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Great Greyhound Trainers: Past and Present




While the biggest races on the greyhound calendar may have come and gone already this year, with spectators finally allowed back to the track, the entertainment has been as exciting as ever. Already we have seen new champions crowned in the English and Irish greyhound Derby’s, with Thorn Falcon and Susie Sapphire winning their respective events.

Although it is usually the dogs that write their names in the history books, and are the centre of attention when you bet on greyhound racing, but the work of the trainer is often overlooked. The majority of a good greyhound performance will be determined by the preparation of the trainer, and while their involvement with some of the sport’s biggest victories may slip under the radar, some have managed to write their own legacies for their role off the track. With that in mind, here are some of the best current greyhound trainers as well as some of the greatest of all time.

Mark Wallis

With the English Greyhound Derby returning to Towcester back from Nottingham, we thought it was appropriate to remember one of the town’s finest trainers. The East Midlands has adopted greyhound racing as a new spiritual home and in Wallis they boast a trainer who has won over 200 races in a star-studded career. His peak years came between 2012 and 2018, where he picked up the biggest prizes and regularly finished in the top sports. He has been named Greyhound Trainer of the Year on 11 occasions!

Nick Savva

One of the more well-known trainers in the sport, and four-time Greyhound Derby winner, Nick Savva became a household name with his longevity at the top — winning 80 times in the 2017 season alone. Having enjoyed an extremely profitable few years, he is the standout example for the new trainers in the modern game, with the Cypriot dominating for the majority of the century. His most famous win is perhaps the 2007 Derby final where Westmead Lord cruised to the £100,000 first prize.

Kim Billingham

The daughter of former professional footballer Peter Billingham, who turned out for Walsall and West Bromwich Albion in the 1960s, it was Kim’s late father that got her into the sport, having taken over the kennels in 2008 and going on to win the Oaks at Wimbledon in her first independent year. Flying the flag for women in the sport, Billingham may not garner the reputation of someone like Nick Savva but certainly deserves credit for the role she played as one of the few champion trainers that are female, especially given the time period she would win in.

Angela Harrison

In recent years we have seen more women win the biggest prizes greyhound racing has to offer, and one of the best of the modern era is Angela Harrison. Picking up a Trainers Championship in 2019, she boasts an impressive win rate and has picked up over 250 wins, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. While this season hasn’t been the best by her own high standards, there is certainly time for reflection and you can be sure Harrison will be back to compete with a plethora of strong runners for years to come.

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