Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stakes – Greyhound Racing April 9

Rocket bang on target for Limerick highlight

Sports News

AFC Wimbldon want to return football to their spiritual home, Plough Lane, but their plans to redevelop the stadium would mean the end of greyhound and stock car racing.

At present, greyhound racing will end in June and with it the last venue for the sport with a London post code. That scenario would have been unthinkable less than half a century ago but the construction of a football stadium, and a residential development alongside, would leave little room for anything else.

There are plenty putting up stern resistance to plans, namely the ‘We Want Wimbledon’ campaign led by barrister and greyhound owner Diane McLean, which is also championed by other local owners and trainers. But the lease owned by the Greyhound Racing Association is due to end in June and any reprieve at the moment could only be temporary.

The facilities at Wimbledon are outdated, although the track itself is well maintained and has staged the English Greyhound Derby for the past 30 years. Bags, the organisation which provides betting shop racing, gave Wimbledon a vote of confidence last year as a greyhound track by awarding a contract to race on Saturday nights but that is coming to an end and attention is now turning to what happens to the dogs and trainers based at the stadium.

Thankfully, greyhound racing is still thriving at other venues, especially in Ireland where the sport is enjoying something of a revival.

The modern Limerick Stadium will stage the final of the The Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake in under three weeks. It ranks second only behind the Irish Greyhound Derby in terms of prize money on the Irish calendar and is the most prestigious puppy race in Ireland.

The quality of this year’s entry is summed up by the fact that the Pat Buckley-trained Droopys Roddick, current favourite for the English Greyhound Derby and its Irish equivalent, is only second favourite with Boylesports’ ante-post list behind Graham Holland’s Clares Rocket. Holland had three heat winners in the second round so holds a strong hand ahead of the semi-finals.

Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Puppy Stakes Boylesports Betting

Clares Rocket (11/4), Droopys Roddick (6/1), Jo Jo Fantasy (7/1), Lenson Rocky, Coolavenny Wendy and Eigthythreelarch (10/1), Elo Alecko and Witches Belle (12/1), Calzaghe Billy and Silverhill Pat (14/1), Double Oh Seven, Droopys Oscar and Riverside Oscar (20/1)