The popularity of sports gambling in Ireland has never been in doubt, but some sports have suffered a little in recent years so it is nice to see that greyhound racing has apparently turned a corner in that respect. There are now seventeen tracks in Ireland for greyhound gambling fans to enjoy and all seem to be thriving. Not only has gambling on greyhound racing in Ireland seen an upsurge of late, but the prize money has also increased substantially which is good news for Irish owners and trainers alike. August 1st sees the first round heats of this year’s Ladbrokes Irish Greyhound Derby, and with prize money totalling 225,000 euros this year it promises to be a feast of entertainment for fans of greyhound racing gambling. The winner of the final on September 8th at Shelbourne Park will receive a massive 120,000 euros this year. The 2012 Derby will be the 80th anniversary of the first official Irish Derby, which was run at Shelbourne Park in 1932, and in all those years only one dog has ever won the race more than once and that was Spanish Battleship which actually won three times in a row in 1953, 54 and 55. This year our greyhound gambling experts seem to believe that this record will not be beaten, even though it looks as if two dogs will be going for a second win but both the current champion Razldazl George and the 2010 champion Tyrur McGuigan are rated no higher than a 33/1 bet. Ladbrokes currently have Milldean Panther at 6/1 favourite, followed closely by Sparta Maestro at 8/1, but followers of greyhound gambling will know that it is early days yet. Fans of greyhound racing and gambling on greyhounds may also be interested in a free social gathering for greyhound fans and owners this Saturday at the Irish Kennel Club National Show Centre in Dublin, from 11am to 3pm. Go along and enjoy the day.