Six category one victories, £200,000 in prize money, two champions, one question remains. Who will be crowned the GBGB 2018 Greyhound of the Year? Let the debate commence.
On one hand you’ve got the 2018 English Derby champion in Dorotas Wildcat and on the other you’ve got the Liz McNair trained King Turbo who landed an astonishing fourth category one of the year this week at Hove. There is no question among the greyhound fraternity that these two dogs are very special and their progeny will grace the track long after their racing careers are over. In any other year they would win hands down after their exploits this term but in a twist of fate we’ve been blessed with two dogs of a lifetime in the same era.
Most will think the simple answer to this puzzle is to race them against one another to see who prevails but in greyhound racing it’s just not that easy. In this calendar year they have come up against each other on one occasion which is extraordinary in itself as they both compete over the standard distance. Turbo prevailed that day but it wasn’t a fair assessment as Wildcat took a hefty bump which stopped him getting seriously involved. Like horse racing, greyhounds are campaigned with targets in mind and due to what can only be described as a farcical situation Turbo and Wildcat’s paths have rarely crossed. This isn’t the time to debate the rules of greyhound racing but King Turbo as a 20-month-old pup was disqualified in the Produce Stakes at Swindon. Meaning he would never be able to compete for the biggest prize in greyhound racing which is the English Derby.
Dorotas Wildcat has raced fifteen times this year winning eleven of those including the English Derby and Eclipse Stakes at Nottingham. On his way to winning both of those competitions, he beat a number of category one winners from both sides of the Irish sea. His breathtaking performance in the Derby Final will long live in the memory as will the ensuing emotions from his proud trainer.
King Turbo had to do things a little different to express his dominance this year. With the omission of the Derby he would go on to land the Astute Gold Cup, Ladbrokes Gold Cup, Kent Derby and Olympic. He also made the semi-final of the Scottish Derby and the final of the William Hill Classic. No dog has ever won four category ones in a calendar year in Great Britain, that shows the magnitude of his accomplishments.
Both trainers will agree that they are unlikely to ever put a lead on a better dog in their care. They both deserve to win Greyhound of the Year but until the announcement at the GBGB awards which are held in January, we will let the greyhound community continue their debate.
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