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Track Championship is a winner all-round; INSIDE TRACK.

Byline: Jonathan Kay fires the questions. Today Bags general manager Graham McLennan has the answers ons

Age 48. Lives Puttenham, Herts. Family Married to Kate, two sons Finn and Hugo.

Drives A mid-life crisis car, Saab convertable. Favourite song Don't have one in particular, but the playlist includes XTC, Frank Zappa and Bill Nelson.

Favourite film Der Untergang, a German language film depicting the last ten days of Adolf Hitler's reign.

Favourite drink Chateau Bon Pasteur when I can afford it. Favourite holiday destination Canada. Monday at Sheffield sees the third finals day in the Bags Track Championship. Are you pleased how the event has grown? We're delighted with the enthusiasm people across the board show. Everyone seems to have bought into it and, from a Bags point of view, the more we can do to put more prize-money back into the sport the better. The Bags board is very keen to support extra prize-money and is working hard towards it. Is it a difficult competition to organise? Not particularly, all the tracks involved have been very amenable to what we've suggested although we have tinkered with the format. We could do a free draw, but if Newcastle drew Poole I'm not sure that would be popular with those who had to go from track to track. To some extent, where we are at now is a compromise to get the best situation we can without making ridiculous demands on those taking part. The format is reviewed every year and we ask for feedback from all the tracks involved. It's a moveable feast, a dynamic process. Does the fact that the grand final is on a day when there is no UK horseracing help with exposure? Absolutely. That's witnessed by the fact we can no longer do the Easter Eggstravaganza as there is horseracing on Good Friday for the first time in 2014.

Bookmakers price up every race in the championship. Has the event has captured the imagination of punters? There is a noticeable increase in turnover when it comes round so the answer to that has to be yes.

The roughly two-month period of the event sees more than PS200,000 pumped into the sport. Can that be sustained? As long as the Bags board and subscribers are happy with the product, we will look to continue to support and, hopefully, increase the prize-money going forward. There will be a Bags Track Championship in 2014. Would it be feasible to choose the host track after the qualifiers are known? Realistically, for geographical and travel reasons, finals days is always likely to be at a relatively central track given the time of year. We picked Sheffield earlier this year and, having spoken to [MD] John Gilburn, were thrilled with the enthusiasm they showed for hosting the day.

Bags is a big donor to the RGT. How important is the relationship? Our relationship with the RGT is absolutely critical. The welfare of greyhounds is of paramount concern to all members of the Bags board and anything we can do to assist we will.

Both Hove and Newcastle have reached all three finals. Is that reflective of their strength or relatively easy qualification groups? It's sheer strength, perhaps because both tracks are somewhat isolated geographically. It is unfortunate for the tracks which have to meet them in qualifying, but they can be pushed. Kinsley certainly gave Newcastle some food for thought this year.

The Bags-sponsored series of Sky Sports broadcasts is set to increase next year. Have you been pleased with the reaction to the initiative? Absolutely delighted with the response from the public and those involved in greyhound racing - we'd like to cover more events so we can additionally fund greyhound racing. Without the package we put together, which comes to around PS1m a year, I don't think greyhound racing would be on mainstream TV. Like the Horse of the Year show and Saturday afternoon wrestling found, once you've gone you don't come back.

Who do you fancy to win the Bags Track Championship? I really just hope it's a competitive day's racing and may the best team win. I'm the wrong person to ask anyway having lumped on Newcastle two years ago when they flopped and then Hove last year when Newcastle ran away with it. Perhaps the clue is to find out who I back on Monday and then look elsewhere!
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2013
Words:732
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