On the 29th of June 2024, the fastest dogs in Britain will contest the most iconic greyhound race in the northern hemisphere. This race is called the English Greyhound Derby and is run on sand over 500 meters. Currently held at Towcester Racecourse with an official purse of $218,00 for the winner, this race draws in thousands of greyhound enthusiasts and is one of the key dates in the British sporting calendar.
Below, we’ll take a look at the odds of the early frontrunners and what the road to the final entails.
The road to Towcester
The first thing you’ll notice when betting on greyhound racing odds in time for the English Greyhound Derby is that there are currently 89 dogs allocated ante post prices. You might wonder how this works given that only six dogs run in the final.
While the final is contested on June 29th, the actual derby begins five weeks earlier on May 23rd with the running of the first round. In total, there are five rounds that take place before the final with these heats used to whittle the field down to the the fastest dogs.
It is likely that there will be far more than 89 dogs arriving at Towcester to compete in the derby given that during the 2023 event, there were 192 entrants. This arduous qualifying process essentially means that there is no easy route to the final with every spot having to be hard-earned.
— Towcester Racecourse (@TowcesterRaces) July 2, 2023
To this end, monumental upsets do occur in the first round. This happened in 2023 when Fromposttopillar, the ante post outright favorite to win the derby, was eliminated at the first time of asking.
The dogs to watch
This time around, expectations around the blistering Irish dog have cooled considerably with Fromposttopillar now priced at +6600 to win the 2024 event.
Instead, the ante post favorite for 2024 is a dog called Links Maverick at odds +1600. The hype around the black-with-white greyhound is certainly justified as he went on a winning streak of 17 wins between late June and early November 2023.
As with any ante post favorite – be it in horse racing or greyhound racing, the question is always whether this form can be sustained in time for the big event. This is where Links Maverick’s value comes in at +1600 given that if the race happened tomorrow he would probably win, but with six months still to go before the derby, a lot can change.
One of the dogs standing in Links Maverick’s way is the 2023 champion, Gaytime Nemo. The black greyhound will be aiming to become the first dog since 2006 to win back-to-back derbies. Pulling off this feat is one of the rarest achievements in greyhound racing and Gaytime Nemo’s current price of +10000 illustrates just how difficult it will be.
As for a dog with a genuine chance of winning, many feel that Swords Rex’s time in the limelight might be around the corner.
🐾 @Will_We_Go Irish St. Leger
Quarter Final 2
— Limerick Greyhound Stadium (@LimkGreyhound) November 11, 2023
Priced at a somewhat speculative +4000 to win in 2024, Sword Rex made the final in 2023 but finished fourth after an uncharacteristically slow start. Since then, however, the greyhound has continued to display impressive form and could be on course for a date with destiny in 2024.
The countdown begins
These ante post odds will fluctuate before the running of the 2024 English Greyhound Derby so watch out for any big changes in prices as they will indicate how the field is shaping up. Dropping odds means that a dog is finding form in time for the derby while increasing odds suggest that a greyhound has peaked too soon.
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