English Greyhound Derby

The English Greyhound Derby is the most prestigious race on the British greyhound racing calendar, with a history stretching back to 1927.

English Greyhound Derby
Classic race
LocationTowcester Greyhound Stadium
SponsorStar Sports
TRC Events
Race information
Distance500 metres
Purse£175,000 (winner)

It was first held at White City Stadium, but moved to Wimbledon Stadium in 1985, and then Towcester Greyhound Stadium in 2017, Nottingham in 2019 and back to Towcester in 2021. Only four greyhounds have won the event twice, Mick the Miller, Patricias Hope, Rapid Ranger and Westmead Hawk. Trainer Charlie Lister OBE has won the event a record seven times.


Rapid Ranger, twice winner of the Derby 2000–2001
Dorotas Wildcat, 2018 champion

The first venue of the English Greyhound Derby was at White City Stadium, which had been built for the 1908 London Olympics. Greyhound racing had only recently started to take place there, with the first greyhound race only taking place a couple of weeks prior to the first Derby being run. Entry Badge won the first race to be held, winning a £1000 prize for the dog's trainer, Joe Harmon. Two years later, racing greyhound Mick the Miller became the first dog to win multiple Derbys.[1] The 1940 final was held at Harringay Stadium, due to the outbreak of war.[2]

In 1973, pet food manufacturer Spillers sponsored the race for the first time, the same year that Patricias Hope became the second dog to win the Derby on more than one occasion, one of only two dogs to achieve that at White City Stadium. Spillers continued to sponsor the race, increasing the prize money to £35,000 by 1980. The Daily Mirror took over sponsorship of the race in 1983; the following year the race was held at White City for the last time before that stadium closed, with Whisper Wishes becoming the final dog to win the Derby at its original location.[1]

The Derby was moved to Wimbledon Stadium in 1985, and remained there until 2016. The Daily Mirror continued to be the race's sole sponsor until 1990, when the Sporting Life became co-sponsor. In 1998, bookmaker William Hill became the sole sponsor; in 2006, bookmaker Blue Square took over. William Hill later renewed its involvement with greyhounds and the Wimbledon Stadium with a partnership that lasted until 2016.[3]

The 2016 Derby was the last to be held at Wimbledon following the stadium's closure on 25 March 2017 and the redevelopment of the site for housing by the owner Galliard Homes.[4][5] This resulted in the Derby being located outside London for the first time as Wimbledon was the last greyhound stadium in the capital.[6]

Charlie Lister holds the record as the most successful trainer at the Derby, having won it on seven occasions. He is hailed as the greatest greyhound trainer of all time, and referred to as the 'Derby King'.[6][7]

On 30 January 2017, it was announced that the event would relocate to the new greyhound stadium[8] at Towcester Racecourse, for a minimum period of five years but it was switched to Nottingham Greyhound Stadium in 2019 following the closure of Towcester Racecourse in 2018.[9] The 2020 event was rescheduled following a postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10][11][12]

Following the reopening of Towcester Greyhound Stadium, the English Greyhound Derby returned to Towcester for 2021.[13]

