The English Greyhound Derby gets under way on Friday May 29th, with the final set to take place on Saturday June 27th. Having first taken place in 1927, this is one of the oldest dog racing competitions in existence, and arguably the most prestigious in the calendar. Having originally been run at the famous White City Stadium in London, the Greyhound Derby moved to Wimbledon in 1985 following the closure of its first home, and has been run over the 480m trip there for the 30 years since. The very first winner of the competition was Entry Badge, and the first greyhound to win the Derby on more than one occasion was Mick The Miller, a feat which has only been repeated three times in the Derby’s history. Although there have been some concerns over the future of this important event due to plans to redevelopment Wimbledon Stadium, there is still a very strong following for the Greyhound Derby, with great sponsorship as well as increased TV coverage. Even if Wimbledon does not remain the home of this prestigious contest, the English Greyhound Derby will be around for many years to come.
Bookmaker Betfair already have an ante post market up and running for the 2015 Greyhound Derby, and it is Droopys Nidge who has been put in as the current 16/1 favourite to be crowned champions. Having been trained by Robert Gleeson, a decision was taken for Droopys Nidge to be taken care of by Matt Dartnell for his tilt at this huge prize, and looking at the recent trials that this dog has put up at Wimbledon, that decision is already beginning to look justified. Having his first look around the Plough Lane track, Droopys Nidge clocked an impressive 28.21s, which only added to this greyhound’s already strong Derby claims. Robert Gleeson has a number of dogs in Ireland, and didn’t feel like he could leave them for what would have potentially been a number of weeks while his greyhounds competed in England. Matt Dartnell has also taken in Droopys Braedon, with that greyhound available at odds of 66/1 in the English Derby betting over at betfair.com. While this dog might not be quite on the same level as his kennel mate, Droopys Braedon is a very talented greyhound in his own right and will definitely have his fair share of support at the current odds.
The English Greyhound Derby has had various sponsors down the years, but William Hill have been the permanent supporters since 2010, and it is a relationship which appears to be working extremely well. The most successful trainer in the history of the English Greyhound Derby is Charlie Lister, and he has now become synonymous with the event. Having last trained the winner in 2013 when Sidaz Jack took top honours, Lister is sure to have a strong had when it comes to this year’s renewal and it will be interesting to see exactly which of his contenders prove strongest come race time. He will certainly be the handler that most pundits will have their eye on.