Nottingham

Nottingham Greyhounds grandstand
alan feebery / Flickr.com

Located in the outskirts of the stadium that it is named after, Nottingham Greyhound Stadium opened in 1980, with a horse racing venue having existed on the site since 1892. It was renovated and expanded in 2008, bringing it in line with more modern stadiums around the United Kingdom. Racing is held in the evenings of Mondays and Fridays, with other racing also taking place on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. As you might expect for a track in such a big city, it hosts a number of prestigious events during the course of the year.

Nottingham previously had a stadium called White City, which hosted both greyhound racing and speedway, but that shut in 1970. The city still had a strong greyhound racing culture, however, which isn’t a surprise when you consider that White City Stadium had first opened in 1927. Nowadays, the city’s venue only hosts greyhound racing, with the speedway having fallen by the wayside. Owned and operated by Arena Racing Company, Nottingham Greyhound Stadium is only a mile from the city’s other big sporting venues like Trent Bridge Cricket Club.

The Track & Facilities

Nottingham Greyhounds running
Image thanks to Nottingham Greyhounds

If you’re hoping to get a bite to eat whilst you’re watching greyhound racing in Nottingham then you’re in luck; as well as a top-class restaurant, Nottingham Greyhound Stadium also boasts a snack bar. There are three bars at which to get a drink, whilst any people or businesses that want to host a corporate hospitality even will be able to do so. As you’d imagine in this day and age, there is plenty of on-site parking for both people and buses, meaning large groups are welcome to attend the venue in order to enjoy everything that a night at the dogs has to offer.

There is enough room for 1,500 spectators at the venue, so the likelihood is that you’ll be able to attend pretty much any meeting that is held there. You can get food and drink trackside if you don’t want to miss out on any of the action, so there is plenty to look forward to during your trip. Here are the distances that the races are run over at the time of writing:

  • 255 Metres
  • 305 Metres
  • 480 Metres
  • 500 Metres
  • 680 Metres
  • 730 Metres
  • 905 Metres
  • 925 Metres

The track used to have a 500 metre hurdle race, but that hasn’t been run for some years and is unlikely to make a return any time soon.

Major Races & Events

Views of Nottingham Greyhounds
Alan Murray-Rust / geograph.org.uk

The biggest greyhound racing courses in the country have some prestigious races that are run on them and Nottingham is no exception. Of course, some races go in and out of fashion so are closely associated with a venue but no longer take place. For Nottingham, an example of this would be the Guineas, which was first run as the One Thousand Guineas at Park Royal Stadium but took place at numerous locations before ending up at Nottingham in 2003. It was discontinued in 2010, so here’s a look at the races that are still going:

Select Stakes

Inaugurated in 1952, the Select Stakes was run at Wembley Stadium between 1952 and 1996. It has been run at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium since 1997, thanks in no small part to the closure of Wembley Stadium. It is an invitation only race, meaning that the quality is very high. Run on the sand surface of the stadium over a distance of 500 metres, the winning dog’s connections picked up prize money of £7,500 in 2021. Some well-known dogs have won the event over the years, including the likes of Endless Gossip, Some Picture and Mile Bush Pride, who won it back-to-back in 1958 and 1959.

Puppy Classic

There are a number of races for puppies run around the country, with the one that takes place at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium being inaugurated in 1995. It is, as the name suggests, only open to dogs aged between 15 and 24 months, who are asked to run a race that is 500 metres in length on the course’s sand surface. In 2021, the winning dog’s connections received £6,500 in prize money. As you might imagine, the dogs that run in the race are just starting out on their greyhound racing journey.

British Breeders Stakes

Formerly known as the British Breeders Forum Produce Stakes, this greyhound race was inaugurated at Harringay Stadium back in 1983. It moved around several times before finding a home at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium when the Greyhound Racing Association allowed the venue to have the rights in 2009. Interestingly, it should have been held at Wembley in 1993 but was switched to Hall Green Stadium because Madonna was hosting a concert. Run over 500 metres, the winner takes home about £10,000.

Eclipse

A race that began life at Lythalls Lane Stadium in Coventry in 1938, the Eclipse ended for three years when that venue closed permanently in 1964. It was revived at Kings Heath Stadium but when that closed in 1971 it was shifted to Hall Green Stadium before returning to its roots in the city of Coventry at Brandon Stadium. Coventry stopped having greyhound racing in 1986, which is why it ended up in Nottingham. The race takes place over 500 metres and previous winners include dogs like Ballynennan Moon and Some Picture.

