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    Bonville Kennels Triumph: Three Greyhounds Advance to Derby Quarter-Finals
Bonville Kennels Triumph: Three Greyhounds Advance to Derby Quarter-Finals
Greyhound. Source: Midjourney

Bonville Kennels Triumph: Three Greyhounds Advance to Derby Quarter-Finals

Excitement is palpable at Maxine Locke’s Bonville Kennels in Essex, as three of their greyhounds have advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2024 Star Sports English Greyhound Derby at Towcester last Saturday.

Maxine Locke has a storied history in greyhound racing, having been introduced to the sport by her father, an enthusiast of both horse and greyhound racing, at the age of 15. Her passion for the sport deepened in her late teens, leading her to acquire her Professional Greyhound Trainer license at 19. Based at Romford Stadium, Maxine has trained numerous Derby contenders over the years, but had not seen one of her dogs race in the event since 2019.

This year marks a significant turnaround for Maxine and her team. With a strong contingent of six greyhounds entered into the competition, three—Droopys Pivotel, Coss Tokyo, and Cooliogold—have successfully navigated the tough early rounds to secure their places in the quarter-finals. The achievement has brought immense joy and pride to Maxine and her kennel staff.

Historically, a female trainer has not won the Derby since Dolores Ruth triumphed with Shanless Slippy in 1996. However, Maxine and her all-women team are among several women-led squads aiming for success in this year's event. Liz McNair's King Memphis remains the favourite, but the competition is fierce.

Reflecting on her Derby journey so far, Maxine shared her thoughts:

“We are all dreaming at the minute as we really didn’t expect this success coming into the Derby this year. I’m so proud of our greyhounds who have run their hearts out each week of the competition.

“Whether we are able to join the crowds at Towcester to see them race, or we are watching them on the livestream, it’s very emotional to see the greyhounds we’ve trained and cared for run so well and reach their full potential. Especially after Cooliogold wasn’t able to enter last year, it’s exciting to see him finally able to race at the highest level of our sport.

“Even with some tough competition in this weekend’s Quarter Final, I’m sure it will be an exciting weekend of racing for our team, and I’m hopeful that we will have some semi-finalists in the kennels!”

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