Ambitious plans to turn Towcester into the Royal Ascot of greyhound racing have become a reality – with the sport’s biggest race coming to the track.
The £175,000 Star Sports Greyhound Derby is the pinnacle of the sport, with thousands of race-goers set to flock to Towcester on Saturday, July 1 to enjoy top-class action.
Six greyhounds from across the UK and Ireland will go head-to-head for the chance to be crowned the 2017 champion and the race, one of 14 on the card, is the biggest ever to be staged at Towcester.
Towcester chief executive Kevin Ackerman said: “Staging the Greyhound Derby is a huge honour for Towcester. When we first opened the track in 2014 we said we wanted to be the best in Britain – three years on we’re holding the biggest race in the world.”
The event will feature a live DJ set from Northamptonshire-based DJ Jo Whiley while a huge range of themed bars and a street food village.
Two roaming bands, Silk Street Jazz and The Ukes of Hazard, will entertain the crowds throughout the evening, making their way through the enclosures to add to the party atmosphere.
The total prize money for the big race, which will likely last just under 30 seconds, stands at £350,000, half of which will go to the winner.
A record crowd of around 10,000 is expected, with eight 80-seater coaches being laid on to provide free transport from Milton Keynes and Northampton. These can be booked on a first come, first served basis. Free parking is also available at the Racecourse.
Mr Ackerman added: “A night at the races is always an occasion to remember but this is a chance to be part of something special – a chance to see history made – and we can’t wait to see the best dogs in the world at Towcester.
“It’s going to be one big party from start to finish and everyone’s invited.”
Tickets, priced £20 for adults, are available to buy here while admission for under 16s is free. Hospitality packages including a four-course meal and private bar are available by calling 01327 353414.