Towcester Racecourse primed for showstopping 2024 renewal of world-famous English Greyhound Derby

The world’s most historic and prestigious greyhound competition will return to Towcester Racecourse this summer – and organisers have bold plans to showcase the sport at its best.

First held in 1927 at White City Stadium in London, the English Greyhound Derby is greyhound racing’s showpiece event worth £175,000 to the winner and open to a minimum of 192 of the UK and Ireland’s most talented dogs.

This summer will mark the sixth time the Derby has been held in Northamptonshire, with Towcester Racecourse bosses forecasting a record turnout on finals night and an unprecedented number of entries from trainers dreaming of etching their name in the sport’s history books.

It all begins on Thursday, May 23, when Round One is held over three successive nights to determine which greyhounds qualify for the following week’s Round Two. Dogs which finish in the qualifying positions of their respective races will continue to advance week by week until only six are left to contest the Grand Final on Saturday, June 29.

Thousands of racegoers were trackside for last year’s final, which was won by Ireland’s Gaytime Nemo for trainer Graham Holland. Now, Towcester Racecourse Managing Director Kevin Boothby is looking forward to bringing another Derby to Northamptonshire which he described as an event the region can be proud of.

“The Derby is the pinnacle of greyhound racing worldwide,” said Kevin. “To bring a competition engrained into the UK’s sporting landscape is a genuine priviledge and we’re counting down the days until our 2024 launch.

“This year’s Derby will be the most competitive in years, with scores of greyhounds travelling across the Irish sea to take on the best the UK has to offer.

“There’s always a real carnival atmosphere on Derby final night and personally I have fond memories growing up watching huge crowds flock to White City to enjoy our sport’s premier event.

“This is our fourth year hosting the Derby back-to-back and once again we plan to make finals night an evening to remember for both the greyhound community and local people.”

New to this year’s English Greyhound Derby Grand Final night will be the introduction of live Irish music through the evening with a charity mascot race and a sighthound racing exhibition also planned on the world-famous horse racing track.

Derby sponsors Star Sports will also operate a tipping challenge, with proceeds from the competition donated to a local homing centre dedicated to finding greyhounds loving homes in retirement.

A behind-the-scenes documentary tracking the story of the 2023 Derby is also due to be released ahead of the competition’s launch.

Kevin added: “We want to generate a carnival atmosphere and showcase to the world everything that is great about UK greyhound racing.

“From the stars of the track to shining a light on how great retired greyhounds are as pets and educating those unfamiliar with greyhound racing’s present-day operation how welfare and care is a priority at all stages of greyhounds’ lives.

“Already tickets for finals night are being snapped up so to anyone yet to experience the Derby roar we’d encourage them to get involved.”

The 2024 Star Sports English Greyhound Derby Final is scheduled for Saturday, June 29, at Towcester Racecourse. Further details about the night and tickets can be purchased by clicking here.