, if not taken up, will be offered to other finalists from those competitions in the first instance.
Racing Post editor Tom Kerr said: "We're proud to continue our association with the Racing Post Juvenile, a fantastic launching pad for greyhound racing's stars of tomorrow.
"The Racing Post juvenile is a race with a long and storied history which we're delighted to support and see thriving in its new home at Sheffield."
THE big news off the track over the last few days was the agreement for major bookmakers to make voluntary contributions to the BGRF on online turnover.
The £3 million boost is without doubt a shot in the arm our industry so desperately needs. Along with the positive news that RPGTV are to put £100k into ten open-race competitions it means 2019 couldn’t have started any better, but still questions have to be asked.
For starters, what took the bookmakers so long to realise that without financial support like they afford to our equine equivalent we struggle to run our industry? An industry that has provided decent profits for all the major firms for many years and reportedly turns over £1.5 billion annually.
In the years while I’ve been champion trainer I’ve seen many track closures, owners disappearing at a rapid rate and, most importantly, welfare issues that have near finished the sport.
Track closures cannot be entirely laid at the bookmakers’ doors, of course, as we all know some promoters decided to cash in on the property and land boom in recent years. Tracks sitting in prime sites were, and still are, obvious targets, but in some cases we as an industry shot ourselves in the foot.
Walthamstow provided everything that a promoter and the industry could wish for...
My beloved Walthamstow was sold for a reported £25m. That purchase price looks cheap now as we see money being pumped into the sport from the likes of SIS.
Walthamstow could have been the flagship track in our industry, providing everything a buyer could have wished for – great, competitive racing, decent betting margins and, yes, crowds filling the stadium given the right promotion.
Letting it slip away underlines the complete short sightedness in our industry that has been rife in my time as a trainer since 2005, and I still say the closure of the Stow, just over ten years ago, was the catalyst for the sport’s current dire straits.
Of course, we have to acknowledge that without the ever increasing daytime racing required by the betting shops many more tracks would have also gone to the wall. Bookmaker payments to them have for many been the only reason they are still a viable businesses.
Plenty would say promoters have stopped promoting to try and get crowds in the evenings in any case, but the truth is people don’t go out any more from Monday to Friday.
We all have a plethora of home entertainment to keep us amused and Saturday nights seem the only occasion people want entertainment outside of their homes. Has the industry adapted or moved with the times on this? I don’t think so.
Daytime racing these days is much more than just keeping live sport in betting shops so punters can play the FOBTs. With betting restrictions lifted across the world, and bookmakers able to supply punters with live action through mobile apps and the like, there are plenty of profits to be had solely on online turnover.
We now race at 8am at Henlow and have been told the bookmakers are loving it. Greyhound racing is a simple sport to bet on and these early morning fixtures appear to provide a welcome new source of revenue for them. Maybe that’s why they have realised they actually need more than ever the sport to survive, hence the boost in payments.
Hopefully some of the extra money will also find its way back to owners. If any group has suffered most during recent times it’s definitely them.
It has been said hundreds of times, but without owners the sport would not survive, and the increasing trend of trainers owning a large percentage of their kennel strength is not a healthy one for a number of reasons, not least on the welfare side.
Without being too blunt, the temptation to euthanise those greyhounds that don’t pay their way is blatantly there – certainly not for myself I might add – especially as many promoters are now getting paid enough for them to warrant buying cheap racers at sales and then giving them to their contracted trainers to replace their lame ones.
For me it’s a depressing thought that greyhounds could become victims of the bookmakers’ thirst for more racing, and this alone should tell us that our £3m ‘windfall’ is merely scratching the surface of what’s actually needed each year.
Nottingham and Yarmouth get the RPGTV week under way
BY RACING POST STAFF 3:34AM 14 JAN 2019
RACING Post Greyhound TV's Monday programme features 13-race cards from Nottingham (11 opens) and Yarmouth.
The programme goes on air at 6pm (Front Runner on Sky channel 431, Freesat 250 and is streamed free at greyhoundbet.racingpost.com plus partner websites).
The RPGTV Flying Four concentrates on the Nottingham open action and comprises the 7.05, 7.36, 8.08 & 8.37 races, with all having been priced early by bookmaker partners.
The show is presented by Rachel Casey, who is joined in the studio by analyst Richard Harkness plus Liam Aspin, kennelhand with in-form trainer Kevin Boon.
Viewers can contact the show by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting @rpgreyhounds.
*Want to keep up with the action on RPGTV on the move? We've have it covered with our Greyhound Bet app now featuring live streaming of all the races covered on the channel. What's more with our slick two-click betting, it's never been easier to place a wager and watch the action as it happens. Download at bit.ly/1ENhFOc
Check out RPGTV's Youtube channel - bringing you all the features from RPGTV, as well as key interviews along with some of the more amusing moments on the channel. Visit bit.ly/2yHFXh1