Emotional Time, trained by Monmore’s Gary Griffiths, is the ARC Graded Greyhound of the Year for 2022.

Owned by Mark Hampson, the August 20 daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Drumcrow Clara, impressed the GBGB judging panel for her record throughout the year.

Racing in memory of well-respected trainer Darren ‘Wal’ Hampson, Emotional Time competed in 26 races at Monmore winning ten of them in various grades from A8 to A2 and completing a four-timer in December. She has also finished second five times.

Tony Williamson, Monmore Racing Manager, said:

“Emotional Time has done really well, progressing through the grades in Gary Griffith’s first year as a contract trainer at Monmore. She is a great bitch and I am sure Darren is looking down smiling at the happiness Emotional time has brought to his family. Best of luck with her in 2023.”

Trainer Gary added:

“She is a joy to train. I purchased her as an unraced youngster for the family who wanted to keep the memory of Darren alive. Winning this award is a fitting honour to his memory.”

Owner Mark, and brother to Darren, said:

“I had closed the door on greyhound racing after losing my brother. He was a Belle Vue trainer for years, and I was kennelhand to him.

“I knew the time was right to come back to the sport, and I knew exactly what to call her as ‘Emotional Time’ was one of Darren’s favourite Hothouse Flowers songs.

“She’s given us all a spring in our step. I’m so lucky to own her and Gary and his team’s training performance has been absolutely first class.”

The judging panel were also keen to recognise the efforts of runner-up Decisive Giovani for his Sittingbourne owner and trainer Mark Fenwick, whose performances on the track resulted in 13 wins throughout the year. Joint third place went to Exve Delta for trainer David Mullins, and Offthe Line Sham trained by Allison Kelly-Pilgrim.

Duncan Gibson, GBGB’s Welfare and Integrity Manager and a member of the judging panel, said:

“Congratulations to the connections of Emotional Time. Her story is filled with emotion but is underpinned by some terrific performances on the track.

“A massive well done too to Decisive Giovanni, a standing dish round Sittingbourne over two and four bends, and David Mullins’ Exve Delta who has risen through the grades from A11 to A1. No mean feat.

“Offthe Line Sham has also been a model of consistency at Crayford throughout the year, with 15 successes, making him the most successful greyhound on the graded strength.

“As always, we were extremely impressed by the level of nominations put forward and thank all those tracks whose racing offices took the time to support their runners for the ARC Graded Greyhound of the Year Award for 2022.”