Political party for Irish day dog race

Robin Parke

A LEADING Irish politician will be the guest of honour at the Macau Canidrome's traditional St Patrick's Night party.

The Minister of the Environment, Michael Smith TD, will join the fun at Asia's only greyhound track which goes unreservedly green on one night of the year.

With four sponsored races, the prizes are worth winning but, since its bubbling inception three years ago, the wining and dining has been almost as important.

Mr Smith will be accompanied by Gabriel McCarrick, of the Irish Trade Board in Hong Kong.

The St Patrick's Night bash will be held on Saturday, March 19 and is the brainchild of former trainer and now racing manager, Brian Murphy.

And Murphy was last week celebrating a promotion at the Canidrome. He now takes on the title of Racing and Executive Marketing Manager.

''I'm delighted. I have enjoyed my time in Macau immensely and a lot of hard work has gone in from a lot of people to make the Canidrome as popular as it is today,'' said Murphy, who is seeing a boom at the Canidrome.

The track did a staggering $3.5 million on Thursday night. It was not that long ago that figures for the weeknight meetings on Tuesday and Thursday were under $2 million.

And they would have broken the $3 million barrier again last Tuesday had it not been for one void race.

They turned over $2.9 million but when one dog turned back and careered into the pursuing pack, it was declared a void race with more than $300,000 having to be refunded.

The man most pleased about it all is chief manager, Danny Osmund.

''It is tremendously encouraging and it really does make you feel that a lot of the hard work has been worthwhile,'' he said.