Greyhound racing is a straightforward sport. It involves racing dogs around a track. On these racetracks, a synthetic lure—typically a type of windsock—travels on a rail in front of the greyhounds until they cross the finish line.
When we talk about greyhounds, Ireland and England are the major regions where these competitions usually occur. But did you know that there is a greyhound racing track in Wales?
The Valley Greyhound Track
When the Swansea Greyhound Stadium closed in 2007, the Valley track—located on the east bank of the Rhymney River and along Twyn Road in Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, Wales—became the country’s last active dog racing track. They frequently hold races of 310, 515, and 720 yards on a circuit with a radius of 410 yards. The racetrack occasionally hosts races like the 100-Yard Dash.
It’s also a reasonably priced location to visit; for only £5, bettors can watch and bet on greyhounds’ races over a sand track. If you are a dog race enthusiast yourself, more information can be found here concerning the best greyhound betting sites to use when wagering on the events held at the Valley Greyhound track.
In light of this, it is up to us to highlight some of the significant histories that the Valley Greyhound track has.
The History of the Valley Greyhound Stadium
Choosing where to begin while discussing the history of Valley Greyhound Stadium can be challenging. Simply said, there is just too much history to discuss and comprehend in just a few hundred words.
The opening of the racecourse on July 20, 1976, is a day that all Welsh natives will always remember. A dog named “Boss” was the event’s first winner that day. He set a world record by winning the sprint race over 310 yards in under 20 seconds.
The stadium underwent considerable restoration in 2011, adding a fully licensed bar, a lounge, TV race-replay monitors, and panoramic viewing.
After the Rhymney River breached its banks in 2020, flooding led to a brief closure. However, to help fix the track and repaint the stadium, the owners and fans of the greyhounds donated their time and resources.
The stadium reopened three weeks later. The stadium had to be closed for 161 days in 2021 due to limitations the government had in place to fight the coronavirus. The first post-lockdown gathering was sold out upon reopening on May 22, 2021.
The English Greyhound Derby’s sponsors, Star Sports Bookmakers, revealed their interest in purchasing the stadium in October 2019, with plans to have it open as a licensed track for the Greyhound Board of Great Britain by 2021. The discourse was abandoned, nevertheless, due to the economic catastrophe brought on by the COVID pandemic in 2020.
Harlow Stadium owner and promoter Dave Barclay purchased the Valley Greyhound Stadium, in December 2021 with plans to have it open as a licensed track by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) by 2023. In the meantime, weekly independent greyhound racing continues to be held at the stadium.
Here are some of the popular events held at the Valley Greyhound track in Wales.
The Glamorgan Cup is the main event at the Valley greyhound racetrack. Surprisingly, it is Wales’ greatest event and is typically held in February. The distance covered by the greyhounds in this race is 515 yards, or slightly over one full length of the track.
The Welsh Greyhound Derby
The Welsh Greyhound Derby was formerly a traditional greyhound competition conducted in Wales and is still a hugely popular event there, but not nearly as popular as the Irish Greyhound Derby, English Greyhound Derby, or the Scottish Greyhound Derby.
From 1928 to 1937, it was hosted at Cardiff’s White City Stadium. From 1945 through 1977, the event was held in the Cardiff Arms Park following the closure of this stadium. It became a classic in 1971.
The race was discontinued because Wales had no other fully approved National Greyhound Racing Club track when Cardiff Arms Park stopped hosting greyhound races. The event, together with the English Greyhound Derby and Scottish Greyhound Derby, was a component of the triple crown of racing throughout the entire portion of its history.
The competition was won in 1930 by the well-known Mick the Miller, who became well-known during the 1930s.
However, in general, people at a track like this get excited about more than just the major events; they also get excited about the daily races that the Valley greyhounds run. In addition to Thursdays and Sundays, they also like to host races on significant holidays, such as the well-known Boxing Day meet.
It is the sole independent greyhound dog-racing track left in Wales which is not affiliated with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain. It’s licensed by the Wales local authority.
Local greyhounds compete in independent racing, also referred to as “flapping,” at nearby tracks. One of just three independent (unaffiliated with a regulatory body) greyhound tracks left in the UK is the Valley Greyhound Stadium.
Wales’s last greyhound track is the Valley Greyhound racetrack. It remains one of the best and least expensive family fun nights out in the South Wales valleys, with racing taking place every Thursday and Saturday night and approximately 100 greyhounds on the field at any given time.
Make it a commitment to attend one of the greyhound racing nights and have firsthand experience of what the event has. You will definitely enjoy as you place those greyhound bets.