Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium

Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium is a greyhound racing track located in north-west Kilkenny in Ireland.[1]

Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium
LocationSt. James' Park, Kilkenny, Ireland
Coordinates52°39'47.2"N 7°15'48.9"W
Date opened1946
Race typegreyhound racing
Official website

The racing takes place on a Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6.30pm.

St James Park in Kilkenny is a large park that contains sports pitches to the south and a greyhound track to the north. The greyhound circuit can be found south of Parkview Drive off the Freshford Road. Race distances are 300, 325, 550, 727, 750 & 1000 yards.

HistoryEdit

The opening night was on 5 June 1946 and the first ever winner was Rebel Gunner. The following year the Kilkenny management wanted to introduce a major race to bring an identity to the track, they decided on a race over 525 yards and called it the McCalmont Cup. The first Winner in 1947 was a greyhound called Lady Maud who also broke the track record in winning the event. The McCalmont Cup attracted Ireland’s biggest names each time it was held including the three times Irish Greyhound Derby champion Spanish Battleship who claimed the crown in both 1954 & 1955. Two years later in 1957 a greyhound called Prairie Champion took the honours; this brindle would have his name changed to Pigalle Wonder who went on to win the 1958 English Greyhound Derby.[2]

The circuit has been described as both a good galloping track and too tight which is probably because of the slightly odd shape of the track. In addition to the McCalmont Cup the track hosted two other popular events called the Hurst Cup and Great Whistler Cup.[3]

Jimmy Kinahan was the Racing Manager when the track opened back in 1946 and remained so until his death in 1978. One of the track bookmakers in the sixties and seventies was the well-known celebrity show jumper Tommy Wade who rode Dundrum. John O'Flynn became Racing and General Manager and stayed with the track for twenty years continuing the long service record of its management. He saw the Bord na gCon buy a minority stake in the track from the Agricultural Society who use the fields at St James Park for agriculture events such as bull sales and show jumping.[4]

In July 2007, the Bord na gCon put aside €8 million for a long awaited regeneration project, the agreement between the Bord na gCon (IGB) and Agricultural Society would allow a new lease, demolition of the old structures and the building of a new grandstand.[5] [6] However the project did not go ahead and following much deliberation towards the end of 2008 it was decided that the financial position of Kilkenny made it no longer viable to operate.

After the meeting on 30 January 2009 the track closed its doors until further notice. However a group of local owners, breeders and supporters got together forming the Kilkenny Track Supporters Club and re-opened Kilkenny on 17 May 2009, they met with the IGB and agreed a funding policy and re-laid the entire track surface in addition to installing new rails and a new hare system.[7]

Despite the small nature of the track it is regarded as an important contributor to the local economy and is still supported strongly by the same Kilkenny Track Supporters Club. The long running BEAM race nights have been a success for over 25 years.

Tom Kinane arrived as General Manager and in recent years sponsorship was secured from Red Mills allowing the track to stage the Red Mills Unraced, Red Mills Juvenile and Langton Derby in addition to the prestigious McCalmont Cup.[8]

CompetitionsEdit

Track recordsEdit

Current [9] [10] [11]

Yards Greyhound Time Date Notes
300 Ullid Conor [12] 15.99 12.09.2008
325 Ballygur Mike 17.49 17.06.2009
525 Priceless Brandy 28.46 17.06.2016
550 Dingo Will 30.12 29.05.2016
725 Kiltrea Brian 40.31 09.07.2017
970 Hulkster 56.88 18.06.2006
1000 Crackoftheash 57.46 22.07.2012
525 H Comans Joe 29.10 24.06.2007

Former

Yards Greyhound Time Date Notes
300 Veroden 16.50 17.11.1961
300 Moygara Sligo 16.50 02.06.1973
300 Margos Choice 16.50 02.09.1977
300 Margos Choice 16.50 07.04.1978
300 Roses Friend 16.36 1988
300 Greyfriars Rose 16.28 11.10.1989
300 Ballybray Jasper 16.14 05.09.2001
300 Derwent Storm 16.13 03.10.2003
300 Balerno Ron 16.13 20.06.2004
300 Honcho's Pearl 16.08 15.05.2004
500 Magic Hands 28.30 25.05.1968
525 Clomoney Grand 29.00 28.05.1966
525 Ballybeg Maid 29.00 02.07.1975
525 Nameless Star 29.00 23.07.1976
525 Lax Law 28.98 21.09.1979
525 Spiral Nikita 28.70 07.07.1996
525 Kilcarrig Zak 28.69 20.06.2004
525 Boherduff Light 28.53 03.09.2004
525 Boherduff Light 28.49 10.09.2004
550 Clopook King 31.50 10.07.1959
550 Welesbourne Dan 30.25 11.09.2009
700 White Sails 41.00 03.06.1966
700 The Knack 40.85 1980
700 Ballyknock Amy 40.65 13.08.1982
700 Deenside Mist 40.47 05.07.1991
700 Penn Pepe 40.45 04.07.1999
700 Coolavanny Bird 40.37 11.07.2003
700 Smooth Slippy 40.33 25.06.2004
700 Group Skater 40.10 03.10.2008
725 Salacres Whyte 42.35 21.06.2009
745 Summerhill Swift 43.50 06.07.1997
745 Blue Boomer 43.08 23.06.2002
745 Kilcloney Wine 42.98 20.06.2004
970 Ballygalda Keri 57.63 04.07.1999
970 Finuge Rumble 57.41 22.06.2003
1000 Barrow Stamps 58.33 21.06.2009
300 H Singing Border 17.35 07.11.1952
525 H Tropical Splendour 29.95 14.06.1961
525 H Sober Pride 29.88 24.06.2001
525 H Debs The Best 29.64 10.05.2002
525 H Dot Tom 29.56 22.06.2003
525 H Bally Euro 29.56 16.04.2004
525 H Comans Joe 29.51 13.06.2007

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium". Touring Ireland.
  2. ^ Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  3. ^ Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  4. ^ Barnes, Julia (1991). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-61-9.
  5. ^ "Remember When - July". Greyhound Star.
  6. ^ "Bord na gCon announces €28m investment". RTE.
  7. ^ "Kilkenny back on track". Kilkenny People.
  8. ^ "Kilkenny (St James Park)". Greyhound Data.
  9. ^ "Track records". Greyhound Data.
  10. ^ "Track records". Greyhound Star.
  11. ^ "Kilkenny Track records". Greyhound Star.
  12. ^ "Droopys Stud & K.G.O.B.A. Open 300 Stake Final". Irish Greyhound Board.

External linksEdit