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Greyhound Derby 2024 Everything You Need to Know

A dynamic illustration of a greyhound race, depicting multiple dogs in colorful jerseys running on a track. The number 27 dog is in the lead, leaping forward with the others close behind. Enthusiastic spectators fill the stands, and a large timer displays "2024.

The Greyhound Derby stands as a pinnacle event in the world of greyhound racing, beckoning enthusiasts and bettors alike to the edge of their seats with its blend of speed, strategy, and elegance. Rooted deeply in the rich tapestry of English sports, the English Greyhound Derby not only showcases the peak of canine athletic prowess but also serves as a storied tradition binding generations of racing aficionados. With each iteration, the event continues to foster a vibrant culture and community centered around the love for greyhound racing, solidifying its place as a marquee event in the global sporting calendar.

As we look forward to the 2024 Greyhound Derby, this article will delve into a comprehensive overview of what promises to be an electrifying spectacle. It will chart the historical significance and evolution of this cherished event, outline the schedule and key dates for Towcester Greyhound Racing, spotlight the top contenders along with betting insights to guide enthusiasts, and paint a vivid picture of the event experience. From the anticipation that builds with each qualifying run to the thrilling climax of the final race, readers will gain an all-encompassing understanding of the greyhound derby and why it continues to captivate hearts and minds across the globe.

History and Significance of the Greyhound Derby

Origins of the Greyhound Derby

The inaugural English Greyhound Derby took place in 1927 at White City Stadium, originally constructed for the 1908 London Olympics. This event marked the beginning of what would become one of the most prestigious races in greyhound racing. The first winner, Entry Badge, received a prize of £1,000, a significant sum at the time, equivalent to about £59K today . This early competition set the stage for the Derby’s long-standing tradition and its importance in the greyhound racing world.

Major Milestones and Changes Over the Years

Over the decades, the Greyhound Derby has seen numerous changes that have shaped its current form. Initially, the Derby at White City from 1932 to 1970 involved 48 runners selected by the racing manager and was completed in just 14 days. The introduction of seeding in 1971, although later scrapped for the last two White City Derbys in 1983 and 1984, marked a significant shift in how the races were organized.

Broadcasting of the Derby began in 1952, with the first live broadcast in 1956, enhancing its reach and popularity . The event’s format also evolved, with the introduction of non-betting trials in 1970 to decide the runners, moving away from the selection by a racing manager. The competition was further extended in 1978 to six rounds, allowing greyhounds to qualify in trialstakes away from White City.

Cultural and Sporting Importance

The Greyhound Derby has not only been a highlight of the sporting calendar but has also played a significant role in British cultural life. It has been the contest every trainer and owner in the sport aspires to win since its inception in 1927. The Derby has been hosted by various venues, each adding to its rich history, and has been won by legendary greyhounds like Mick the Miller and Rapid Ranger, who have become icons of the sport.

Furthermore, the event has seen remarkable trainers like Charlie Lister, known as the ‘Derby King’, who won the Derby seven times, showcasing the high level of competition and the prestige associated with winning this race. The move of the Derby to different locations, including a significant shift to Towcester Greyhound Stadium in 2017, reflects its adaptability and enduring appeal.

The Greyhound Derby remains a central spectacle in greyhound racing, drawing spectators and participants from around the globe and continuing to contribute significantly to the cultural and sporting landscape.

2024 Greyhound Derby: Schedule and Key Dates

Schedule Breakdown

  1. Round One: The competition kicks off with three days of intense racing on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of May. A total of 32 heats will determine which contenders move forward.
  2. Round Two: The action continues with races scheduled for the 31st of May and the 1st of June, narrowing down the competition.
  3. Round Three: Scheduled for the 8th of June, this round further reduces the number of competitors vying for the prestigious title.
  4. Quarter Finals: Taking place on the 15th of June, this round is crucial for those aiming to make it into the top ranks.
  5. Semi Finals: On the 22nd of June, the tension heightens as the finalists are decided.
  6. Final: The pinnacle of the Greyhound Derby, the final race on the 29th of June, where the champion will be crowned and the grand prize of £175,000 awarded.

Important Dates to Remember

  • Start of the Derby: The Greyhound Derby begins on Thursday, 23rd May 2024, marking the start of a six-week journey towards the championship.
  • Final Race Day: Saturday, 29th June 2024, is the day when the Greyhound Derby champion will be declared, concluding this prestigious event.
  • Prize Announcement: Alongside the title, the winner of the final race will receive a substantial prize of £175,000, highlighting the event’s significance in the greyhound racing world.

