Limited number of patrons will be allowed back at Cork greyhound tracks

Limited number of patrons will be allowed back at Cork greyhound tracks
Lady Saxon winner leads at the last bend to win The Upcoming Events 525. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

GREYHOUND tracks will be allowed to permit a limited number of patrons back from Monday.

Racing was held behind closed doors in recent weeks but now groups of up to 50 are permitted to gather indoors and 200 outdoors per the revised government recommendations. Booking can be done online for Curraheen Park but locally in Youghal, which does not have restaurant facilities.

The IGB has given consideration to this and adjusted accordingly.

The revised guidance needs to take account of owners and trainers on-site, parties availing of the restaurant facility and staff in attendance.

A statement explained: “Having regard to all of the above the IGB will be permitting a maximum of 50 people through general admission with effect June 19. The admission is on the basis of an outdoor position in the Stand area with controlled access to toilet facilities.

Anthony Murphy, trainer of Sophellie Divas gets weighted in with Cathal O'Sullivan, control steward. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Anthony Murphy, trainer of Sophellie Divas gets weighted in with Cathal O'Sullivan, control steward. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“All general admissions for IGB stadia need to be booked through the Sales Centre on 061-448080 or online at www.GoGreyhoundRacing.ie in advance of arriving at the site. All admissions will be charged at a standard rate of €10.”

As Youghal Greyhound Stadium does not have an online booking facility, management of attendances will be undertaken locally.

Patrons can also avail of a casual dining option in four locations, Shelbourne Park, Curraheen Park, Galway, and Limerick, on a seated basis in the ground floor area which costs €20 including admission, or a restaurant meal in the upper floor restaurant areas.

These options are available in full compliance with Covid-19 protocol and require physical distancing and table service. These options can also be booked in advance from the sales centre or online. Control measures will be in place at all venues to ensure adherence with the latest government advice.

Social distancing as the dog are led into the traps for the Follow Us On Twitter 525 race at Curraheen Park. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Social distancing as the dog are led into the traps for the Follow Us On Twitter 525 race at Curraheen Park. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The SIS racing schedule will resume with effect from Monday with the SIS programme recommencing with the scheduled nine meetings per week as applied pre-Covid.

Just a reminder for those with a runner at Youghal on Monday, the weigh-in for racing is between 5.15pm and 5.50pm. The racing action is set to get underway at the earlier start time of 6.23pm.

Despite only being in our second week back at racing since the Covid restrictions were eased, the open race action is fast approaching and there are two huge stakes just around the corner to look forward to.

In terms of Curraheen Park, the Shelley Fennelly Memorial 550-yard stake is upcoming. Racing manager Brian Collins is looking for 24 entries, with the opening heats from July 18.

The Larry O’Rourke National Produce Stakes at Clonmel was advertised last week and entries are now being accepted for this prestigious, €17,000 to the winner event. This is scheduled to commence on Friday, July 10.

To add to what will be a top-class weekend of racing, just one day later, the 2020 Centenary Thurles Tipperary Cup will get underway at Thurles Park.

The future of the oldest track in the UK, Belle Vue was thrown into further doubt yesterday with the announcement from their leaseholders, ARC (Arena Racing Company), stating that a consultation process is under way at the Manchester venue.

A lot of Irish greyhounds are sold to Belle Vue every year so this would be worrying news. Racing is currently suspended at Belle Vue and a statement on the future was expected in August but Arc chose to make a statement and it does not make for good reading.

It said: “Arena Racing Company can today confirm that a consultation process on the future of Belle Vue Greyhound Stadium is underway.

“ARC has been the leaseholder of Belle Vue Stadium since October 2019 and ongoing efforts are focused on exploring the options available for the site.”

We expect more news on this in the coming weeks.

Finally, followers of greyhound racing here in Cork should watch out for Dungarvan Appey.

He looks well-graded and should follow up again next time.

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