Just like most sports in the United Kingdom, the greyhound racing schedule was action packed over the festive period. There were major race nights at Nottingham, Brighton & Hove, Towcester, Central Park, Sheffield and Newcastle spread out throughout the course of December, meaning there was something for racing fans to enjoy up and down the country.
With some of the biggest Category One races in the greyhound calendar taking place at each of those venues last month, and with the current break in racing before the new season gets underway at the end of January, now is the perfect time to look back at the top-level winners from December. Read on to find out more!
The Eclipse – Nottingham
After winning his heat and semi-final, it was no surprise that Signet Ace entered the traps as the favourite in the greyhound betting on Betdaq.com for the Eclipse final at Nottingham on December 6th — a week later than scheduled due to a frozen track. It was a comfortable victory for the Kevin Hutton-trained dog as he streaked six and three-quarter lengths clear of Broadstrand Ryan and Dapper Rodney to win the £6,500 prize for the trainer, who finished third in the Trainer of the Year Championship.
The Olympic – Brighton & Hove
From the Midlands to the south coast, Prince Of Troy upset the odds to become the biggest winner of The Olympic in the race’s history, which dates back to the late 1940s. Bursting out of the traps at 25/1, the David Mullins-trained greyhound took the lead at the first bend and never looked back as he won the £10,000, 515-metre race by three lengths clear of Seomra Razl and Faughan Rebel.
English Puppy Derby – Towcester
There was a third victory for trainer Seamus Cahill in the biggest race of the year of 15-24-month-old dogs as Make Noise landed the prestigious English Puppy Derby at Towcester. Up against the unbeaten favourite Signet Denver, Make Noise trapped well to earn the advantage at the first bend and he maintained his lead to win by a length and a half clear of Callmesteve and Skywalker Forte. It was back-to-back victories in the £10,000-race for Cahill with his other triumph coming back in 2010 with Rayvin Giovanni.
Champion Hurdle – Central Park
The final leg of hurdling’s triple crown, Toolmaker Daddy and Nomansland Flyer secured an impressive one-two for trainer Ricky Holloway at Central Park. Sending out four finalists in the £5,000 race, Nomansland Flyer and Toolmaker Daddy were neck-and-neck down the back straight, with the former getting his head over the line just ahead of his kennelmate. It was a fifth victory in the race for Holloway, who co-owns the winner.
British Bred Derby – Sheffield
With a victory in the Category Two National Sprint at Nottingham just 24 hours earlier, it was a great couple of days for Patrick Janssens as Fabulous Azurra won the British Bred Derby at Sheffield just before Christmas. Unbeaten in the previous rounds of the tournament, she started well out of the traps in the £7,500 race and was never headed as she won by three lengths of Hutton’s kennelmates Signet Otis and Sleek By Design.
All England Cup – NewcastleThe final Category One race of the year, the All England Cup, went in the favour of Moanteen Mikey and trainer Angela Harrison. The northeast-based trainer sent out two entries in the £8,000 race, with Moanteen Mikey leading from start to finish to beat Narcos Dode be a neck. Harrison’s Hardy Rebel was in third. With the race’s prize purse being upgraded to £20,000 and rebranded the North East Derby, the local trainer will be hoping for more success.