Richmond set for a big night and busy year

\"\"Caption: Queensland’s Dam Slippery took the honours in the 2019 Richmond Oaks

G2 LADBROKES RICHMOND DERBY

(535m, $40,000)

Heats: March 19. Final: March 26.

G2 LADBROKES RICHMOND OAKS

(535m, $40,000)

Heats: March 19. Final: March 26.

By TERRY WILSON

THE Richmond greyhound club is heading into feature race territory at a time when big things are looming for the western Sydney operation.

Coming up in March are the club’s highlight events, the Ladbrokes Derby and the Ladbrokes Oaks, but what lies ahead of the club is exciting.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Griffiths said the club currently hosts more than 150 race meetings per year, spread over four days and the rest at night.

But this could surge to 200 meetings a year if and when the club’s new straight track comes into operation some time around March and April.

“And we trial four times a week,’ said Griffiths.

The former Melbourne Demons AFL football manager said the Derby and Oaks are the flagships of Richmond’s racing calendar.

They are both Group 2 events with $40,000 on offer over the 535m trip. And they invariably attract most of the state’s premier trainers.

In recent times the Derby has been won by some outstanding performers. Feral Franky has won the Derby and last year it was Queensland star Oh Mickey who took honours not long after he won the National Derby at Wentworth Park for then trainer Clint Kratzmann.

And the Oaks was won in 2019 by Queensland bitch Dam Slippery for Brett Hazelgrove. Dam Slippery was subsequently named Racing Queensland Greyhound of the Year for 2019.

“This is our feature race night of the year with in excess of $120,000 in prizemoney,” said Griffiths.

“The Frank Kennedy Memorial (717m) is also held on finals night.”

Richmond Race Club was established in 1955 and has since stamped its importance in the New South Wales greyhound racing history books.

It is now the premier provincial greyhound racing club in NSW and has race distances over 330m, 400m, 535m, 618m and 717m.

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