Greyhound racing will significantly increase its UK coverage, as the Racing Post’s dedicated ‘RPGTV’ channel will make its first daytime broadcast on Saturday 6 February.
RPGTV will broadcast a full day of greyhound races, starting with coverage of the Ladbrokes ‘Golden Jacket’ at Crayford Park and followed by the full evening schedule of racing at the Shelbourne Gold Cup.
Ladbrokes’ Golden Jacket has been a Saturday morning staple at Crayford Park (Dartford) for over 30 years having first been staged at Harringay during the 1970s when it sporadically featured as a horse-racing substitute on ITV.
Following a four-year flirtation with an evening schedule which ended in 2019, Ladbrokes Golden Jacket returns as a morning event recognised as ‘the most valuable off-course betting competition’ for UK greyhounds.
RPGTV coverage has been restricted to the first round only in previous years but the whole competition will now be covered in its entirety on three consecutive Saturday mornings (6, 13 and 20 February).
“We’re delighted that the extension of RPGTV’s coverage means we’ve been able to retain the traditional Saturday morning slot for the Golden Jacket,” said Ian Smyth, Director of Racing for Crayford.
“Current circumstances mean betting shops will be unable to provide coverage this year, but this announcement ensures that a great and long-standing event remains accessible to all.
“The staying division has thrown up some fantastic racing in the last 12 months and we’re sure to see some stars at Crayford in the build-up over the next two Saturday evenings and the following Saturday morning when the main event kicks off.”
RPGTV’s February schedule will also be supported exclusive coverage of the ‘Best Car Parks Gold Cup’ at Shelbourne Park Dublin.
First staged in 1998, the Gold Cup is recognised as an Irish greyhounds classic having launched the careers of legendary winners Paul Hennessy’s Late Late Show (2001) and the late Seamus Graham’s Mineola Farloe (2006).
Ger Dollard, Chief Executive of Greyhound Racing Ireland, marked RPGTV coverage as a major objective for the sport.
“I’m delighted that the ‘Best Car Parks Gold Cup’ from Shelbourne Park is the first Irish greyhound racing competition to be featured live on RPGTV in 2021,” he said. “It promises to be an excellent night of racing and we are delighted to be delivering live competitive greyhound racing from Ireland.”
Meanwhile, Kevan Moretti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RPGTV, described morning races as a major breakthrough for Greyhound racing’s TV scheduling and coverage, in which the channel has made a significant investment to engage wider audiences.
“RPGTV powers on with a set of top class racing in the first week of its new High-definition transmission platform being launched, and there are further announcements still to come,” said Moretti. “Breaking into daytime racing coverage is another first and we look forward to our audience relishing RPGTV’s expanding schedule.
“Following on from RPGTV’s coverage of the Irish Derby last year we are delighted to have racing back-on from Shelbourne Park featuring as a Saturday evening feature in the first week of our HD output.”