Following a virtual meeting of the Derby panel this morning, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is pleased to announce that Towcester Greyhound Stadium will host the 2021 English Greyhound Derby.

The panel received high-quality bids from both Nottingham and Towcester; however, the unanimous decision was in favour of the Northamptonshire track, which was able to present a significantly higher-value financial package. This included increased prize money for the Derby final which will see £175,000 to the winner, £25,000 to the runner up, a breeder’s prize of £5,000 and £1,000 for the winning kennel staff member. The panel also agreed on the positives of the stadium’s infrastructure, and that Towcester’s size and space would be of particular benefit to allow for any continued government restrictions due to Covid-19.

The 2021 Greyhound Derby will be sponsored by Star Sports, joined by a major brewery sponsor that will be announced shortly. Towcester has submitted proposed dates for a May to June Derby, and, subject to open race planning committee approval, exact dates and full details will be confirmed and announced early in the New Year.

The decision on this year’s Derby venue was for 2021 only. The panel has, however, acknowledged the need for the industry’s premier event to have a permanent home and will be recommending this for discussion by the GBGB Board over the coming months.

Panel Chair Peter Cadman said:

“The Derby panel was hugely impressed by the quality of the bids we received from both Nottingham and Towcester and the two tracks were close in many areas. After considerable deliberation, however, we are pleased to approve Towcester’s submission and confident that the stadium will produce a spectacular event that our whole sport can look forward to.

      “The panel was hugely grateful to Nottingham for their bid, which reflected their experience of successfully hosting the competition for the past two years. We would like to thank the stadium management and staff at the track once again for staging the Derby and especially, for putting on such an impressive event under very challenging circumstances this year.”

Kevin Boothby, Promoter at Towcester Greyhound Stadium, said:

      “I am absolutely delighted that Towcester will be hosting the 2021 English Greyhound Derby. We have a great team here and I know we will put on a cracking Derby for the sport. It was very important to me to ensure the winner’s prize is significant and £175,000 to the winner ticks that box.”

Nottingham’s Rachel Corden, who is ARC Greyhound Operations Manager, said:

“We’re exceptionally proud of the Nottingham team for delivering a safe and fantastic Derby over the last two years, and especially this year, during the Covid crisis.

“Without their amazing efforts the industry wouldn’t have had an English Derby in 2019 and 2020 and we commend the whole team for successfully carrying that mantle.

“We would, of course, like to wish the Towcester team all the best in delivering a safe and successful Derby in 2021.”