Greyhound racing: A recap of last year’s big winners

The greyhound season is now in full flow. We have already had several big Category 1 races, including the Puppy Derby 2021, won by Jaguar Macie, and the Winter Derby, won by Signet Ace, which were both held at Monmore Green on February 27th, as well as the Golden Sprint at Romford om March 19th, which was won by Bockos Jon Jo.

However, there is still plenty to look forward to, including the TV Trophy, the Kent St Leger, the Regency and Sussex Cup night at Brighton and Hove, and of course, the Oaks at Swindon, which will take place later this year in October.

So, with plenty of races to get excited about and lots to keep an eye out for at exchange sites like this one:, let’s have a recap of last year’s big winners.

TV Trophy

With the TV Trophy the next big race in this season’s calendar, where better to start than by taking a look back at last year’s outing. Held at Brighton and Hove for the first time since 1967, it was the even-money favourite Aayamza Royale who prevailed, landing back-to-back victories for trainer Mark Wallis, who won with Bumblebee Bullet at Romford in 2019. It was the first time the TV Trophy has been run over 945 metres and Aayamza Royale set the pace nicely, finishing in 61.05 and a length and three-quarters clear of Roxholme Kristof, whom he overtook on the home straight.

Kent St Leger

Droopys Bird sprung somewhat of a surprise in the Kent St Leger at Crayford Stadium. The Simon Harms-trained greyhound set off from trap 1 as a 10/1 shot to win the Category 1 race, which boasts a prize purse of £7,500 for the winner. However, the bitch took the lead via the inside at the final turn and was lightening quick on the race for home, eventually beating Beechgrove Bell and Ballydoyle Bee by a rather impressive eight lengths.

English Greyhound Derby

The Greyhound Derby is the most prestigious race in the entire sport, let alone in the United Kingdom, and it’s every trainer’s dream to land a victory in the 500-metre outing. Last year, Irishman Pat Buckley had the honour of being named the winning trainer as 11/4 shot Deerjet Sydney won the Nottingham-based race. The Tipperary-based greyhound established a healthy lead by half-way. However, BallydoyleValdorand Coolavanny Chick closed the gap to get within less than a length. Although, it was too little too late and Deerjet Sydney held on to win. It was an Irish-trained 1-2-3 in the Derby for a second year in a row.

The Oaks

The Oaks, which is the showpiece race in the season for bitches, was won by a massive outsider. Ballymac Trend broke all the trends to win the 480-metre race as a 25/1 shot. Not only did the Angie Kibble-trained dog defy the odds, but she was still classified as a puppy, which is a rarity for an Oaks winner. With just two wins in 13 races prior to the £15,000 outing, not many punters would have fancied Ballymac Trend, especially as she entered the traps alongside the unbeaten Newinn Liz. But, she went on to win by almost two lengths, beating Queen Jessie J in second and Lights Out in third.

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