Published on 28 Apr 2022 9:54 pm (UK Time)
The 2022 greyhound racing season is in full swing, with 15 Category 1 finals having already taken place at the time of writing — including the Golden Jacket at Crayford, the Golden Sprint at Romford and the prestigious TV Trophy at Brighton and Hove.
But there’s still a long way to go in this exciting campaign, with the first round of the Greyhound Derby getting underway at Towcester in May before the much-anticipated final on June 25th, while there are still over 30 major races to be decided between now and the end of the year.
Of course, a lot can happen over the next seven or eight months. But with a fair amount of Category 1 finals already having taken centre stage, the Trainer of the Year Championship standings are beginning to take shape.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the standout trainers so far this year. Read on to find out more!
Probably the first name you’d expect to see on this list, 12-time champion trainer Mark Wallis is synonymous with the sport in Britain. And, at this very early stage of the campaign, the Imperial Kennels chief is well en route to a 13th title — leading his old rival Patrick Janssens by almost 150 points, at the time of writing.
Of his 74 winners so far this season, the standout picks have to be Ivy Hill Skyhigh, who won the £10,000 Blue Riband at Towcester, and Rail Mccoy — who prevailed on his status as the favourite in the greyhound betting markets to win the Golden Sprint.
It wouldn’t be a list of this year’s top trainers without the briefly aforementioned Janssens either! Having worked for Wallis’ kennels for nine years, the Belgian broke away to go solo in 2014 and his stock has really risen in recent years — with a Trainer of the Year triumph in 2020 and a maiden Greyhound Derby success last year up there with his most notable achievements.
Second to his old employer in the current standings, with 44 winners at the time of writing, Janssens has some ground to make up. But with his dogs often backed in the greyhound tips today, like Premier Greyhound Racing Puppy Derby winner and March’s Greyhound of the Month Deelish Frankie, it will be a close-run scrap.
Third in the standings, despite having just 24 winners so far this year, 2019 Trainer of the Year Angela Harrison is a dual Category 1 champion already this campaign.
Her prized bitch Coolavanny Aunty, who won the Empress Stake at Towcester last year,has helped prop her up the standings with victories in the Essex Vase, the first major final of 2022, and the Grand Prix.
It was actually back-to-back victories in the latter for Harrison, as Coolavanny Bani, who was denied successive wins in the Sunderland highlight when finishing second to her kennelmate Coolavanny Aunty earlier this month, won the Grand Prix last year.
Kevin Hutton, fourth in the standings thanks to wins in the British Breeders Stakes and the Midlands Sprint Trophy, has also had a great season thus far.