Oxford Stadium’s Racing Manager Kiaran O’Brien hailed the relaunch of greyhound racing as a “terrific success” following a decade long absence for the sport.
Thousands of racegoers attended the Cowley venue’s Star Sports Gala Weekend to celebrate greyhound racing’s return to Oxford, 3,534 days after the last fixture was held on December 29, 2012.
The weekend saw fixtures take place on Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 3, with an all-open card signalling the beginning of a new era for greyhound racing in the city of dreaming spires.
Kiaran said: “It was an extraordinary success, and we’d like to thank the thousands of racegoers who contributed towards a memorable weekend of greyhound racing.
“There was a terrific feel-good factor on the terraces, and the feedback we have received from the public has been overwhelmingly positive.
“There is a collective ambition at Oxford Stadium to make our facility the best greyhound racing venue in the country, and I believe we have every possibility of turning that vision into reality.
“Our trainers were really encouraged by how the track behaved too, and we’re pleased to report no racing injuries in the 113 dogs who participated across the two days.
“Consequently, races this weekend (September 9 and September 10) have been oversubscribed and we look forward to hosting another all-open card on Friday (6.19pm) and graded racing on Saturday (7.30pm).”
The Racing Office also revealed two category one competitions – the most prestigious grade for UK greyhound racing – will take place at Oxford Stadium between now and the new year.
The RPGTV Cowley Puppy Collar (450m) and the Bet365 Challenge Cup (650m) will both be open to 48 greyhounds respectively with the winner of each competition earning £10,000.
Each competition will feature eight initial heats with the top three from each advancing to Round Two. The top three dogs in each Round Two heat will then quality for the semi-finals which will be followed by a final.
Further information about both of these competitions will be available via our website soon.
In addition, Oxford Stadium will host racing on Thursday mornings from Thursday, September 14, onwards.
Tickets for this weekend’s fixtures on Friday, September 9 (6.17pm), and Saturday, September 10 (7.30pm) are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.