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Greyhound Derby: Dates, format, history & betting odds

The Greyhound Derby is the biggest prize in the sport and six of the best dogs will battle it out in the final, having got through five previous stages.

It will take six weeks to find out who the champion will be, with 192 dogs setting out to win the most prestigious canine prize and there will be some fantastic action along the way.

Towcester has been the venue for the last two Greyhound Derby finals and will again host the 2024 competition.

What2024 English Greyhound Derby
WhereTowcester Racecourse, Northamptonshire
WhenDate TBC
How to watchbet365's Sports Live Streaming and Sporty Stuff TV
OddsCoolavanny Hoffa 28/1, Ballinabola Ed 28/1, Links Maverick 28/1, New Destiny 33/1

When is the Greyhound Derby?

Dates for the 2024 Greyhound Derby are yet to be announced. The competition will be run over six weeks (six rounds) and culminate with the final over 500m.

Where is the Greyhound Derby?

The Derby is run at Towcester Racecourse in Northamptonshire. It's the site of a former National Hunt racecourse, which was famous for its stiff uphill finish.

The greyhound track has a circumference of 420m, with the Derby being run over a 500m distance.

Towcester opened its doors to greyhound racing in 2014 and held the Derby in 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023 - the track is now three years into a five-year deal to hold the English Classic.

The English Greyhound Derby has a long history and was first held at London's White City Stadium in 1927. The race stayed in west London, bar a one-year switch to Harringay in 1940, until it was moved to Wimbledon in 1985.

The Derby continued to be staged at the Plough Lane venue until its doors were closed in 2016.

Nottingham held the 2019 and 2020 runnings of the great race, but Towcester has now been established as the new home of the biggest prize in greyhound racing.

How the competition works

The competing greyhounds are drawn into first-round heats, with three dogs qualifying from each race throughout the event. The top-three dogs from each heat then progress to Round Two, with the rest of the field eliminated from the competition.

It's a random draw, apart from the fact that the greyhounds are seeded to their running style. The dogs are graded as railers, middles or wides and that plays a part in their trap draws.

The competition runs over a six-week period, until it reaches its crescendo, when there are just six greyhounds left to compete in the final.

Not only is it a test of a dogs speed and skill, but also of their endurance and consistency, as they need to maintain a high-level of performance throughout the competition.

Previous winners

Irish-based English trainer Graham Holland has won the last two runnings of the English Greyhound Derby - Romeo Magico (2022) and Gaytime Nemo (2023).

Holland steered three of his string to the 2023 decider with his trap two runner making all the running in a slick 28.79sec.

He was the biggest price of Holland's trio in the 500m decider behind favourite Swords Rex (4/5F) and track record breaker Clona Duke (11/2). Gaytime Nemo is 50/1 to become the first champion to successfully defend his crown since legendary dual Derby winner Westmead Hawk in 2006.

Romeo Magico also ran a sub-29 seconds time to claim the £175,000 first prize for trainer Graham Holland, which was the Riverside Kennels first-ever English Classic success.

Thorn Falcon was the previous Greyhound Derby victor in 2021 for local trainer Patrick Janssens, returning the 7/2 winner after holding off the challenge of second-placed Kilara Lion.

One of the biggest surprises in recent years came at Towcester in 2017, when Seamus Cahill’s Astute Missile came home at 28/1.

There have been only two dogs that have claimed back-to-back Greyhound Derby victories in the last 30 years of the race.

Westmead Hawk was victorious at Wembley in 2005 and 2006, two of three straight victories for his trainer Nick Savva – who also enjoyed success with Westmead Lord in 2007.

Charlie Lister also enjoyed victories in consecutive years in 2000 and 2001, when Rapid Ranger won with an identical time of 28.71 over 480m.

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