Greyhound Derby Betting Strategies, Tips & Rules

How do you bet on the Greyhound Derby?

Similar to horse racing, British greyhound races have several tiers. The highest classification is Category 1 which are competitions featuring a minimum prize of £12,500 (c$16,500).  There are also Category 2s, 3s and Invitational races with graded races lower down the pecking order.

The biggest race of all is the Greyhound Derby.  First staged in 1927 it was held at the enormous White City Olympic Stadium in London until 1984.  That stadium’s closure saw The Derby moved to Wimbledon and raced there until it too was demolished in 2016.  A switch to Towcester – inside the horse racing track – followed and in 2019 it will be held at Nottingham for the very first time.

The Derby Format

The greyhound Derby demands a small entry fee and every owner that pays to enter will see their greyhound get a run in the prestigious competition. Around 150 greyhounds are normally entered in the Greyhound Derby.

Round-for-round, from when 96 greyhounds remain, the first three home in every race which makes up a ‘round’ will progress to the next stage of the competition.  The rounds are 7-8 days apart so in 2019 the third round is on June 7th, the quarter-finals on June 15th, semi-finals on June 22nd and the final, with a £100,000 (c$130,000) first prize, on June 29th.

The Candidates

Every greyhound taking part in the competition will be quoted in the outright ‘ante-post’ betting markets; these will be updated after every round.  Some dogs will have remote chances of progressing more than a few rounds and will be priced-up at anything up to 1,000/1.

But, at the other end of the market, there are normally 20 or so dogs which have an outstanding chance.  Amongst those, in 2019, is Dorotas Wildcat who won the competition in 2018. The history books are in his favour too with Rapid Ranger winning the Derby in both 2001 and 2001 and Westmead Hawk winning the race in 2005 and 2006.

The Circuit

With long straights and a 500 metre race distance there’s little prospect of the proverbial under-dogs progressing to the late stages of this competition.  A long run to the opening bend reduces the prospect of opening turn collisions and a long run from home will see the classier and durable dogs outstay lesser rivals.

The Trainers

Unquestionably when preparing a shortlist you should be looking for a greyhound aged between two and three. And it is noteworthy the winner normally hails from a leading trainer/kennel.

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In this era, and with Charlie Lister recently retired (he won the Derby six times in the past 18 years and is comparable to Bob Baffert in horse racing), the names to looks out for include Mark Wallis, Liz Mcnair, Shamus Cahill, Kevin Hutton, Paul Hennessey and Graham Holland.

Greyhound Derby Betting Strategy

The early rounds of the Derby are often one-sided affairs.  Fun entries meet genuine top-drawer competitors and the result is a large number of long odds-on favourites.  You can obviously bet on the Greyhound Derby heats on a race by race basis or, as many like to do, trade the competition in the outright markets by building a portfolio.

Outright competition markets are sure to include:

Outright winner markets

  • You can back selections to win the race and, at the same time, each-way meaning you will receive 1/4 or 1/6th of the odds for half your stakes about the same dog making the final (finishing in the top-6)

To make the final markets

  • Simply identify a dog to make it to the final …and collect your winnings before the final takes place

Country the winner is trained in

  • Irish trainers normally run a small but select number of Derby entries and they last won the race in 2016

A bitch to win the Derby

  • The last female Derby winner was Sarahs Bunny in 1979, so it’s unlikely!

Fastest time of the competition

  • Bookmakers will offer markets on the fastest clocking of the competition as well as the likelihood of the track record being broken.

Where to Bet on Greyhound Racing in the UK and USA?

As the greyhound derby approaches towards the end of May firms with British roots, such like William Hill US, Bet365 and Betfair will have their Greyhound Derby house very much in order. But others are sure to follow suit, particularly some of the companies which come under the GVC Holdings umbrella such as PlayMGM and Partybets as they too have direct links to UK sportsbooks such as Ladbrokes, the world’s oldest bookmaker.

In the US you can bet online on the greyhound derby via Day At The Track, dog and horse racing website.

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