When you think of the most exciting sports, greyhound racing isn’t necessarily the first one that comes to mind. After all, there are so many sports that enjoy widespread television and newspaper coverage, meaning that the action is almost unmissable, and as a result those sports gain more fans.
However, operating behind the curtain somewhat is greyhound racing, which still enjoys a loyal following among its diehard fans. Once the preserve of the working classes in the early to mid-20th Century, the sport has retreated slightly into more of a niche category, but it must be said that the core attributes of greyhound racing that made it so popular all those years ago still remain.
There are few sports where, once the action gets underway, human influence can have no bearing on the result. Yes, trainers can get their dogs in the best possible shape prior to race night, but once that starting gun goes off, it is all down to the greyhound. That unpredictability is a huge reason why greyhound racing remains popular, as people can study the form, place their greyhound bet on Betdaq, and still be sure of what’s going to unfold when the race gets underway.
That sense of the unknown is something you don’t get very often in sport. Indeed, a lot of times there is a clear favourite and underdog in sporting match-ups, so actually watching something where you don’t have the foggiest idea of what’s going to happen can be quite refreshing.
Then there is the sheer speed and power of these greyhounds. To see it on videos is one thing, but when you witness first-hand the rate of knots that dogs hurtle round the track at, you come to understand the thrill of this unique sport.
Amidst the madness there is a beauty too. The rhythm of the thundering greyhounds, sand kicking up behind them in a flurry of raw athletic excellence — this is something that no other sport can offer. Horse racing offers similar thrills, but in terms of speed and nimbleness, it can’t hold a candle to greyhound racing.
The sport is perhaps not as fashionable now as it once was. Decades ago, crowds would flock to their local tracks to watch the action unfold on race night, but now many greyhound racing venues have had to close. The pursuit has suffered as a result of the wide array of sport available to watch on our TVs, meaning it isn’t necessary to venture outside your home to get your sporting fix.
Now, greyhound racing is more of a niche pursuit, but that does not detract from the qualities that make it so exciting. If anything, there is a more exclusive feeling to proceedings as a result, and the loyal fans of the sport will always be there to cheer on their favourite greyhounds and trainers.
Next time you’re stuck for something to do one evening, why not gather up your mates and head down to your local greyhound tracks? You might discover just what it is that made this sport such a staple of times gone by.