Towcester Greyhound Stadium

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Towcester Greyhound Stadium
Towcester Greyhound Track.jpg
View of Towcester Greyhound Track from the main grandstand
LocationTowcester Racecourse,
Watling Street,
Towcester,
Northamptonshire
Coordinates52°07′25″N 0°58′12″W / 52.1237°N 0.9701°W / 52.1237; -0.9701Coordinates: 52°07′25″N 0°58′12″W / 52.1237°N 0.9701°W / 52.1237; -0.9701
Field size420 metres (1,380 ft)
SurfaceSand
Opened6 December 2014
Closed12 August 2018

Towcester Greyhound Stadium was a greyhound racing track located within Towcester Racecourse at Towcester in Northamptonshire, England.[1] It is the home of the English Greyhound Derby. The stadium is currently in administration.

Opening[edit]

Towcester opened on 6 December 2014 becoming the first track in Britain to open since the 1995 openings of Harlow and Sittingbourne. The idea of a track inside the horse racing course was created by Lord Hesketh the racecourse owner and Chief Executive Kevin Ackerman. Former Walthamstow Racing Manager Chris Page, Deputy Racing Manager Andy Lisemore and Steve Cale were recruited to run the operation. [2]

Construction[edit]

At a cost of £1.5 million the 420 metres circumference circuit was created by laying down 60,000 tonnes of soil so that the greyhound racing surface met the horse racing home straight at a level setting, resulting in a six-metre rise. The bends are very wide which assists the occasional eight dog race. The kennels were constructed inside unused horse stables and new trainers included five times champion trainer Mark Wallis, 2011 champion trainer Chris Allsopp, Kevin Hutton and Matt Dartnall. The distances are 260, 480, 500, 655, 686 and 906 metres and the first race was won by 4-1 shot Fairest Royal trained by Wallis. [3] A big screen situated on the home straight is a new feature to greyhound tracks.

Achievements[edit]

2018 administration[edit]

In August 2018 the future of Towcester racecourse was put in doubt. A statement released by the racecourse on 16 August read: "Towcester Racecourse Company Limited, proprietors of Towcester Racecourse, are currently experiencing trading difficulties and are in discussions with key stakeholders and professional advisers on the way forward. However, the directors have concluded that they have no alternative in the short term but to seek court protection and are now taking steps to place the company into administration. As a result, the last greyhound meeting was on 12 August.

On 23 August KPMG were appointed as administrators and 134 out of 137 members of staff at the racecourse were made redundant.[12] Eight trainers joined Henlow, including Mark Wallis and Nick Savva while Kevin Hutton joined Monmore.

On 13 November it was announced by the administrators that the racecourse's assets were being sold to a company called Fermor Land LLP.[13] [14] This company was formed on 18 October (26 days before the sale) and is headed by Lord Hesketh's brother-in-law Mark Westropp, a trustee of the Hesketh Family trusts.[13] [15]

Competitions[edit]

Track records[edit]

Final track records[edit]

[16]

Distance
metres
Greyhound Time Date Notes
260 Cloudbursting [17] 15.00 01.02.2015
480 Forest Twilight [18] 27.59 22.08.2015 Lowther Stakes final
480 hurdles Ballymac Manix [19] 28.38 24.06.2017 Champion Hurdle heats
500 Tyrur Shay [20] 28.72 09.06.2017 2017 English Greyhound Derby 2nd round
655 Billys Bullet [21] 38.90 08.02.2015
686 Rubys Rascal [22] 40.89 24.06.2017 Derby Stayers heat
906 Droopys Cottage [23] 55.17 08.08.2015 TV Trophy heats

Former track records[edit]

Distance
metres
Greyhound Time Date Notes
260 Razldazl Banjo 15.63 06.12.2014
260 Opus Star 15.54 13.12.2014
260 Mays Teejay 15.47 20.12.2014
260 Club Notes 15.46 27.12.2014
260 Leaveittome 15.30 03.01.2015
260 Mays Teejay 15.07 22.01.2015
480 Fairest Royal 28.55 06.12.2014
480 King Dec 28.46 06.12.2014
480 Killglen Chief 28.44 06.12.2014
480 Priests Place 28.41 12.12.2014
480 Ballymac Brogan 28.30 13.12.2014
480 King Dec 28.20 13.12.2014
480 Ballymac Mossjoe 28.09 22.01.2015
480 Blue Moment 27.91 22.01.2015
480 Domino Storm 27.84 02.01.2015
480 Forest Twilight 27.72 15.08.2015 Lowther Stakes heats
655 Billys Bullet 39.69 06.12.2014
655 Holdem Hawk 39.42 13.12.2014
686 Touch Tackle 41.91 06.12.2014
686 Vanrooney 41.55 13.12.2014
686 Black Francis 41.45 22.01.2015
686 Vanrooney 40.97 08.02.2015
906 Supreme Rossie 57.09 06.12.2014
906 Supreme Rossie 56.75 06.12.2014
906 Ribble Atom 55.46 25.07.2015 TV Trophy Trial Stakes
906 Ballymac Bonnie 55.29 08.08.2015 TV Trophy heats
485 H Razldazlnewstalk 28.41 18.08.2015

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Track Search". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  2. ^ "Towcester opens greyhound track in £15m redevelopment". BBC Sport.
  3. ^ "Results". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  4. ^ "Chelsea Glass GTA Trainers' Championship - Sittingbourne". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  5. ^ "Hutton again". Greyhound Star.
  6. ^ "Towcester are the champions". Greyhound Star.
  7. ^ "Latest News". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  8. ^ "Towcester set for green light to stage Greyhound Derby". Racing Post.
  9. ^ "2017 ECC TIMBER PUPPY DERBY". Towcester Stadium.
  10. ^ "Towcester gets the Oaks, Leger Stays at the Barr". Greyhound Star.
  11. ^ "Arc Schedule Released". Greyhound Star.
  12. ^ Barber, Bill (23 August 2018). "BHA to decide fate of Towcester fixtures as 134 staff are made redundant". Racing Post.
  13. ^ a b "Towcester racecourse assets sold to company linked to Hesketh family". Racing Post.
  14. ^ "SALE OF TOWCESTER – PRESS RELEASE FROM ADMINISTRATORS". Greyhound Star.
  15. ^ "Fermor Land LLP". Endole.
  16. ^ "Track records". Greyhound Data.
  17. ^ "260m track record". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  18. ^ "480m track record". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  19. ^ "Star Sports Champion Hurdle heat 2". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  20. ^ "Star Sports English Greyhound Derby 2nd round". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  21. ^ "655 track record result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  22. ^ "Star Sports Derby Stayers heat 1". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  23. ^ "906 track record result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.