Star Sports & TRC English Greyhound Derby, Towcester

Star Sports & TRC English Greyhound Derby, Towcester
Trainer Leslie Reynolds with the first four of his five Derby winners

THE Star Sports/TRC English Derby is the most important race in the UK greyhound calendar and generally takes place from late May through June over Towcester's 500m course.

Five of the last six renewals have been won by Irish-based trainers with exiled Englishman Graham Holland landing back-to-back successes courtesy of Romeo Magico and Gaytime Nemo in 2022 and 2023 then Liam Dowling claiming the title for the first time in 2024 with De Lahdedah.

The sole UK success in that period was achieved by Belgian-born Patrick Janssens with Thorn Falcon in 2021 as the Classic returned to Towcester following a two-year spell at Nottingham when Irish handlers Paul Hennessy and Pat Buckley triumphed with Priceless Blake (2019) and Deerjet Sydney (2020).


Derby History

The international flavour of the competition has been apparent from the very early days with Joe Harmon's inaugural local win with Entry Badge in 1927 swiftly followed by a Scottish victory from Tommy Johnston senior's Boher Ash the following year then Paddy Horan's legendary Mick The Miller for Ireland in 1929.

Mick The Miller successfully defended his title 12 months later and, incredibly, was first past the post again in 1931 only for the stewards to invoke a rule in force at the time to void the race due to Ryland R having turned on Seldom Led off the final bend.

A re-run took place later that night and, two days past his fifth birthday, Mick The Miller was understandably not at his best as he finished fourth behind Seldom Led.

Mick The Miller was subsequently joined as a dual winner by Patricias Hope (1972 & 1973), Rapid Ranger (2000 & 2001) and Westmead Hawk (2005 & 2006).

Leslie Reynolds trained five Derby winners in seven renewals between 1948 and 1954 with 1952 champion Endless Gossip produced by his 1948 and 1949 winners Priceless Border and Narrogar Ann.

However, the undisputed 'Derby King' is Charlie Lister OBE with a magnificent seven victories starting with Some Picture in 1997, encompassing Rapid Ranger's era and Farloe Verdict who got the 2003 crown on a disqualification through to a final hurrah of three in four, namely Bandicoot Tipoki (2010), Taylors Sky (2011) and Sidaz Jack (2013).