No division has won the Greyhound of the Year title more often than the ‘standard’ or ‘middle distance’ winner, which is unsurprising given the volume or races staged over it.

As a starting point, the judges flick through the major events and three ‘Cat Ones’ will normally be enough to ensure a trophy mission on awards night. It isn’t always so though, as connections of Boherna Best (Gold Cup, Laurels, All England Cup) discovered in 2008 when ‘short headed’ by staying star Lenson Joker. However, since there are only 31 Category Ones’ split between all distances, doubles and trebles are rare. This year, no runner has hit three jackpots, and only one greyhound achieved a double. The Kevin Heilbron owned, Pat Rosney trained, Newinn Yolo won the Puppy Classic and the All England Cup but was also an unlucky runner-up in the Betfred Gymack and William Hill Puppy Plate. Brian Hall’s Southern Mesut reached three ‘cat 1’ finals, winning the RPGTV Henlow Derby, finishing second in the Wiliam Hill Classic and ran third in the Totepool East Anglian Derby, in addition to a second place in the Laurels. Alan Heard and Paul Young’s Underground Paul, returned from an apparent career ending injury to win the John Smiths Steel City Cup followed by the ‘Cat 2’ John Smiths Kent Derby. After a break of several years, the last three Standard Greyhound of the Year awards have gone to the William Hill English Derby winners. This year’s fairytale winner, the ex-Romford grader, handled by novice trainer Bruno Berwick, (jointly owned with Ron Mills) was Salad Dodger. The British bred, who won the final whilst still a pup, will undoubtedly poll votes but may be hit by a lack of activity, three races, all defeats, since his 16-1 victory in May’s final. No bitch has ever won ‘the standard’ category since the introduction of the different distance awards in 2001. (The last ‘standard’ bitch to win the Greyhound of the Year award was Westmead Chick in 1994.) However, given her impressive run in the recent ECC Timber Oaks, connections of Cashen Maureen will be hoping to have caused a flicker in the pens of a few GWA judges


The three GWA final nominations are:


Previous winners

2013 Sidaz Jack

2012 Blonde Snapper

2011 Taylors Sky

2010 Nambisco

2009 Fear Zafonic

2008 Boherna Best

2007 Barnfield On Air

2006 Westmead Hawk

2005 Westmead Hawk

2004 Fire Height Dan

2003 Toms Little Jo