It’s going to be a relatively quiet summer as far as major sporting events go. With the World Cup moved to the winter due to the extreme temperatures of Qatar in the middle of the year, there is very little for the masses to look forward to during the sunny months.
That gives lesser followed sports like horse racing and greyhound racing the opportunity to take centre stage though. There is plenty of coverage for the flat season in the mainstream media, with Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and the Derby Festival just some of the big meetings to get your teeth stuck into this summer.
But the greyhound calendar boasts some big race nights throughout June, July and August as well — with plenty to look out for in the greyhound betting markets. That said, read on as we take a look at some of the best Category 1 finals to keep an eye out for over the summer months…
June 25th – English Greyhound Derby
Where better to start than with the English Greyhound Derby? Taking place slightly earlier this year, pencilled in for June 25th, it is the most sought-after, prestigious prize in not just England, but the whole of the sport.
The contest returned to Towcester for the first time since 2018 last year, with Thorn Falcon winning for Patrick Janssens — beating kennelmate Kilara Lion and Pat Buckley’s Deerjet Sydney, who were both more fancied dogs in the Betdaq tips.
The 500-metre race will hopefully remain at the Northamptonshire course for years to come. The prize money for the race tops a massive £175,000! There’s no doubt that it’s every owner’s and trainer’s dream to win the Derby.
July 30th – Regency and Sussex Cup
Fast forward to July 31st, Brighton and Hove Stadium on the beautiful south coast will play host to two of the biggest Category 1 races of the season — the Sussex Cup and Regency finals.
The Regency was inaugurated back in 1948 and has been homes at Brighton and Hove since day one, a rare feat in greyhound racing these days given the sheer number of stadiums closing year after year. Contested over several distances in its long history, with 695m currently spanning between the traps and the finish line, the Regency is worth £10,000 to the winner.
The Sussex Cup, the first of the evening’s grand finales, was introduced in 1972 and has also taken place at Brighton and Hove for its entire existence. Raced over a relatively shorter distance of 515m, the Category 1 also boasts a £10,000 prize purse, with Drumcrow Brent securing the lucrative winnings for Mark Wallis last year — landing the 12-time Trainer of the Year his first Sussex Cup success and double on the night, with Aayamza Royal winning the Regency.
August 9th – 3 Steps to Victory
Held in September last year, the unique 3 Steps to Victory will take place on August 9th this season. Inaugurated in 2003 and held at Owlerton Stadium in Sheffield ever since, 3 Steps to Victory is like no other race on the calendar.
Consistency of three different distances, the first round is contested over 480m, with the semi-final trip being upped to 500m before the final takes place over a gruelling 660m — meaning that the dogs need to both quick to win shorts races, but also have the stamina to stay for the final’s lengthy distance.
The favourite has won the 3 Steps to Victory for the last three years, with 15/8 shot Savana Eruption doing so with great aplomb last year. So, it’s always worth keeping an eye for the market leader.