THE burgeoning Irish greyhound coverage on Racing Post Greyhound TV is to be further boosted following the announcement that the finals of both the Ladbrokes Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park (March 13) and Limerick’s Con & Annie Kirby Memorial Stakes (April 24) will be live on the channel.

Additionally, RPGTV has confirmed that Irish Derby coverage later in the year will again be picked up from the third-round stage at Shelbourne leading through to the final on September 18.

The Easter Cup, which is due to start this Saturday, offers a total prize fund of over €40,000 and will mark 93 years of the competition, having started in 1928 as the first-ever open event to be run in Ireland.

Ladbrokes has a long history with racing at the Ringsend venue as having previously sponsored two other Classic events, the  Ladbrokes Open 600 and the Irish Greyhound Derby. 

Greyhound Racing Ireland CEO Ger Dollard said: “Ladbrokes have always had a strong affinity to supporting top-class racing at Shelbourne Park.  Their continued sponsorship of the Easter Cup, especially during the current difficult trading environment, demonstrates their support for the Irish greyhound industry."

Jackie Murphy, director for Ladbrokes Ireland, added: “The Easter Cup is a fantastic event in the sporting calendar. We would like to wish all involved the best of luck with the event this year.”

Of the RPGTV announcement, Dollard added: "We’re delighted to partner with RPGTV to showcase further live Irish greyhound racing events over the coming months. 

“This coupled with the fact that we could, at short notice, deliver racing from Cork and Tralee when UK tracks had to cancel due to the weather, shows the level of interest in the Irish racing product."

The Kirby Memorial Stakes has quickly established itself as one of the leading competitions for youngsters in Ireland since its inaugural running in 2013 thanks to the support of JP McManus when it was won by the Owen McKenna-trained Roxholme Bully. It returns after a one-year hiatus with the 2020 running cancelled due to the initial Covid-19 lockdown.

RPGTV executive producer Clive Lawrence said of the coverage announcement: “We’ve always said the aim is to showcase the best racing available to us and we are pleased to be able to offer coverage of two more major Irish finals in the Easter Cup and Kirby Memorial as well as confirming our in-depth Irish Derby commitment later in the year.  We will look to make further announcements in due course.”