Insight From A True Insider

| March 6, 2018 | Reply

I’ve got something a little bit special for you today with the first in a brand new series of articles from a true sporting insider.

Our man, known as ‘The Grader’, is a former bookmaker and greyhound racing grader and current greyhound racing owner…

His dog is entered for the Greyhound Derby this summer and he is going to share every step of the journey with the Betting Rant.

I hope you enjoy it and, as always, if you have any questions or feedback you can reach us at

Matt Houghton

P.S. If you’d like apply insider secrets to your own betting then take a look at this.

All eyes on…?

…well, I suppose it’s Cheltenham for most of you and I wish all our readers the very best for the festival. But for some of us our thoughts are already turning to the May–June period and the annual event which is the Greyhound Derby.

There are of course quite a number of us that avidly follow the equine sport as well. I am not one of them but even I maintain a passing interest and will be joining the fray with the assistance of a few well-chosen tipsters to help me along the way (including this certain someone).

Horse racing outstrips greyhound racing in terms of its history and races were probably being run the very day after man first learned to ride those magnificent beasts…

So greyhound racing cannot challenge the longevity of racing history but the breed has been around for millennia. It is the only breed mentioned in the Bible, though dogs in general are mentioned 14 times and cats not at all. Mummified remains have been found in Egyptian tombs so we can trace the greyhound’s popularity back at least some 4000 years.

The sport of greyhound racing developed from the natural hunting instinct of the greyhound and out of the field sport of coursing which valued the greyhound’s agility just as much as its raw speed.

Though experiments in racing for speed alone along a straight track took place most notably at Hendon in the nineteenth century the sport did not take off…

That is until the advent of the oval track and mechanical hare both of which were American inventions and it was American entrepreneur Charles Munn and others who established the sport in the United Kingdom with the first race at Belle Vue in 1926.

By the end of the following year there were 40 tracks and, more importantly for this article, the first Greyhound Derby had been run at White City.

This year our newest and many would say most innovative track, Towcester, will host The Star Sports English Greyhound Derby 2018. There will likely be just short of 200 entries and in order to whittle down such a massive entry to just six for the final on June 2nd somewhere in the region of 30 or more heats will begin on May 3rd.

So much for the history but who is going to win?

Well, of course we don’t know which greyhounds will enter yet but even at this early stage by looking on Oddschecker this morning I see that prices can be found for over 100 potential contestants.

What we can say is that there will be quite a number of syndicates hoping to take on the big owners. I can say that with some certainty, and I have to declare an interest here being a member of one such…

Given that the name of our syndicate is the Dreaming Of The Derby Syndicate I don’t think I am breaking any confidences in saying that our boy, Searchforahero, was brought over from Ireland not only for this event but for others too along the line!

Syndication is a comparatively new concept in greyhound racing. In the days of the now defunct NGRC, who made way for the current GBGB as the governing body, the maximum number of co-owners was four…

Each race the greyhound, trap number, racing weight and ownership of the dog was announced over the stadium PA and often sounded like a firm of dodgy Dickensian lawyers, Mssrs. W. Semple, X. Grinch, Y. Putnam and Z. Grabbit for example, though to be fair I made that disreputable lot up! It was a bit of a mouthful but we did it.

It is still is an option if four owners get together to do things this way I suppose but much more likely now are much bigger syndicates. The Dreaming Of The Derby syndicate for instance includes 213 members so each individual share equates to 0.46% of the dog. I doubt any of us see it in such stark mathematical terms however.

A large proportion of the syndicate are new to the sport and this is one of a number of boons that syndicates provide. It is a route into the sport for new blood at minimal cost. We may not make the Derby Final but 213 people will have a lot of excitement along the way. And of course there will be other races that might interest us too during the dog’s racing career.

Some members of a syndicate might own other dogs either in another syndicate or as an individual owner but that isn’t an issue any more than a single owner having more than one racing dog…

The vast majority of owners and trainers are responsible in the discharge of their duties as regards their dogs and when the time comes for the dog to end his racing days there are several avenues by which the dog might be homed in order to live out retirement. A syndicate however might theoretically be able to home its dog many times over purely from within its own ranks.

Each syndicate has a lead member who is ultimately responsible for the decision making as regards the dogs but I must say all the syndicates I have been involved with have been very democratic and in these days of both Facebook and Twitter, to name but two, communication between members is easily facilitated.

We can expect some other syndicates both big and small to be eyeing the Derby too but without other owners and trainers all aiming at the same thing the event wouldn’t be the marvellous competition which it is.

All in all I would thoroughly recommend syndication as a way of making an initial foray into the greyhound racing game and your local track will be able to point you in the right direction.

In bringing this first article of the series to an end I wish you luck over the Cheltenham Festival and would hope that when that concludes you might be tempted to take a real interest in the Star Sports English Greyhound Derby 2018 and in greyhound racing in general.


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Category: Betting Opinion

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