At the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London on the 27th January, the great and the good of the greyhound world came together to celebrate the on track triumphs of 2018. Among those in attendance were the myracing greyhound tipsters whose greyhound tips for Nottingham tonight will be on the site before 6.00pm.
Greyhound of the Year – Dorotas Wildcat
No surprise to anyone to see the 2018 Derby winner crowned greyhound of the year for the Kevin Hutton team having beaten the challenge from King Turbo for the Standard Performer (4 bends) of the year. He added the Eclipse at Nottingham to his haul in November, going unbeaten through that competition. The announcement that Nottingham will host the Derby in 2019 has delayed retirement for the May 2015 whelp as he looks to retain his crown.
Bitch of the Year – Donation
The Heather Dimmock trained hound had a sensational 2018. Winner of the Lowther Stakes, she made the final of both the Eclipse and the Grand Prix against the boys as well as the Brighton Belle. Unlucky to find trouble in the semi-finals of the Oaks when sent off the 1/2 favourite, she beat out the winner of that competition in Ravenswood Flo as well as Slippy Maggie to claim the prize.
Stayer of the Year – Bombers Bullet
The hound to pick up Donation on the run-in at Sunderland to claim the Grand Prix also scored in the Champion Stakes at Romford when ripping apart a smart field. He was no match for Roxholme Poppy in the Yorkshire St Leger but having made the Derby Final, he had done more than enough to see off that hound in this category.
Marathon of the Year – Slippy Maggie
Maggie didn’t race for the first time until February, beating staying winner Bombers Bullet on her debut at Henlow. She would go on and land the Kent St Leger at Crayford, a happy hunting ground for her, returning to pick up the Boxing Day Marathon. She was a finalist in the TV Trophy, the Yorkshire St Leger, the Great North Run and the St Leger itself, a remarkable first year for the April 2016 daughter of Godsend.
Sprinter of the Year – Calzaghe Flash
A contentious category with a number of hounds deserving a place in the final three in a division where the winner didn’t even compete in his first race until September 27th. He would claim the National Sprint at Nottingham and make the final of the Romford Puppy Cup in his short time on the track in 2018. Only a January 2017 whelp, there should be more to come from the speedster this year.
Hurdler of the Year – Lenson Wilson
Having claimed the Springbok in March for novice hurdlers, Ricky Holloway’s star lit up Towcester to score in the Champion Hurdle. The winner of his last six starts in 2018 to close out a stellar campaign, he promises to be leading the charge in 2019 once more.
British Bred Greyhound of the Year – King Turbo
Liz and Rab McNair may not have swept the awards in 2018 but their King Turbo had a spectacular campaign. Winner of the Olympic, the Ladbrokes Gold Cup, the Kent Derby and the Astute Electronics Gold Cup, he also made the final of the Classic at Sunderland. He missed the Derby in 2018 due to an indiscretion in the 2017 Produce Stakes but with the rules relaxed in 2019, it’s game on as Turbo and Dorotas Wildcat look to go head to head in the English Derby.
Newcomer of the Year – Rising Brandy
A category with serious depth in 2018, Rising Brandy saw off both Calzaghe Flash and Slippy Maggie to claim the prize. Winner of the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby at Monmore in March, he would make the final of the Derby itself in June as well as the Olympic at Hove. With just twelve races total in his life, he should be set for another strong year.
GBGB Chairman’s Award – John Gilburn who sadly passed away in October
Trainer of the Year – Mark Wallis who was winning for an incredible 10th time and 7th on the bounce.
Owner of the Year – KSS Syndicate led by Brendan Keogh winning their 4th title in five years thanks to their string of superstars with the McNair kennel
Founders Award for Services to Retired Greyhounds – Lynn & Geoff Pearce from Cornwall who work tirelessly to help racing dogs at the end of their career find their forever home that they all deserve.
Kennelhand of the Year – Nathan Hunt who works for Phil Simmonds
GWA Services to Greyhound Racing – Peter O’Dowd ex Romford Racing Manager, one of the most respected in that job for many years
Dam of the Year – Skate On. Back to back years for the McNair’s brood, with the quality of pups she has on the track, it’ll take a good one to beat her to the crown once more in 2019
Graded Greyhound of the Year – Swift Keeper who raced up the grades at Monmore from A8 to become a regular A1 winner
There was also a special award for Charlie Lister, one of the finest trainers to grace the game down the years, a legend and a hero to many in the sport today. myracing would like to congratulate all the winners from 2018, bring on the next year!