My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Ystrad Mynach – The best greyhound track in Wales

Years ago, the topic might have been which is the best track in Wales, sadly now only Ystrad Mynach (The Valley) in South Wales continues to race with other major tracks like Swansea, Cardiff and Bedwellty no longer in use. The Valley have recently hit the news with Harlow promoter Dave Barclay looking to purchase the site with the intention of running under Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) rules within the next 18 months.

The Valley is currently used as a flapping track, which means amateur trainers can run their own greyhounds every Saturday night when racing takes place. Once licensed by the GBGB professional trainers will take over with prize money and run money funded by high street bookmakers and media right sales. After years of amateur trainers keeping The Valley going there’s a hope that they will be allowed to enter open races or even add to the graded strength with runners each week. If you are looking for a list of Greyhound betting sites check out this guide. Here you can find the best bookmakers for all UK greyhound racing.

The project will need significant investment to meet requirements set to run under GBGB rules, on site kennels will need to be added along with the proposal of moving the racing office. Another potential issue is the current use of an inside hare at The Valley, if they switched to an outside hare the whole track may need to be moved in order to accommodate the new hare rail. There’s certainly a lot of work to be done but under the stewardship of Dave Barclay the Valley will be in good hands and will go from strength to strength.

The Hengoed venue opened in 1976 and races every Saturday evening, once regulated by the GBGB they are likely to race at least two or three times a week, this will require an influx of trainers who are able to travel and a huge increase in greyhounds to create a competitive graded strength.

There’s no doubting the potential at The Valley, the catchment area is huge with very little competition around, with the right investment and marketing it can become one of the go to places for family fun in South Wales.

Sadly, when talking about the best greyhound tracks in Wales its often about which tracks have closed down. The list is comprehensive, over the years many have closed down and have been built on, whether that be for housing or out of town shopping centres.

Swansea greyhound stadium opened in 1949 and closed in 2009, it was an unlicensed venue which hosted major events like the Swansea greyhound derby. It was a nice galloping track with a large circumference of 484 metres and featured running distances of 312 yards, 430 yards and 525 yards.

Cardiff greyhound stadium raced from 1927 until it closed in 1977. The last meeting was held on 30th July 1977 and attracted a crowd of just over 1100. After the closure of Cardiff only three flapping tracks remained with Swansea, Bedwelly and Ystrad Mynach (The Valley).