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Oi Oi Joey to go for Cowley Puppy Collar glory after landing first Oxford win

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A greyhound named in honour of the late Joey Beauchamp won its first competitive race on Saturday – and has now been entered into a Category One competition worth over £10,000. 

Oi Oi Joey will feature in Round One of the Cowley Puppy Collar at Oxford Stadium on Friday after recording an impressive start-to-finish victory at the Cowley venue on Saturday.   

The 23-month-old dog won a P1 race – a contest for dogs aged between 18 and 24 months – over 450-metres in 27.33 seconds, an average speed of 36.83 miles-per-hour.

He was cheered home by Joey’s closest family and friends who purchased the dog and own him under ‘The Joey Beauchamp Syndicate’ following the Oxford United legend’s death in February.

Joey’s brother Mark Beauchamp said there were mixed emotions among the syndicate when Oi Oi Joey crossed the line with his nose in front.

“We went crazy,” said Mark. “Joey absolutely adored his greyhounds, and his spirit was definitely alive when Oi Oi Joey turned into the home straight in front.

“The energy and atmosphere on the terraces were electric, and we were so pleased to see him win at the fourth time of asking after a couple of decent efforts.

“His winning time was encouraging too, so now we’ve entered him into this month’s Cowley Puppy Collar where hopefully we can cheer him on all the way to the grand final.”

The Cowley Puppy Collar is the first Category One competition Oxford Stadium will host since launching its new era of greyhound racing in September.

Starting on Friday, October 7, the competition will attract 48 of the UK’s fastest greyhounds aged under two and be staged over four weekends with greyhounds required to finish in the first three of their respective races to advance to the next round.

Oi Oi Joey will feature in the first of the competition’s eight Round One heats, and co-owner Mark is confident the syndicate’s pride and joy can progress to Round Two should he repeat Saturday’s personal best time.

“It’s the best time he has recorded so far, which is really pleasing and a sign he has settled into his new home after arriving from Ireland in the summer,” said Mark.

“Category One competitions are what every owner and syndicate dreams about being a part of. They are the pinnacle of greyhound racing, and to have such competitions on our doorstep in Oxford is fantastic.

“His safety is our highest priority, so all we ask is he returns home safe. But if he keeps on improving there’s no reason why we shouldn’t believe he can enjoy a good competition, we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Round One of the Cowley Puppy Collar begins at Oxford Stadium on Friday, October 7, from 6.38pm. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from just £9 by clicking here.

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