- Address: Sutherland Ave, Monmore Green, Wolverhampton WV2 2JJ
- Telephone: 01902 452648
- Website: monmoregreyhounds.com
It is fair to say that greyhound racing remains a mostly working class form of entertainment, so it is perhaps no surprise that some of the more working class areas of the United Kingdom boast a dog track. Wolverhampton offers visitors the ability to watch both greyhound racing and speedway at Monmore Green Stadium, which opened its doors in 1928. Back then it was under the jurisdiction of the Midland Greyhound Racing Association, with the modern form of the venue being owned and operated by Ladbrokes Coral.
The result of the ownership of the track is that there are a number of major competitions hosted at the venue, most of which have the word ‘Ladbrokes’ in the title. The likes of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup, the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby and the the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic feature heavily on that list. It is a venue filled with history, including during the 1960s when a devastating fire destroyed the main grandstand and the track was closed for a long time whilst repairs were carried out. Racing takes place here on Thursday and Saturday evenings, as well as on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.
The Track & Facilities
As you’d expect from a greyhound stadium that is still operating at a time when the industry as a whole has been struggling, Monmore Green Stadium has decent facilities for people looking to attend a meeting. There is a car park and coach parking area that is free to use, for example, as well as a restaurant and bars. If you want to host a function here then you can, whilst parties and the like are always welcome. With enough room for 1,150 spectators, the likelihood is that there will always be room for you at the track.
Monmore Green’s track is 419 metres in length and the first bend comes after 103 metres. At the time of writing, races take place over the following distances:
- 210 Metres
- 264 Metres
- 416 Metres
- 480 Metres
- 630 Metres
- 684 Metres
- 835 Metres
- 900 Metres
- 480 Metre Hurdles
If you want to enjoy a meal in the restaurant then you’re advised to book in advance, though there are a number of other eating places around the venue. General admission is easy enough and it is free on the afternoons when racing is mainly taking place for the Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Service.
Major Races & Events
It isn’t a shock to learn that the top greyhound racing venues around the country offer some big races to help pull in the crowd. Monmore Green is no different, with the venue’s owners, Ladbrokes Coral, sponsoring many of the ones that are run on the track there. Here is a look at the biggest ones, giving you an indication of what sort of level of race takes place at the Wolverhampton stadium:
Ladbrokes Gold Cup
Run for the first time in 1994, the Ladbrokes Gold Cup was originally known as the Midland Gold Cup. Taking place over 480 metres on the sand track, the event has seen winners including the 1998 English Greyhound Derby champion Toms The Best and the winner of the same race in 2011, Taylors Sky. In 2021 the prize for the winner was £10,000, which is pretty impressive in greyhound racing terms. It has never been won with a time over 30 seconds, so expect it to reach its conclusion pretty quickly.
Ladbrokes Puppy Derby
As the name suggestions, this is a race that is aimed at juvenile greyhounds. The result is that it is only open to dogs aged between 15 and 24 months. When it was first run in 1943 it was known as the Midland Puppy Championship, later being renamed the Midland Puppy Derby before taking on its current moniker thanks to sponsorship. In 2022, the winning dog’s connections took home £20,000, which was a lot more than the winner of the Puppy Derby that is run at Towcester every year.
The only big race that takes place at the venue and doesn’t contain the name of the bookmaker that operates the stadium in its title, the Trafalgar Cup has been run since 1929. Another race that is only for puppies aged between 15 and 24 months, it is the oldest competition for puppies in the greyhound racing calendar. Contested at Wembley Stadium between 1929 and 1998, it moved to Oxford Stadium in 1999 before moving to its current location of Monmore Green in 2015. In 2021, the winning puppy got £2,500 in prize money.
Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic
Inaugurated in 2002, the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic is run over 630 metres. As the name implies, it is a race for stayers and usually lasts for around the 40 second mark. When it was first introduced, the race was run over 630 metres, briefly taking place over 684 metres in 2003 before being run at its current length since 2004. It has been sponsored by Ladbrokes ever since its introduction and has always been run at Monmore Green Stadium, offering the venue a race of its very own.
