Action from Towcester

Greyhound racing news: Towcester reschedules big meeting and Gerwyn Price becomes ambassador

Get the latest news from the world of Greyhound racing as Towcester stages a big meeting on Wednesday and darts world champion Gerwyn Price becomes an ambassador for the sport.

Towcester card rescheduled for Wednesday

Towcester will stage the heats of the TRC Health & Hygiene Blue Riband on Wednesday afternoon after Saturday’s meeting was called off without a race being run because of a frozen track.

A six-race card will start on Wednesday at the Northamptonshire venue at 14.28 consisting of just the Blue Riband heats. The semi-finals will then be staged on Sunday, live on SIS, with the final remaining on Saturday, February 6.

It had been suggested the heats would be staged on Tuesday night. However, a track spokesman said: “The decision was made to put it back another 24 hours given most of the country woke up to more snow and sub-zero temperatures. Travel could still prove difficult on Tuesday and the forecast for Wednesday is a lot better, so it makes sense.”

Saturday’s programme was intended to relaunch Towcester TV - a pay-per-view service.

The spokesman continued: “Everybody who purchased a stream for the abandoned meeting on Saturday night will be issued with a full refund this week and we have taken the decision to provide a stream FREE of charge for Wednesday afternoon's heats.

“Customers will need to sign up for an account with Towcester TV in order to watch the free stream of the heats.”

Champion trainer Patrick Janssens sends out the ante-post favourite Bockos Doomie.

Antigua Romeo handed Crayford target

Antigua Romeo could be aimed at Crayford’s Peter Bussey Memorial after winning Friday’s Coral Essex Vase Final at Romford for trainer Mark Wallis.

The three-year-old was winning a fifth Essex Vase for the multiple former champion trainer, who returned to the top of the Trainer of the Years standings courtesy of victory in the £10,000 decider.

Wallis-trained greyhounds have an unmatched record in the Crayford feature over 540m which supports the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket - and that seems a natural route for the Nic and Amanda Jeal-owned runner.

Talking of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket, the famous Crayford race will feature on RPGTV’s new Saturday morning shows starting on February 6.

The seven-day-a-week channel has launched a weekend morning show as part of wider plan following its five-year deal with SIS. Crayford and Romford will be the Saturday morning cards shown.

Gerwyn Price becomes Greyhound ambassador

World darts champion Gerwyn Price has become a Greyhound ambassador.

The announcement was made by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) last week and reflects an initiative launched in 2018 as part of its Greyhound Commitment.

The ambassador scheme aims to bring together individuals from across the sport who are driven by their enthusiasm for greyhound racing and their love of greyhounds.

A lifelong greyhound racing enthusiast, PDC champion Price owns several greyhounds including Grandslam Champ, named after his first triumph in a TV major, which races at Hove.

As an ambassador, the former rugby player known as the ‘Iceman’ on the oche, will help shine a light on the sport’s strong welfare standards and the care and attention racing greyhounds receive both on and off the track.

Commenting on the ambassador role, he said: “As a lover of greyhounds and the sport and owning a few dogs myself it is a real honour to be asked to be a Greyhound ambassador by the GBGB. I hope I can encourage others out there to find out more

about the sport and the thrill of greyhound ownership.”

Mark Bird, GBGB managing director, said: “ “We are absolutely delighted that Gerwyn is joining us as a Greyhound ambassador.

“Gerwyn has already shown himself to be a fantastic advocate for our sport and has spoken frequently in the press about how, as well as darts, greyhound racing is the other great passion in his life.

“He has been on a remarkable journey throughout his career and has excelled in not one but two professional sports. He has a considerable platform and we hope that, through this role, he can help promote our canine stars.”

Big boost for owners and trainers

Owners and trainers received a boost last week with the news that Arena Racing Company (Arc) has confirmed dates for three GBGB Category One events - The St Leger at Perry Barr, the BGBF British Breeders Stakes at Nottingham and The Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle.

The St Leger heats take place at Perry Barr on September 16, with the semis and final following on September 23 and 30; the BGBF British Breeders Stakes heats take place at Nottingham on March 8 with the semis and final following on March 15 and 22, while the Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle takes place across the dates of March 17, 24 and 31.

Arc’s greyhound operations director Rachel Corden said, “It’s great to have early agreement on the dates for our Classic event - The St Leger at Perry Barr.

“We are also delighted that approval has been granted for the Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle in March and also for the BGBF British Breeders Competition at Nottingham to move forward to March.

“As keen supporters of British Breeding we were happy to assist Liz Mort (British Greyhound Breeders Forum chair) in working towards a more even spread of BGBF British Bred events across the year.

“It gives everyone a great British Bred Category One competition to look forward to within a matter of weeks. The competition will also be supported by a Category Three British-bred sprint competition.”

Liz Mort added: “I’m delighted that we have been able to bring our prestigious Breeders’ Stakes forward to March. Last year, Covid chaos meant so much was backed up in the last half of the year, which was not good for anybody, and this year we are aiming to run a much more even spread of competitions - kicking off our calendar with the British Breeders Stakes in just a few weeks will be exciting to everyone involved.

“On behalf of the BGBF I would like to thank Arc and the team at Nottingham for their continued support of British breeding and we also look forward to our later events with Arc at Newcastle.”

In a separate announcement from the GBGB, Swindon has confirmed the dates of the Oaks - the bitches’ Classic starting on October 7, with the final scheduled for October 24.

GBGB managing director and Open Race Planning Committee chair Mark Bird, said: “The Committee agreed that the dates for the St Leger and Oaks should be set as soon as possible to allow owners and trainers to plan ahead for these revered events.

“This will also assist the Committee and other tracks with scheduling using these competitions and the Derby as foundations.

“We are pleased that Arc and Swindon have responded so promptly and shown their commitment to these Classic races.”

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