The last minute signing of Paddy Power yesterday means that Betfred are the only major retail betting organisation who are not taking live coverage of the 2018 Star Sports English Greyhound Derby into their shops writes Floyd Amphlett.

Towcester have taken racing rights to a new level this year because although they are signed up with media providers ARC/TRP, the Derby was not part of the deal – albeit the media provider has acted as facilitator for all negotiations.

Towcester had already reached agreement with the majority of the ‘majors’ to take the coverage, including SIS stalwarts LadbrokesCoral, plus the independent bookmakers, and William Hill.

Now, for the first time, every race will be available to all the shops, bar Betfred’s 1,300, throughout the entire event.

The significance of a track dealing directly with individual bookmakers, and a not through a collective, such as BAGS, cannot be underestimated.