What are the most prestigious greyhound races?

Greyhound racing is a great sport. Accessible to the young and old, all you need is a few trained dogs and a track for them to run on. There’s nothing that beats the thrill of the chase when the traps open and they burst out onto the track. The tension and anticipation, palpable in the air before the race, are replaced in an instant with the electrifying sense of excitement as the dogs make their way round the track.

Some just love the spectacle, while others go for the atmosphere of an evening at the track. Still others enjoy placing a greyhound bet, while plenty enjoy the sport because of its historic connections to their cities and communities. While every greyhound race is special, there are a select few that every trainer wants to win, and every fan wants to get a ticket to. We’ve compiled a list of the most prestigious greyhound races below.

English Greyhound Derby

There’s only one place to start, and that’s the Greyhound Derby. Held at the iconic White City Stadium for much of its history, the Derby has entered a new period in its history. Despite financial problems at Towcester Racecourse, and the Covid-19 pandemic, the Derby is as strong as it’s ever been, and remains the jewel in the crown of British greyhound racing.

With the winner’s prize money increased to £175,000, it’s no surprise that it’s the event all greyhound trainers mark in their calendar at the start of the year. Aside from the prize money though, winning the Derby gives trainers, and owners, the chance to make their mark in the history books, just as Romeo Magico did this year.

Irish Greyhound Derby

Much like the event held in Towcester, the Irish Greyhound Derby is an event that every greyhound trainer looks forward to competing in. With so many of the top greyhounds trained in Ireland, the event is every bit as competitive as the English Greyhound Derby.

Held at Shelbourne Park, the Derby has a history spanning back to 1928, making it just as iconic as the English Greyhound Derby, which was first held in 1927. The total prize money is €300,000, of which €125,000 goes to the winner.

Graham Holland’s Romeo Magico won in Towcester this year, and the trainer has tasted success on the other side of the Irish Sea three times in recent years. He won in 2020 with Newinn Taylor, in 2019 with Lenson Bocko, and in 2016 with Rural Hawaii.

East Anglian Derby

Held since 1975, the East Anglian Derby takes place at Yarmouth Stadium. It has a winner’s purse of £15,000, which regularly sees the top greyhound trainers on the circuit running their dogs in the race.

It’s no surprise that Charlie Lister, one of the greatest trainers of all time, holds the record for the most wins in the event, having tasted success at Yarmouth Stadium on a dozen occasions. The fact that two top trainers, in Mark Wallis and Patrick Janssens, have both won this event in the last two years only underlines its importance.

Select Stakes

The premier greyhound competition held at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium, the Select Stakes has a history dating back to 1952. It was run at Wembley Stadium for much of that time, before moving to Nottingham in 1997.

With a £7,500 reward for the winner, it’s a race which attracts a lot of attention from big names in the sport. In 2021 it was won by Signet Ace, the Greyhound of the Year. Signet Ace also won the Eclipse in 2021, clearly comfortable on the track at Nottingham, as well as winning the Winter Derby at Monmore.

Show More