In the News
If you’ve read some of the other pages on the site then you’ll know that greyhound racing stadiums can be in the news for all sorts of different reasons. It is nice, therefore, when the only news story worth mentioning is about the fact that all eyes turned to the track to witness the Ladbrokes Winter finale in February of 2022. It is hardly a surprise that it was a popular race to watch, given the £10,000 that was on the line. Six of the best greyhounds in the county went head-to-head for the prize.
About Monmore Green Stadium
Monmore Green Stadium opened its doors for the first time as a greyhound racing venue in 1928, located as it was between the Great Western Railway line and a large sculptured park and gardens known as East Park. The official opening night came on the 11th of January, thanks to organisation from the Midland Greyhound Racing Association, with 10,000 people in attendance to watch the seven races take place. That included two hurdling events, whilst the Shirley Stakes was won by Arrow Tranby, a dog with odds of 6/1.
There was a large kennels on site, but in 1935, it was split into two different sections so that one half could service Willenhall Greyhound Stadium. Monmore defied the odds during the Second World War, remaining open whilst most around the country closed, even going so far as to introduce the Midland Puppy Championship in 1943. In the years that followed, the company that ran both Monmore Green and Willenhall had a policy of having joint Racing Managers to cover both sites, with Peter Cartwright replaced by Bob Harwood when he left to join the National Greyhound Racing Club.
Big Changes Are Introduced
In 1963, Monmore Green was hit by a devastating fire that left the track needing to close for a long period whilst repairs were carried out. During this time, the Midland Puppy Championship was briefly switched to Willenhall. The fire brought about big changes, including major investment in the grandstand and the introduction of a glass-fronted restaurant. The facilities were brought up to modern standards, which in turn, caught the interest of Totalisators and Greyhound Holdings, who bought it to add it to tracks that the company already owned.
Four years later and TGH was bought out by Ladbrokes, with the company also adding a new track at Perry Barr. 1981 saw the Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Service take place for the first time as a natural response to horse racing fixtures being devastated by bad weather. In the 1980s, the resident kennels were demolished and a contract trainer system was introduced instead. In 1986, the Classic race the Golden Jacket was held at Monmore Green before eventually finding its home at Crayford Stadium.
The Modern Stadium
Monmore Green Stadium underwent some changes in 1996, with a Swaffham hare being introduced to replace the Sumner one that had been used until that point. Minor improvements and upgrades came in the years that followed, but perhaps the biggest year for the venue came in 2011 when Chris Allsopp was named Champion Trainer and the venue became the home of the BAGS National Track Championship. Four years on and the prestigious Trafalgar Cup arrived at Monmore Green, where it has remained ever since.
A deal was signed with Satellite Information Services in 2018 in order to ensure that racing would take place every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. At the same time, races were scheduled for Thursday and Saturday evenings, which proved popular with greyhound lovers. That was also the year that the leading trainer Kevin Hutton arrived at Monmore Green, offering the track a sense of prestige and importance that it had been crying out for.
Here is a look at the races that are run at Monmore Green, including the track records for each of the distances:
|Distance||Record Time||Date Set|
|210 Metres||12.45 Seconds||8th May 2014|
|264 Metres||14.95 Seconds||8th September 2007|
|416 Metres||24.01 Seconds||4th December 2015|
|480 Metres||27.48 Seconds||28th June 2012|
|630 Metres*||37.07 Seconds||20th August 2007|
|684 Metres**||40.60 Seconds||29th May 2003|
|835 Metres||51.00 Seconds||17th August 2017|
|900 Metres***||55.00 Seconds||22nd May 2021|
|480 Metre Hurdles||28.88 Seconds||26th July 1999|
The record over 630 metres, marked with a * in the above table, was set during one of the heats for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup. The record over 684 metres, marked with a ** in the above table, was set during the Ladbrokes Summer Stayers Classic Final.
The record over 900 metres, marked with a *** in the above table, was set during the TV Trophy Final. That is a race that takes place annually, having been inaugurated in 1952, and takes place in a different venue each time.