Please note changes to scheduled race times will be effective from May 20th 2024.


Farneys Willie Writes Grand Prix Fairytale For Richard Wales


20 April 2024

A part-time greyhound trainer from Rotherham who only had his license approved at the start of the year has achieved the unthinkable by winning one of the sport’s major races. 

Richard Wales stood on the top step of the podium with kennel star Farneys Willie who won the Category One Arena Racing Company Grand Prix at Sunderland Stadium on Friday evening, worth £12,500 to the winner. 

The 41-year-old operates a full-time boarding kennel to pay his bills. But with the support of wife Amanda, he took the leap of faith by purchasing two racing greyhounds at the beginning of the year. 

Less than three months after starting his training operation, Richard has now won one of UK greyhound racing’s most prestigious events – and his entire family was trackside to support him on his big night. 

“I can’t believe it,” said Richard. “To have a winner at this level so soon is amazing – for me this is the stuff of dreams. 

“I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my family so to have them trackside was very special. I’ve been attached to greyhound racing all my life, but this is special. 

“He (Farneys Willie) arrived in great condition when we purchased him and he’s really settled into his routine. Every week we felt he was getting better and better. 

“He trapped well when it counted and he showed great pace and character to stay on and win. Maybe we’ll come back next year to defend our crown!” 

Farneys Willie won Sunderland’s feature race from odds-on favourite Savana Heross by three-quarters-of-a-length with Agile Ange and Coppice Kaiser in third and fourth respectively. 

A quick break proved crucial for Richard’s Grand Prix champion, who won the 640m feature race in 39.33 seconds – an average speed of 36.40mph.

Elsewhere on the card there was local success in the Category Three Arena Racing Company 450 Final when crowd favourite Jonny Whiskers justified his position as favourite. Trained by Harry Burton, the Arena Racing Company Classic champion missed the break but ran on well to win from March On Frankie and Ballybough Mags. 

Greyhound racing continues at Sunderland Stadium through April and the summer with racing on Friday evenings and Sunday daytime. Tickets, trackside packages and restaurant bookings can be made by clicking here. 

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