The Coral Olympic and George Curtis/Ballyregan Bob Memorial, once two of Hove’s lesser events, promise to bring a great end of year on the South Coast and there was huge interest in the final preparations on Saturday night.
Belinda Green would have grown up at Hove knowing that the Olympic was in the shadow of the Sussex Cup – it was only a £3K event until 2015 – despite a roll of honour that included the likes of Toms The Best, Westmead Chick and Ballymac Eske. Droopys Buick was the first £7,500 winner back in 2016.
But on Saturday night, Arun Green’s daughter sent out all four trialstake winners: Betsys Bullet (30.61), Hesoneofourown (30.21) Beggers Bullet (30.04) and Wasted Money (30.03).
Similarly, the 740m Ballyregan/Curtis Memorial began life as an invitation. It was worth £2,500 to the winner in 2021 and £10K when won in 44.48 (-30) by Clongeel Ozzie last year.
The defending champ was in action on Saturday night but found one too good in June Harvey’s Ower Smasher with a 44.73 run.
Both events should be brimming with class for next Saturday’s first round – entries close tomorrow at noon – with Saturday’s pre race trials only adding to the excitement.
Towcester record breaker King Memphis went quicker than all the trialstake winners, Eclipse winner Newinn Sid (30.34) and expensive Irish purchase Scaglietti (30.85).
While over the 740m course, Belinda’s Bradys Bullet produced a fabulous 44.50 run.
Oxford have announced the combining of three sports for a charity human race on New Years Day.
The Sandy Lane venue will cap a bumper 11-race programme of greyhound racing where over one thousand spectators are forecast to be trackside with a special event featuring a host of local personalities running in aid of “local good causes”.
The stadium will be represented by a local trainer whose identity will be revealed on the night and there is a chance for racegoers to get involved, with the final position being auctioned off on the night with proceeds from the auction supporting a local greyhound homing charity. Other participants will be revealed before Christmas.
(No chance of the promoter and/or his brother then? – Ed)
Kevin Boothby, Managing Director of Oxford Stadium, said the venue’s New Year’s Day race night will ensure the third year of the Sandy Lane venue’s regeneration starts with a bang.
“Our regular racegoers are well-accustomed to watching our four-legged stars of the sand perform to the highest level,” said Kevin. “But we’re yet to establish who has the quickest feet in the city, and so our New Year’s Day human race will decide just that!
“Even better, all participants are invited to raise funds in support of a cause which means something to them. We’ll be monitoring the ability of each competitor closely and handicapping the race accordingly, so everyone has a chance of being first to the bunny at the finish line.
“We’re especially grateful to Oxford United for their support of the race which I’m sure many people can’t wait to see.”
Admission for the evening has been slashed to just £2 with all U16s entering free to make it accessible for families in search of a fun, family friendly, night out.
Included in all advanced bookings is entry into the stadium’s New Year’s Day raffle with prizes including tickets to speedway fixtures later in the year, spaces in the venue’s grandstand restaurant and a bonus cash prize of £100.
Kevin added: “Greyhound racing in Oxford is thriving and we’re extremely proud how our great sport is firmly back in the heart of Oxfordshire’s sporting landscape.
“We have a bumper festive programme of racing scheduled, including the Category One bet365 Challenge Cup and our Boxing Day special. If you’re yet to experience racing, we couldn’t recommend it enough.”
Tickets for Oxford Stadium’s New Year’s Day Gala race night are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here. Doors open at 5pm with the first race due off at 6.17pm. The charity human race will begin at 9.30pm.