Are AFC Wimbledon going back to the dogs?
Greyhound commentator Darrell Williams wraps up the trackside gossip
Less than a fortnight after the announcement that Wimbledon Stadium, along with the five other GRA tracks, is up for sale, rumours at the track have been circulating of an interest by AFC Wimbledon.
The football club, who are based in the Ryman Premier League, are an offshoot of the former Wimbledon FC, who used to play their games adjacent to Wimbledon Stadium at Plough Lane before the formation of the MK Dons relocated the original team to Milton Keynes.
While it's very days and no more than speculation at the moment that a bid will even be tabled - sources suggest the asking prize for the stadium could be as high as £20million - it is understood that AFC Wimbledon who currently play their home games in Kingston are keen to return to a venue close to their former home in the London Borough of Merton, for which Wimbledon Stadium would be a perfect venue.
Speculation suggests that both sports could run in tandem should such an operation actually take place. AFC Wimbledon have organised open meetings for supporters both this week and next week to allow further discussion on the subject.
On the track, Wimbledon's next major event is the William Hill St Leger scheduled to start on Saturday 13th October, with the final, to be broadcast live on Sky Sports, set for Tuesday 30th October. The event will be for 48 dogs, as will the Oaks, also backed by the same sponsor, and due to begin on Tuesday 4th December, with the final, also televised, two weeks later on 18th December.
Allenbuild Flyer, can confirm her status as one of the leading four bend performers at the track by winning Saturday's feature A1 race (22:00). Tony Taylor's bitch has won two of her last three starts, all in the top grade, showing her effectiveness from off the pace on both occasions. Saturday's six bend feature, the S1 at 10.15, offers an excellent chance for Baran Cocomo to return to the winners' enclosure. Andrew Peacock's runner has twice finished a close second to highly useful Gandisranger, but faces nothing of that calibre this time. On Friday, Droopys Kiowa can continue her comeback by capturing a winnable A1 at 20:30.
Dogs that have caught the eye recently include Spencer Annie, who won the A7 on Tuesday and should be worth backing in her next start, while Mandeville Anne, an A2 performer before her seasonal break, remains potentially ahead of the grader after capturing an A5 on the same night. Young puppy Ballygarron Ash, who has now won five of his nine races, may still have more improvement left in him judged on a recent A4 victory.
Wimbledon Greyhound Welfare stage a Quiz night as part of Greyhound Awareness Week next Saturday, 29th September at the stadium. Tickets cost £5, which includes food and teams are welcome on the night. Race sponsors at £100 per race are also being sought.
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