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On the eve of the launch of a brand new greyhound racing programme backed by Betfair, Racing Post Greyhound TV presenter Darrell Williams, looks forward to exciting times ahead for dog fans.

I've lost count of the number of people who've asked me over the past couple of years why there's not more greyhound racing on TV and whether a greyhound channel - like the old Channel 425 - would ever come back.

Well now, after what seems an eternity in the waiting, Racing Post Greyhound TV hits the screens this Friday evening on Sky Channel 231 and Freesat Channel 402.

Betfair, in partnership with the leading bookmakers, and under the Racing Post umbrella have teamed up to bring live greyhound racing back to your living room every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Each night will feature full cards from two meetings - that's around 75 races a week - with the action set to include both Open racing and graded fare.

Indeed, this Friday's launch programme includes the semi-finals of the Essex Vase on an all-Open race card from Romford, alongside a full graded programme from Sunderland followed by a double-header of Crayford, featuring a brand new race the Kent National Hurdle, plus Newcastle on Saturday. Hove and Henlow (Monmore will take over in the spring) will be the regular Thursday night tracks from next week.

And I, for one, having been asked to present alongside Errol Blyth and Jason Barrasford, can't wait! We'll be based in studios in Central London - adjacent to Oxford Street you know! - alongside experts such as Jonathan Hobbs, Jonathan Kay and Phil Donaldson.

But I guarantee they won't be given an easy time of it. This will be a no 'fence-sitting' programme with lively debate and conversation the order of the day. But we will also be inviting you to get involved with interacton via Twitter (@ddarrellw), Facebook, e-mail etc.

And while we obviously want you to watch, the plan is also to get you to go
greyhound racing with plenty of free tickets, restaurant offers etc not to mention competitions to ensure you feel an integral part of the programme.

Longer term there are lots of other exciting ideas floating around including live interviews, tipping challenges and the like and I'm sure we'll be out and about with live broadcasts from the tracks in due course as well.

But what we do and how we do it will, of course, depend on what you would like to see. So as well as watching we also trust you'll communicate. After all, there have been a lot of people asking for more regular live greyhound racing for a very long time!

Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling, where I'm concentrating on the Essex Vase semi-finals at Romford.

In fact after last week's stunning heat victory I suggest not only backing Westmead Maldini for his heat (20:34) but also to win the competition at 4.9. Nick Savva's charge, beaten the minimum margin in the Champion Stakes in September, has suddenly found a pair of trapping boots, but even if he did happen to get slightly held up early on, can still prove too classy for his rivals.

Romeo Patrol (21:06) looks ideally drawn as the lone wide seed outside rails seeking Judicial Academy and after running riot in a rapid 3490 just before the competition is another strong selection.

Hugo You Go, another Champion Stakes finalist, can also claim victory and place in next Wednesday's final (live on Sky Sports) in the 20:50 race with the combination of superior early pace and an excellent draw up against five railers, giving him obvious credentials.

For more greyhounds betting articles, go to http://betting.betfair.com/greyhound-racing/
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