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TRAPRISE - Barking brilliant to be back on track

Thursday, 25th June, 2020 4:44pm
TRAPRISE - Barking brilliant to be back on track

Thurles Greyhound Stadium

TRAPRISE - Barking brilliant to be back on track

Thurles Greyhound Stadium

TRAPRISE

 

There has been a palpable relief throughout the greyhound fraternity over the past week as racing action returned on the tracks of Ireland last Thursday following a three-month suspension during Covid-19 lockdown.

Indeed, three months can be a very significant amount of time in the racing career of greyhounds and initial frustrations when not given a green light to return alongside Horse Racing on June 8th were justified from within the industry as the sport had previously shown an ability to fully comply with social distancing behind closed doors back in March.

However, an agonising wait until June 29th was averted with Tipperary TDs Jackie Cahill, Michael Lowry, Alan Kelly and Mattie McGrath lobbying vigorously in support of an earlier return while recognising the importance of the industry throughout the Premier county and beyond.

Remaining behind closed doors for a time to come, the layoff has of course had its effect and especially on the scheduling of major events. For now, we will see runners returning for one-off races but the first of the delayed classics commences at Clonmel on July 12th with juveniles who were eligible for the original National Produce Stakes date back in April.

Later that same week, the 750-yard Corn Cuchulainn will be the first of Shelbourne Park’s majors to return on Friday 17th with the Champion Stakes, the National Sprint at Dundalk and the Tipperary Cup at Thurles all starting on Saturday 18th amidst a hectic Open competition period.

The big casualty from the lockdown however is the 2020 Con & Annie Kirby Memorial at Limerick which will not now take place. The richest juvenile race on the planet and a showpiece of Irish racing, the Kirby has developed into a racing festival in just a seven year history but with extensive ties to the GAA community in Limerick, which is a vitally integral aspect for sponsors JP & Noreen McManus, the modern classic will return in 2021 when both sports are hopefully in more certain times.

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