The 2022 greyhound racing season is now in full flow, with over 15 Category One finals having already taken place since the Essex Vase at Romford and the Blue Riband at Towcester kicked things back off for a new campaign at the end of January.
The next couple of months are relatively quiet as far as major races are concerned though, with just three Category One finals — the Maiden Derby, the Grand National and the Kent St Leger — held throughout May.
The same can be said about June, with just one grand event. But that just so happens to be nonother than the Greyhound Derby! As always, anticipation will be rife for the sport’s showpiece race, with punters scouring the greyhound betting sites in a bid to pick a winner.
So, with the first-round set to get underway on May 19th and the final pencilled in at Towcester for June 25th, let’s take a look at the last five winners of the Greyhound Derby. Read on to find out more!
2017 – Astute Missile
The first renewal of the Derby to take place at Towcester after Wimbledon closed its doors in 2016, Astute Missile caused an almighty upset — winning as a 28/1 outsider. It was a victory not many seen coming in the greyhound betting tips, but Astute Missile took the lead at the third bend and held off Tyrur Shay to win by little less than a length.
2018 – Dorotas Wildcat
There were to be no surprises the following year though, with Dorotas Wildcat winning the Derby from odds as short as 2/1. The Kevin Hutton-trained dog, who was dubbed the ‘Cristiano Ronaldo of greyhounds’, beat 7/4 favourite Droopys Verve over the line in a narrow finish. He was later named the Greyhound of the Year.
2019 – Priceless Blake
With Towcester entering administration, the Derby was moved to Nottingham in 2019. Magical Bale trapped as the 11/10 favourite, but trouble at the first bend hampered the market leader and Priceless Blake took control.
The three-length lead the 6/1 shot had gained was cut short but Ballymac Tas and Skywalker Logan, but he still managed to win by a length and gift Paul Hennessy his second triumph — after Jaytee Jet gifted the Irish trainer his maiden success in 2016.
2020 – Deerjet Sydney
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Greyhound Derby was pushed back to October in 2020. But winning trainer Pat Buckley wouldn’t have minded as Deerjet Sydney rubberstamped the Triple Crown for the handler.
The 11/4 ante-post favourite lead comfortably at the half-way point, but Ballydoyle Valor and Coolavanny Chich closed in to make it a nervy end. Deerjet Sydney held on by less than half a length.
2021 – Thorn Falcon
Back at the re-opened Towcester for the first time, Deerjet Sydney looked set to defend his Greyhound Derby crown. But Patrick Janssens had other ideas, with his Maiden Derby winner Thorn Falcon breezing home a few lengths clear of his kennelmate Kilara Lion in an impressive 1-2 for the Belgian trainer, who had never won the showpiece.
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