To be at the heart of greyhound racing’s return to Oxford since joining the stadium full-time in June has been a great privilege.

There have been immense challenges and tight deadlines to meet. But when the traps rise at Oxford tonight, for the first time in 3,534 days for a competitive race, the long days (and nights!) will be truly worth it.

Tonight’s fixture is an all-open card, meaning every race is the highest grade in UK greyhound racing with £500 kindly provided by our title sponsors Star Sports for each winner.

We start at 7.30pm with the Star Sports Welcome Back Oxford Stadium 450m Open.

Mapledurham-based Chris Hamblin is the sole local representative in this race. He runs Stefans Jet from trap three who has been consistent in his two trials to date, posting times of 27.77 and 27.76 respectively.

The challenge is likely to come from Puma Kelly in trap five. His sole trial at Oxford last Friday was the quickest posted by any of our opening race runners (27.56), albeit that was a solo run.

Later on the card, all eyes will be on Oi Oi Joey in the Call StarSports on 08000 521 321 Open at 8.10pm.

Trained locally by Marston-based Richard Baker, Oi Oi Joey is named in honour of the late Oxford United legend Joey Beauchamp and owned by Joey’s close friends and family.

They will bring the house down if he gets his nose in front at the line, and he stands every chance after winning his first three trials at Oxford impressively. Adeles Johnjoe is a real player from trap one, though, and boasts great early speed as does Aero Lennie from trap five.

Following six races over the standard 450m distance, the evening concludes with two races over 650m. None of the greyhounds participating in these two races are yet to run over the trip, so choosing a winner will be difficult.

Burford-based Kevin Hutton runs Magical Richie in the second of these two contests at 9.50pm. Keep an eye out for this promising two-year-old who has bags of potential.

Enjoy the racing, we look forward to welcoming you trackside!

NAP – Adeles Johnjoe, 8.10pm

NB – Churchtown Annie, 8.50pm.