‘Canine Shergar’ favourite to win world’s biggest greyhound race

Clares Rocket kidnapped in Tipperary last year in case reminiscent of famous racehorse

Towcester Racecourse has stepped up security after a greyhound recently kidnapped and held to ransom is now the red-hot favourite to win Saturday’s Star Sports English Greyhound Derby, world’s biggest dog race.

Clares Rocket was snatched from its kennel in Golden, Co Tipperary in December last year in a dramatic raid that brought back memories of equine star Shergar.

The story made headlines across Ireland and the UK as police hunted for the culprits, who demanded €1m for the dog’s safe return. The incident ended when the kidnappers were captured as they attempted to hand him over in return for the cash.

But in a remarkable twist of fortune, the dog has now emerged as favourite to win Saturday’s £350,000 competition.


While news of his appearance has excited racegoers, Towcester has moved quickly to ensure the safety of the star greyhound ahead of the event. The track’s security team has drafted in additional staff to guarantee the dog’s safety and there will now be a larger police presence on the night.

Kevin Ackerman, Chief Executive of Towcester Racecourse, said: “Punters are champing at the bit to see Clares Rocket in action, and we’re all excited to welcome him to Towcester this weekend. He’s a seriously talented greyhound and will attract attention everywhere he races.

“We have reviewed our security arrangements and no stone is being left unturned to make sure all the dogs involved in the Star Sports English Greyhound Derby are protected. Each dog will be escorted from the kennels to the track by its own verified security team and we have invested in an enhanced CCTV system to provide comprehensive coverage of the track.

“A night at the races is always an occasion to remember but this is a chance to be part of something special – a chance to see history made – and we can’t wait to see the best greyhounds in the world at Towcester.”