The British mainland is home to a wide variety of excellent greyhound stadiums, amongst the busiest of which is the Wolverhampton venue of Monmore Green. Whilst they don’t quite race every day at this West Midlands track, they give it a good go – with meetings taking place from Monday through to Saturday.
First opened back in 1928, the track has been a staple of the British greyhound scene for close to 100 years now. Owned and operated by the Ladbrokes Coral Group, Monmore is home to several valuable events, including the much coveted Trafalgar Cup, and the Ladbrokes Gold Cup.
Racegoers attending either a greyhound meeting, or one of the track’s popular speedway fixtures, will find an excellent three-tier grandstand featuring a bar on each floor, a snack bar, and a swish glass-fronted restaurant.
What’s On Offer at Monmore Green?
The biggest meetings of the Monmore Green week are those taking place on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Both cards feature 11 races, with the first getting underway a little after 6 pm, and the hare being set in motion for the last at around 9:15 pm.
The track’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday meetings are all afternoon affairs, consisting of 14 races and running from 2 pm through to 6 pm. Whilst these afternoon fixtures are popular with betting shop punters, they aren’t aimed at attracting the crowds to the track.
Standout events are plentiful at what is one of the UK’s more prestigious tracks, with highlights including the Ladbrokes Gold Cup, the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby, the Ladbrokes Festival 630s, the Ladbrokes Summer Cup, and the Trafalgar Cup for puppies.
In addition to the greyhound racing, Monmore Green is also home to one of the UK’s top Speedway teams. Originally founded in 1928, the Wolverhampton Wolves boast a trophy-laden history and regularly include individual world champions in their lineup.
The speedway season runs from March through to October, with the Wolves usually hosting their fixtures here on a Monday evening. For those looking to catch the Elite League outfit in action, tickets are priced at £19 for adults, £17 for students and OAPs, £8 for 13 to 18 year olds, and £1 for six to 12 year olds, with children under six going free.
- Sprint Distance – 210m – 264m
- Middle Distances – 460m – 480m (standard)
- Stayers Distance – 630m – 684m
- Marathon Distance – 835m – 880m – 900m
What Can You Expect?
Entry to the stadium is free of charge for the afternoon fixtures which tend to attract only a very small crowd. General admission for both the Thursday and Saturday evening meetings is priced at £6.00, with under 18s going free. General admission affords access to all main areas of the track barring the trackside restaurant and private suite areas, enabling racegoers to grab a drink from a selection of bars, or a bite to eat at the snack bar.
One of the most popular ticketing options at the track is that of the Party Pack. Priced at £12 for Thursday meetings, and £14 for Saturday fixtures, this deal includes entry, a racecard, two drinks, and a basket meal from the snack bar. Pop along to one of the track’s Bank Holiday meetings and all of the above is available for just £8.
If you are looking to watch the racing in style, why not book a table in the restaurant or secure one of the track’s private suites? Restaurant packages include admission, a racecard, a three-course meal, and tote and drinks table service. Adult prices for this deal are £26 on a Thursday and £30 on a Saturday. Under 12 restaurant prices are £14 on both days, with babies under two years of age charged £5. Those seeking a private suite are advised to contact the track in advance to discuss their requirements.
Those interested in personalising their race day, possibly for a special occasion, may wish to consider one of the track’s four celebration package deals. Priced at between £25 and £100, the packages include everything from naming a race, to presenting the trophy, photographs with winning connections and more.
How to Get There
The stadium address is Monmore Greyhound Stadium, Sutherland Avenue, Wolverhampton, WV2 2JJ. Whether travelling from the north or south, those driving to the track should navigate to the M6 before taking Junction 10 onto the A454 towards Wolverhampton. From there, turn onto the A41 which leads almost directly to the track. Upon arrival at the stadium, racegoers will find ample free parking available.
Wolverhampton Train Station is the closest to the track for rail travellers, lying in the city centre only around a mile from the stadium. Public transport options include the Metro service to Priestfield which is only a couple of minutes from the track, or the local bus services of the 53, 79 and A5, all of which stop nearby.
How to Get in Touch
- Tel: – 01902 452648
- Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: – @MonmoreDogs
What Else Do I Need to Know?
The first meeting at Monmore Green took place on the 11th of January, 1928. Organised by the newly established Midland Greyhound Racing Association, the venture proved to be an immediate success, with close to 10,000 punters turning up for that seven-race inaugural fixture. By 1935, the kennel facility had grown so large that the decision was taken to split the kennels in two, with half continuing to serve Monmore Green, and the other half assigned to the nearby track at Willenhall.
Midlands Puppy Derby
Unlike the majority of British greyhound tracks, Monmore Green managed to remain open for the majority of WWII. Rather than simply ticking over, this period saw the venue launch one of its biggest races, with the Midlands Puppy Championship making its debut in 1943. Later becoming the Midlands Puppy Derby, the race is now known as the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby. Remaining a big deal at Monmore, the race is still a little below the level of the similarly titled Puppy Derby which takes place at Wimbledon.
The 1963 Fire
The first real bump in the road came in 1963 courtesy of a ruinous fire which swept through the grandstand. Forced into closure whilst repairs were underway, the track made the most of this enforced break by undertaking several significant upgrades, including improved tiered viewing and a brand new glass-fronted restaurant.
Change of Hands
It seems these modernised facilities didn’t go unnoticed, with a company by the name of Totalisator and Greyhound Holdings (TGH) stepping in to purchase the site in 1970. Their tenure was to last only four years, however, as TGH was bought out by Ladbrokes in 1974, with the betting giant taking the stadium as part of the deal.
Bookmaker Afternoon Greyhound Service
The next notable moment in the history of the track came in 1981 when Monmore was chosen to stage the first ever Bookmaker Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) meeting. The aim of these new fixtures was not to attract fans to the stadium, but rather to create additional betting shop products, at a time when horse racing had been severely hit by the weather.
The track retained its prominent position during the 1990s, being selected to stage the prestigious Golden Jacket in 1986, and relaunching the pre-war event of the Midland Gold Cup in 1994.
More Recent News
Moving closer to modern times, Monmore continues to have its moments in the spotlight; winning the BAGS National Track Championship in 2011 – a year in which Monmore-based Chris Allsopp was also crowned champion trained. Signing a new deal with SIS in 2018, which sees the track stage racing six days a week, Monmore’s position as one of the busiest and most popular tracks doesn’t look like changing any time soon.