Racing preview for August 23: Final London greyhound venue to close

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Updated: August 22, 2016

17TIWracesaug23-wimbledon

The steady demise of greyhound racing on a global scale continues with news that London will soon be without a single racing venue for the dogs. Tracks in Wembley, West Ham, Clapton and Hackney have all disappeared and when Walthamstow shut in 2008, Wimbledon Stadium (pictured above) was the last greyhound track in the capital. Now Wimbledon is facing extinction after the mayor, Sadiq Khan, agreed that the site should be used for a new stadium to accommodate football club AFC Wimbledon.

Plans for the Plough Lane development outline a 20,000-seat stadium, 602 homes and a leisure centre, which would be “of great benefit to Londoners and the wider community for generations to come”, as reported in The Guardian.  It would bring the League One side back to Merton in south-west London from its current capacity ground in Kingston-upon-Thames, which has a capacity of about 5000. The club has been located there after being established in the ninth tier of English football in 2002.

But the move would erase the last arena for greyhound racing in the capital and speed the decline of an already ailing sport, campaigners say. Khan’s intervention overturns a decision by his predecessor Boris Johnson who had granted the track a reprieve following Merton council’s decision to press ahead with the Galliard Homes development in December 2015. After greyhound racing came to Britain in 1926, audiences peaked at about 50 million in 1945.

By 1960, it was estimated at 16 million, in 1993 4 million, dropping to 2 million in 2013, according to reports. The sport’s public image was tarnished in 2006 following newspaper stories about the mass euthanasia of dogs deemed too old or lame to race. The exposé caused outrage and led to procedures being established for the better care of former race dogs, but racing has not recovered from the bad publicity.

 

Today’s racing: Gosford (NSW – soft 5), Dubbo (NSW – heavy 9), Pakenham (Vic – synthetic), Beaudesert (Qld – good 4). Harness racing: Tabcorp Park Menangle (Vic), Albion Park (Qld), Kilmore (Vic), Northam (WA). Greyhound racing: Devonport (Tas), Gawler (SA), Goulburn (NSW), Geelong (Vic), Horsham (Vic), Ipswich (Qld), Warragul (Vic), Casino (NSW), Gosford (NSW), Townsville (Qld), Mandurah (WA).

 

 

Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Pakenham R2 #8 Into Orbit (win)
Gosford R1 #5 My Ladybug (win)
Gosford R4 #5 Mahcinegun Jubs (win)
Dubbo R7 #4 Bush Rock (win)

 

Results update: (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 2-0-2, +1.3 units; overall record (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 36-9-69, +22.8 units

Echuca R3 #12 Waterloo Sunset (win) LOSE (3rd)
Echuca R7 #4 House Of Stars (win) 1st ($3.20)
Cessnock R7 #3 Sister Joy (win) LOSE (3rd)
Lismore R4 #3 Hydrazine (win) 1st ($2.10)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to William Hill (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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