Past winnersEdit

Year Venue Dist Winner Trainer Odds Time
1927 White City 500y Entry Badge Joe Harmon (White City) 1/4f 29.01
1928 White City 525y Boher Ash Tommy Johnston Sr. (Edinburgh) 5/1 30.48
1929 White City 525y Mick the Miller Paddy Horan (Dublin) 4/7f 29.96
1930 White City 525y Mick the Miller Sidney Orton (Wimbledon) 4/9f 30.24
1931 White City 525y Seldom Led Wally Green (West Ham) 7/2 30.04
1932 White City 525y Wild Woolley Jack Rimmer (White City) 5/2 29.72
1933 White City 525y Future Cutlet Sidney Probert (Wembley) 6/1 29.80
1934 White City 525y Davesland Jack Harvey (Harringay) 3/1 29.81
1935 White City 525y Greta Ranee Albert Jonas (White City) 4/1 30.18
1936 White City 525y Fine Jubilee Mrs Marjorie Yate (Private) 10/11f 29.48
1937 White City 525y Wattle Bark Jim Syder Sr. (Wembley) 5/2 29.26
1938 White City 525y Lone Keel Sydney W Wright (Private) 9/4 29.62
1939 White City 525y Highland Rum Paddy Fortune (Wimbledon) 2/1jf 29.35
1940 Harringay 525y GR Archduke Charlie Ashley (Harringay) 100/7 29.66
1941–1944, not run due to World War II
1945 White City 525y Ballyhennessy Seal Stan Martin (Wimbledon) 1/1f 29.56
1946 White City 525y Mondays News Fred Farey (Private) 5/1 29.24
1947 White City 525y Trev's Perfection Fred Trevillion (Private) 4/1 28.95
1948 White City 525y Priceless Border Leslie Reynolds (Wembley) 1/2f 28.78
1949 White City 525y Narrogar Ann Leslie Reynolds (Wembley) 5/1 28.95
1950 White City 525y Ballymac Ball Stan Martin (Wimbledon) 7/2 28.72
1951 White City 525y Ballylanigan Tanist Leslie Reynolds (Wembley) 11/4 28.62
1952 White City 525y Endless Gossip Leslie Reynolds (Wembley) 1/1f 28.50
1953 White City 525y Daws Dancer Paddy McEvoy (Private) 10/1 29.20
1954 White City 525y Pauls Fun Leslie Reynolds (Wembley) 8/15f 28.84
1955 White City 525y Rushton Mac Frank Johnson (Private) 5/2 28.97
1956 White City 525y Dunmore King Paddy McEvoy (Clapton) 7/2 29.22
1957 White City 525y Ford Spartan Dennis Hannafin (Wimbledon) 1/1F 28.84
1958 White City 525y Pigalle Wonder Jim Syder Jr. (Wembley) 4/5f 28.65
1959 White City 525y Mile Bush Pride Jack Harvey (Wembley) 1/1f 28.76
1960 White City 525y Duleek Dandy Bill Dash (Private) 25/1 29.15
1961 White City 525y Palms Printer Paddy McEvoy (Clapton) 2/1 28.84
1962 White City 525y The Grand Canal Paddy Dunphy (Ireland) 2/1f 29.09
1963 White City 525y Lucky Boy Boy Johnny Bassett (Clapton) 1/1f 29.00
1964 White City 525y Hack Up Chieftain Percy Stagg (Belle Vue) 20/1 28.82
1965 White City 525y Chittering Clapton Adam Jackson (Clapton) 5/2 28.82
1966 White City 525y Faithful Hope Paddy Keane (Clapton) 8/1 28.52
1967 White City 525y Tric Trac Jim Hookway (Owlerton) 9/2 29.00
1968 White City 525y Camira Flash Randolph Singleton (White City) 100/8 28.78
1969 White City 525y Sand Star Hamilton Orr (Ireland) 5/4f 28.78
1970 White City 525y John Silver Barbara Tompkins (Private) 11/4 29.01
1971 White City 525y Dolores Rocket Herbert White (Private) 11/4 28.74
1972 White City 525y Patricias Hope Adam Jackson (Clapton) 7/1 28.55
1973 White City 525y Patricias Hope Johnny O'Connor (Ireland) 7/2 28.68
1974 White City 525y Jimsun Geoff De Mulder (Hall Green) 5/2 28.76
1975 White City 500m Tartan Khan Gwen Lynds (Bletchley) 25/1 29.57
1976 White City 500m Mutts Silver Phil Rees Sr. (Wimbledon) 6/1 29.38
1977 White City 500m Ballinska Band Eddie Moore (Belle Vue) 1/1f 29.16
1978 White City 500m Lacca Champion Pat Mullins (Private) 6/4f 29.42
1979 White City 500m Sarahs Bunny Geoff De Mulder (Hall Green) 3/1 29.53
1980 White City 500m Indian Joe John Hayes (Ireland) 13/8jf 29.68
1981 White City 500m Parkdown Jet Ger McKenna (Ireland) 4/5f 29.57
1982 White City 500m Lauries Panther Terry Duggan (Romford) 6/4f 29.60
1983 White City 500m I'm Slippy Barbara Tompkins (Coventry) 6/1 29.40
1984 White City 500m Whisper Wishes Charlie Coyle (Maidstone) 7/4f 29.43
1985 Wimbledon 480m Pagan Swallow Philip Rees Jr. (Wimbledon) 9/1 29.04
1986 Wimbledon 480m Tico Arthur Hitch (Slough) 6/4jf 28.69
1987 Wimbledon 480m Signal Spark Gary Baggs (Walthamstow) 14/1 28.83
1988 Wimbledon 480m Hit The Lid John McGee Sr. (Canterbury) 3/1 28.53
1989 Wimbledon 480m Lartique Note Ger McKenna (Ireland) 1/1f 28.79
1990 Wimbledon 480m Slippy Blue Kenny Linzell (Walthamstow) 8/1 28.70
1991 Wimbledon 480m Ballinderry Ash Patsy Byrne (Wimbledon) 5/1 28.78
1992 Wimbledon 480m Farloe Melody Matt O'Donnell (Ireland) 6/4f 28.88
1993 Wimbledon 480m Ringa Hustle Tony Meek (Oxford) 5/2 28.62
1994 Wimbledon 480m Moral Standards Tony Meek (Hall Green) 9/4f 28.59
1995 Wimbledon 480m Moaning Lad Theo Mentzis (Private) 5/2 28.66
1996 Wimbledon 480m Shanless Slippy Dolores Ruth (Ireland) 4/9f 28.66
1997 Wimbledon 480m Some Picture Charlie Lister OBE (Nottingham) 8/13f 28.23
1998 Wimbledon 480m Toms The Best Nick Savva (Milton Keynes) 4/5f 28.75
1999 Wimbledon 480m Chart King Karl & Ralph Hewitt (Ireland) 8/11f 28.76
2000 Wimbledon 480m Rapid Ranger Charlie Lister OBE (Private) 7/4f 28.71
2001 Wimbledon 480m Rapid Ranger Charlie Lister OBE (Private) 7/4 28.71
2002 Wimbledon 480m Allen Gift Claude Gardiner (Hove) 16/1 29.06
2003 Wimbledon 480m Farloe Verdict Charlie Lister OBE (Private) 12/1 28.82
2004 Wimbledon 480m Droopys Scholes Ian Reilly (Ireland) 7/2 28.62
2005 Wimbledon 480m Westmead Hawk Nick Savva (Private) 5/4f 28.56
2006 Wimbledon 480m Westmead Hawk Nick Savva (Private) 4/7f 28.44
2007 Wimbledon 480m Westmead Lord Nick Savva (Private) 6/1 28.47
2008 Wimbledon 480m Loyal Honcho Seamus Graham (Ireland) 5/2jf 28.60
2009 Wimbledon 480m Kinda Ready Mark Wallis (Harlow) 25/1 28.65
2010 Wimbledon 480m Bandicoot Tipoki Charlie Lister OBE (Private) 7/2 28.57
2011 Wimbledon 480m Taylors Sky Charlie Lister OBE (Private) 7/4f 28.17 (Track Record)
2012 Wimbledon 480m Blonde Snapper Mark Wallis (Yarmouth) 8/1 28.65
2013 Wimbledon 480m Sidaz Jack Charlie Lister OBE (Private) 6/1 28.37
2014 Wimbledon 480m Salad Dodger Bruno Berwick (Private) 16/1 28.38
2015 Wimbledon 480m Rio Quattro Danny Riordan (Harlow) 5/1 28.24
2016 Wimbledon 480m Jaytee Jet Paul Hennessy (Ireland) 15/8f 28.22
2017 Towcester 500m Astute Missile Seamus Cahill (Hove) 28/1 28.92
2018 Towcester 500m Dorotas Wildcat Kevin Hutton (Towcester) 2/1 28.85
2019 Nottingham 500m Priceless Blake Paul Hennessy (Ireland) 6/1 29.32
2020 Nottingham 500m Deerjet Sydney Pat Buckley (Ireland) 11/4 29.38
2021 Towcester 500m Thorn Falcon Patrick Janssens (Towcester) 7/2 29.06
2022 Towcester 500m Romeo Magico Graham Holland (Ireland) 5/2 28.95


