The Greyhound Derby is the highlight of the year in greyhound racing and all the leading trainers in the sport plan their season around the competition at Towcester in Northamptonshire.
Here is a look at three dogs who have what it takes to win the English Classic in 2024.
With 20 wins from 24 starts so far in his career, Links Maverick has an impressive strike rate on the track. Between March and September, he won 11 straight open races, with wins coming at Monmore, Newcastle, Oxford and Sunderland.
Trained at Link Kennels by Tom Heilbron, Links Maverick is the early 16/1 favourite in the bet on greyhound racing market for the 2024 Greyhound Derby. By the time the competition comes around next year, he will have even more experience on his side.
One of Links Maverick’s biggest strengths is his pace out of the traps. His opening sectionals are very impressive, and when he gets drawn in trap one, he often leads his rivals up to the opening bend. If he repeats that throughout his Derby campaign, he could prove very difficult to beat.
Irish-based greyhound De Lahdedah is set to finish 2023 as one of the most impressive juveniles in the sport. He has proved very strong over 480 and 503 metres, which bodes well for his Derby campaign in 2024.
De Lahdedah reached the semi-final of the Irish Greyhound Derby at Shelbourne Park in 2023. He won four of his five races before the semi-final of the competition. Unfortunately for his connections, he was impeded in the semi-final and had to settle for fifth place in the race won by the eventual competition winner The Other Kobe.
The son of Lenson Bocko also had a good run in the Irish Greyhound Juvenile Derby at the same track. He advanced through to the third round, but he could not go any further, as he was slow from the traps at that stage, finishing fourth in his heat.
De Lahdedah’s best time in 2023 came at Shelborne Park back in August. He clocked 27.78 over 480 metres. That performance alone suggests he is a strong contender for the Derby next year.
One greyhound who will be very familiar with Towcester during the Derby is King Memphis. He featured four times at the track in November, winning three of those assignments. He clocked a 28.66 for the 500 metres in one of those races, prevailing by just over seven lengths.
Congratulations to King Memphis Who Wins The RPGTV English Puppy Derby Final !!!
Well done to the McNairs, The K.S.S Syndicate and all connections !!! 📷
JIM TATE PHOTOGRAPHY pic.twitter.com/wNEbHeEM2T
— Towcester Racecourse (@TowcesterRaces) November 27, 2023
The Puppy Derby winner has shown his versatility on the track as he has won from traps one, two, three and five. That is a great asset, as there is likely to be a heat next year where he does not get an ideal draw. Unlike some of his rivals, he is capable of prevailing from the inside, middle and wide berths.
King Memphis has gotten better as the year has progressed, with three consecutive victories going his way between November and December. His career record is now nine wins from 16 starts, and his best performances are likely to still be ahead of him.
The 2024 Greyhound Derby takes place between the 23rd of May and the 29th of June. The draw for the opening round will take place in early May.