Champion trainer Mark Wallis has confirmed that he is to join Henlow with immediate effect.

The Lakenheath based handler heard of the impending administration of Towcester on Wednesday night and was in immediate contract with Henlow promoter Kevin Boothby.

Wallis said: “I have reached verbal agreement with Kevin and will begin trialling dogs next week; the track is currently being relaid. My first priority has to be my family, seven staff and owners and joining Henlow will bring that security. I almost went broke after Walthamstow closed by joining Harlow and then Yarmouth, and I can’t afford to get into that position again.

“Joining Henlow was an easy decision to make, I have always enjoyed racing there and supporting their opens. Had it not been for trying to be loyal to the Towcester graded strength, I would have been there even more often.

“I have 45 graded dogs plus 20 trialling and about a dozen open racers. I reckon 90% of the owners will come with us, and am confident of replacing any lost runners with owners who would like to have runners at Henlow.

“I am deeply saddened with the loss of Towcester. It is a big loss to greyhound racing and the absolute perfect place to stage the Greyhound Derby.

“From a graded perspective, Towcester wasn’t ideal with four meetings so close to each other at the weekend. Henlow is closer to the kennel and the schedule suits me better.”