Towcester promoter Kevin Boothby is to proceed with the Blue Riband, even though the three meetings will not be broadcast into the betting shops or on Racing Post TV.

The 36 runner event takes place on three consecutive Saturdays with the first round on Saturday January 23. The 500m Cat One event is worth £7,500 to the winner.

Among the dogs who have recently trialled at the track are Kilara Lion, Bockos Doomie and Signet Ace.

Boothby said: “We have no sponsor, no crowd and no betting shop interest, but I am determined that it should take place. There is a principle at stake.

“We will be re-launching Towcester TV, headed by Steve Katz, and will provide a full night’s racing. We will be charging £5 for the service.

“I am fully expecting that the event will cost me a significant sum of money to stage, but this is a chance for the people who really believe in top class racing to put their money with their mouth is for the sake of a fiver.

“You choose, The Blue Riband for a fiver, or a Crayford graded card on RPGTV for free.”

Trainer John Mullins said: “I am 100% behind what Kevin is trying to achieve and will support him in any way.

“Is there any way that they could introduce entry fees? I would have no problem with it. It would reduce his liability and cut out some of those just making up the numbers.”


++Boothby has confirmed that the Towcester website will be taking bookings for Derby restaurant packages and accommodation reservations for the on-site pods from next Wednesday.