National Sprint

Run over 305 metres, this race is for dogs that tend to be quick over short distances. The winner can expect to receive about £5,000 in prize money. It was first run at Clapton Stadium in 1953 but moved to Portsmouth Stadium when Clapton closed in 1974. Its time in Portsmouth was short-lived, being switched to Harringay Stadium until that closed down in 1987. It then didn’t take place for a couple of years, eventually returning when Nottingham decided to bring it back in 1990, taking place there ever since.

In the News

One of the biggest pieces of news about Nottingham Greyhound Stadium came about in February of 2020 when it was confirmed that the family that had previously owned it, the Cordens, would be selling it to a national operator, Arena Racing Company. Sometimes, though, news is of a more personal nature, which is what happened when a Nottingham-based syndicate bought a greyhound to honour their friend’s memory. The 67-strong syndicate bought the dog after their friend, Micky Barrett, died from cancer, bringing him over from Ireland to be trained by Nottingham’s Jason Gray.

About Nottingham Greyhounds

Nottingham Greyhounds running
Image thanks to Nottingham Greyhounds

White City Stadium in Nottingham had hosted greyhound racing events since 1927, so when it was closed in 1970 there were many people based in the city that suddenly had nowhere that they could get on with what they’d been doing for decades. Members of the Severn and Trent Greyhound Clubs kept themselves in the thoughts of the council, so plans soon began to emerge for a new greyhound racing track. The idea was that it could be built within the Nottingham Racecourse track, keeping the sports closely aligned.

Horse racing had taken place at the site since 1892, west of the village of Colwick, so it made sense for any new stadium for greyhound racing to also take place there. The track opened on the 24th of January 1980, situated to the north of the horse track where a car park had previously been. The track’s circumference was 442 metres, being thought of as a good galloping track thanks to its long straights. More than 2,000 people attended the first meeting.

Investment Allowed for Improvement

The stadium saw an initial investment of £250,000 pumped into it, which allowed for a new Panorama Room to be built with a restaurant and totalisator. Jim Woods was installed as the first Racing Manager, joined by Terry Meynell as the first Director of Racing. Racing was on Monday, Thursday and Saturday evenings to begin with and the track was appealing enough to bring some of the sport’s best runners to it. One such dog was Ballyregan Bob, winning two races at Nottingham during his record-breaking run.

Terry Corden took control of the track from Wiseville Limited in 1988, having recently sold nearby Derby Greyhound Stadium and enjoyed some success during the property boom. The National Sprint was introduced to the track in 1990, with the prestigious event having struggled to find a home in the wake of Harringay Stadium’s closure. When Wembley Stadium closed in 1996, Nottingham reaped the benefits, welcoming the Select Stakes. Charlie Lister, who was based in Nottingham, won the English and Scottish Greyhound Derbies with Some Picture.

The Stadium in the 21st Century

Voted Central Region Racecourse of the Year in 1998-1999, Nottingham Greyhound Stadium repeated the trick for 2001-2002, ensuring that the new millennium got underway as the previous one had ended. A year later and an outlay of £250,000 allowed for the introduction of a new kennel range, whilst Terry Corden decided to bring his daughter, Rachel, and his son, Nathan, into the business. The Produce Stakes, which had previously been run at Hall Green Stadium, shifted to Nottingham in 2009, ensuring its constant improvement.

A deal was signed with Arena Racing Company in 2018, which ensured that racing could take place each Monday and Friday evening as well as on Tuesday afternoons. In 2019 the track was chosen to host the English Greyhound Derby after Towcester Greyhound Stadium closed, moving back when Towcester re-opened. In 2020 came the biggest change for decades when Nottingham Greyhound Stadium Limited agreed to sell the venue to ARC. Rachel Corden was kept on as the ARC Greyhound Operations Director.

Track Records

Here is a look at the records that have been posted for the distances that are run at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium:

Distance Record Time Date Set
255 Metres 14.84 Seconds 18th August 2014
305 Metres 17.34 Seconds 2nd June 2014
480 Metres 28.07 Seconds 15th July 2014
500 Metres 29.05 Seconds 25th May 2019
680 Metres 41.06 Seconds 4th March 2013
730 Metres 44.11 Seconds 15th July 2014
885 Metres 55.68 Seconds 27th July 2004
905 Metres 56.48 Seconds 18th November 2014
925 Metres 57.86 Seconds 18th November 2013