The Greyhound Derby is the most prestigious greyhound contest anywhere in the world. The race at Towcester is open to best middle-distance runners in the sport and after a series of rounds, the winner is crowned following the final.
The British Classic dates all the way back to 1927. It was first run at White City Stadium in London, the venue used for the 1908 Olympic Games. The race now takes place at Towcester Racecourse and entries have now come in for the latest renewal in 2022 where £175,000 in prize money is on offer for the second year running.
Explosive Boy Tops Betting for 2022 Race
Irish-trained greyhounds have an excellent record in the English Greyhound Derby. They have been successful in three of the last six races. Their record in the Towcester contest could improve further in 2022 as Explosive Boy tops the greyhound betting at +2000.
The Irish dog is trained by Patrick Guilfoyle and has won 15 of his 31 races on the track. Connections opted against taking part in the competition in 2021 to instead focus on the Irish Greyhound Derby. Although he was not successful at Shelbourne Park, he advanced deep into that event.
Guilfoyle has had a lot of success in the sport in Ireland, including victories in the Irish Oaks, Irish Cesarewitch and Irish St Leger. Success later this year at Towcester would be the biggest of his career and will help him cement his place as one of the best trainers of his generation.
Patrick Janssens Looking for Repeat Success
Local trainer Patrick Janssens first won the English Greyhound Derby in 2021 when Thorn Falcon came out on top in the final after clocking a time of 29.06. The Belgian-born trainer is assigned to Towcester greyhound track and he was rewarded by his talented dog with the biggest prize of his career to date.
Distant Archie has a similar profile to Thorn Falcon heading into this year’s competition. He moved to Janssens’ kennel back in September. Since switching trainers, he has had four trial runs around Towcester, and he also featured at the track earlier this year in an Open race, so he will be very familiar with the venue by the time the Derby comes along.
Seven-time Derby winner Charlie Lister was the last trainer to win the British Classic in back-to-back years with different dogs when he did so 2011. Janssens would also join a very small club of trainers who have been successful more than once in the race.
Distant Archie is +3300 in the ante-post betting for the 2022 renewal of the world’s most prestigious greyhound contest. The November 19 dog is into his second year on the track now. He raced just four times in competitive action last year, with his sole success coming in an Open race at Towcester over the Derby distance of 500 metres.
The 2022 English Greyhound Derby begins on May 19 and will run through to the final on June 25.