Stat Comment
Most wins 2; Mick the Miller, Patricias Hope, Rapid Ranger, Westmead Hawk
Winning trainer Charlie Lister OBE (7), Leslie Reynolds (5)
Winning Bitches 5; 1935, 1949, 1971, 1979, 2003
British v Ireland British winners (75); Irish winners (16)
Starting Prices Shortest winner: 1927 (1/4f) Longest winner: 2017 (28/1)


  1. ^ a b Williams, Darrell (6 December 2007). "Remembering White City – 'the governor' of lost tracks". Betfair. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  2. ^ Dack, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years. Ringpress Books. pp. 79–80. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  3. ^ Dalgleish, Stuart (17 December 2009). "William Hill announces new deal with Wimbledon". William Hill. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  4. ^ Oakes, Omar (18 May 2012). "Ambitious plans for brand new dog track in Plough Lane, Wimbedon". Wimbledon Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Two farewell Saturdays close Wimbledon curtain | Greyhound News | Racing Post". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b Moody, Graham (22 May 2012). "Racing legend Charlie Lister slams plans to build housing on Wimbledon dog track in Plough Lane". Surrey Comet. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Roll of Honour and Track Facts". William Hill. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Crowds set to flock to Towcester for Greyhound derby as world's richest dog race comes to town". All Things Business. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Nottingham to stage 2019 English Derby". Greyhound Star. 13 December 2018.
  10. ^ "DERBY POSTPONED – ARC STATEMENT". Greyhound Star. 16 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Derby Goes Ahead". Greyhound Star. 12 June 2020.
  12. ^ "2020 Derby Dates". Nottingham Stadium.
  13. ^ "Greyhound racing news: Latest updates including 'new' Derby home". Sporting Life. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.