Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium

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Wimbledon Packed residenceThe yesterday evening at Wimbledon is to be Saturday June 18. After that it cioses

PICTURE: STEVE NASH

WIMBLEDON will stage its last meeting on Saturday, Summer 18 because the news the sport had been dreading was announced on Thursday. The axe will fall two Saturdays after this year’s William Hill Derby last.

Clive Feltham, MD of the GRA, the operators, stated: “The Derby final is the very first Saturday in June, therefore we’ve decided to stage two additional farewell Saturdays to provide everybody else a chance to see one final time.

“Our lease ends on July 14, and that will after that give us the time to vacate. We have looked at all the options, and decided even as we had achieved this summary it absolutely was safer to inform everyone straight away. Team have-been formally notified of this choice.

“It’s desperately unfortunate, nevertheless proprietors [Galliard Homes] secured the planning permission they required for development in December, absolutely nothing important features taken place since and there's no space left for manoeuvre. Whatever takes place using gran, our lease is finished.”

The track will stay rushing Thursday and Saturdays through to the Derby final. The Thursdays tend to be transmitted live on RPGTV, so a replacement track will likely to be wanted the TV slot from Thursday Summer 9. The Racing article Juvenile gala, in addition featuring the William Hill Springbok final, is live on Sky Sports on Tuesday, March 8.

Wimbledon is the final track with a London postcode. At one phase there were 25 alone inside money, but since the opening of wagering stores in 1961 there's been a consistent decrease. There will now be simply 24 paths left into the entire of Britain.

“We’re giving just below four months’ notice to everyone because we feel that’s just the right thing to do, ” said Feltham. “Also greyhounds and trainers is going to be looking elsewhere, and realistically the kennel power will come under great pressure, so deciding on both of these Saturday-night farewells appears sensible.

“These will involve an assortment of top-class opens and graded activities. I’d again choose to thank our staff, trainers and their owners for his or her support through this era, and also acknowledge the component RPGTV has actually played in aiding keeping united states going since we destroyed the Bags agreement at the end of this past year. Owners and trainers have enjoyed this television element, but we currently should deal with the cards that people were dealt.”

He undertook to guide any greyhounds that today turn into resigned, as opposed to transported in other places. “That’s what we did previously at Catford and Oxford, but Wimbledon features a very low power, presently 120, whereas most tracks would have around 300, therefore at least that helps, ” he stated.

Feltham added he's looking to confirm the career of after that year’s Derby ahead of the last in 2010. “Discussions continue, ” he stated. “It’s not likely is at a GRA track, but our intention would be to secure an arrangement that preserves its format and prize-money – we concur that it is an essential aspect in encouraging interest in the activity.

“It’s already been ours since 1927, and now we might like to do our best by it, and commercially it is all over the sponsorship. We hope William Hill will stay, but obviously if not we might progress with other companies.”

Feltham is envisaging a licensing arrangement that secures the event’s longer-term future, but without having any payment returning to the GRA.

Towcester features stated its interest, and is presenting a 500m distance, but would need to convince a sponsor.

Hills might check staging it at their Newcastle, while Coral-owned Hove and Ladbrokes-owned Monmore are also possibles. Those kind of paths hold a benefit due to their ownership, but they are in addition great gallops for the standard Derby dog.

A consortium of bookmaker sponsors, possibly headed by Bags or others, was another alternative scenario mooted recently.

Kevan Moretti, executive producer of RPGTV, said: “RPGTV can do every little thing with its power to help any revolutionary ideas round the Derby. It is essential the event goes on, and also at the right particular place.”

Feltham added: “We likewise have this year’s William Hill Leger to solve. Perry Barr happens to be pointed out and we'll talk about by using Hills.”

Tom Kelly, GBGB chairman, said: “This is a blow into the whole recreation. It's been coming ever since the flood plain designation indeed there got changed, that has been with regards to ended up being lost, but to consider there won’t be a track kept with a London postcode . . . it nevertheless shocks you.

“Of program the future of the Derby is a vital problem, and we'll do everything we are able to to help make sure the sport does consistently have its Derby.”

GBGB leader Barry Faulkner included: “GBGB will ensure the welfare for the greyhounds involved at Wimbledon isn't compromised as a result of the closing and we will work closely with local trainers supplying assistance as proper.”

John Coleman, a former leading trainer, stated: “This is an emergency for the recreation. The top three need all gone: White City, Walthamstow now Wimbledon. The main city town without a track with a London postcode? It’s appears inexplicable and all sorts of the even worse because of the long drawn-out nature of their decline.

Source: www.racingpost.com
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