Top Contenders and Betting Insights

Leading Greyhounds to Watch

  1. Links Maverick: Known for his impressive strike rate, Links Maverick won 11 straight open races between March and September, showcasing his dominance at tracks like Monmore and Sunderland. As the early favorite with odds of 16/1, his experience and pace out of the traps make him a top contender for the 2024 Greyhound Derby.
  2. De Lahdedah: This Irish-based greyhound has shown considerable strength over distances of 480 and 503 meters, making him well-suited for the Derby’s demands. Despite a setback in the semi-finals of the Irish Greyhound Derby, his performance suggests strong potential for the upcoming season.
  3. King Memphis: With a track record of success at Towcester and versatility across various traps, King Memphis’s recent form, including three consecutive victories, positions him as a noteworthy competitor.

Betting Tips and Predictions

  • Track Performance: Watch for greyhounds like Links Maverick who excel in early races and maintain strong sectionals out of the traps, which can be crucial in early rounds.
  • Consistency Over Flash: It’s important not to be swayed by initial flashy performances. Historical data suggests that maintaining unbeaten records throughout the Derby is challenging, with the last such achievement in 2006 by Westmead Hawk.
  • Recovery and Resilience: Consider greyhounds that may not win initially but still qualify, as past winners have demonstrated the ability to recover and succeed in later stages, such as 2022 winner Romeo Magico.
  • Trap Draw Impact: Pay attention to the trap draw as it significantly affects outcomes. Historical trends show varied success rates with different traps, indicating the importance of strategic positioning.
  • Expert Insights: For those uncertain about their picks, consulting expert tips can provide additional perspectives and insights, potentially guiding more informed betting decisions.

Event Experience: What to Expect

Venue Details and Ticket Information

Towcester Racecourse, confirmed as the host venue for the 2024 English Greyhound Derby, offers a range of admission and hospitality options to accommodate every visitor’s needs. General admission tickets start at £25 for adults, with discounted rates for younger attendees. Under 18s can enter for £7.50, and children under 14 attend for free. For a more exclusive experience, the VIP Box Package includes a private box, a four-course meal, Prosecco on arrival, and more, starting at £270 for adults.

Entertainment and Hospitality Options

The final day of the Derby, June 29th, promises a vibrant atmosphere with live music, entertainment, and a variety of food and drink stalls. Guests can choose from standard admission or opt for reserved seating in one of the hospitality suites to enjoy the day’s festivities. The event will also feature live greyhound racing, making it a perfect day out for families and friends. Additional perks like the opportunity to win tickets to the finals night and participate in a free YES/NO prediction competition enhance the overall experience.


As we draw closer to the 2024 Greyhound Derby, it’s evident that this event stands not merely as a competition but as a celebration of the rich history and communal spirit inherent in greyhound racing. With a detailed exploration of the event’s origins, significant milestones, and the anticipation building around its schedule, key contenders, and betting insights, this article has aimed to provide enthusiasts with a comprehensive guide to what promises to be an unforgettable spectacle. The significance of the Derby, both as a pinnacle of sporting excellence and a cultural touchstone, underscores its continued allure and the excitement it generates across the globe.

Emphasizing the broader implications, the Greyhound Derby epitomizes the harmony between tradition and modernity, offering a platform where the passion for greyhound racing, community engagement, and the pursuit of excellence converge. As readers look forward to the event, they are encouraged to not only witness the thrilling races but also to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture surrounding the Derby. With avenues for further research or engagement, be it through participating in betting or exploring the rich history of the sport, the Greyhound Derby 2024 is set to be a landmark event that echoes the enduring legacy and evolving future of greyhound racing.


1. What is the structure of the Greyhound Derby? The Greyhound Derby is recognized as a Category 1 race and is often referred to as the “Blue Riband” of greyhound racing. It challenges the greyhounds’ physical stamina and mental resilience through 6 rigorous rounds, where the strongest competitors typically emerge as frontrunners.

2. How can I choose a greyhound that is likely to win? When selecting a greyhound, consider the following factors:

  • Latest Form: Review the greyhound’s most recent race results, times, and overall performance.
  • Speed: Evaluate the running speed of the greyhound in its previous races.
  • Track Affinity: Some greyhounds perform better on specific tracks, so knowing their preferences can be crucial.

3. How many greyhounds compete in the Greyhound Derby? The Greyhound Derby starts on Thursday, May 23rd, 2024, and concludes with the final on Saturday, June 29th, 2024. A total of 192 greyhounds participate in this six-week competition, aiming to win the grand prize of £175,000 and the title of English Greyhound Derby Champion. You can book admission tickets and hospitality packages online.

4. Which trap number historically wins the most in Greyhound racing? The question of which trap number wins the most in Greyhound races does not have a straightforward answer as it can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the track layout, the specific race, and the conditions on the day.

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