Following the closure of long-time host Wimbledon Stadium, the English Greyhound derby will this year move to it’s new home, Towcester. 2017 will be the first year in over three decades that this elite competition has been staged somewhere other than Wimbledon, and while there is some sadness surrounding the end of this particular era, we can also look with optimism towards what are sure to be exciting times ahead at Towcester Greyhound Stadium. Here is all you need to know about this year’s premier greyhound racing event.
The Greyhound Derby – A Brief History
Joe Harmon’s Entry Badge won the very first English Greyhound Derby way back in 1927, the 1/4 jolly winning the inaugural event at White City. A brief break during the World War II aside, the Derby has taken place every year since, and is arguably the most prestigious competition in the greyhound racing calendar. Although there was some doubt about the future of the Greyhound Derby once Wimbledon’s sale was made common knowledge, this proved to be misplaced. With significant support from both bookmaker William Hill and Towcester Racecourse, the English Greyhound Derby looks set to go from strength to strength.
2016 saw Irish handler Paul Hennessy land the £150,000 spoils with his charge Jaytee Jet. The talented wide runner made rapid progress at the business end of the final to deny fellow Irish raider Droopys Roddick, and send favourite backers home happy. Jaytee Jet is currently available at generous looking odds of 50/1 to make a successful defence of his Greyhound Derby crown. Obviously, Towcester is going to be a very different proposition to Wimbledon for the reining champion, and his current quote of 50s would suggest that the odds compilers have very little faith in Jaytee Jet completing back to back successes in the competition.
When is the 2017 Greyhound Derby?
The 2017 English Greyhound Derby will begin with qualification rounds on Wednesday 24th May, with the first round proper taking place from Thursday June 1st. The final will be run exactly one month later on Saturday July 1st. Here are all the dates for your diary.
Thursday 1st June
Friday 2nd June
Saturday 3rd June
Friday 9th June
Saturday 10th June
Saturday 17th June
Tuesday 20th June
Saturday 24th June
Saturday 1st July
2017 English Greyhound Derby Odds
The majority of bookmakers already have prices available on this year’s Greyhound Derby, and there are a number ofgreyhounds specials to bet on, the courtesy of William Hill, UK’s number one bookmaker. At this very early stage of proceedings, Hills are going 10/1 about the Paul Young trained Bubbly Bluebird. One of the most exciting greyhound in training at the current time, this son of Droopys Sydney has won 11 of his 14 starts to date, picking up some big prizes along the way, with the Puppy Classic a particular highlight. Other leading contenders for the 2017 Blue Riband include the Graham Holland trained Clares Rocket who rates a 14/1 chance, as well as eight-time winner and 20/1 chance, Priceless Brandy.