Rankin, from Scotland, began his tenure as a trainer in Wolverhampton two years ago – shortly after top-drawer performer Macie clinched the prestigious Ladbrokes Puppy Derby crown at the track that February.
She is now enjoying retirement, but her litter are now six months old and set to have a racing future, while a couple of pups from Macie’s sister, Jaguar Millie, are due to start trialling at Monmore in the coming weeks.
“Jaguar Macie was amazing – we couldn’t have asked for more from her,” said Rankin. “She won the Puppy Derby in February of 2021 at Monmore and then the Northern Puppy Derby at Newcastle just a couple of months later, leading her to being named Best Bitch at the Greyhound of the Year awards.
“She’ll never leave our kennels as she’s just been brilliant, and if her pups can be as good as her then we’ll be very lucky.
“We’ve also got Jaguar Millie’s pups coming through, so hopefully we’ve got some who will do quite well for us.
“It was shortly after Jaguar Macie won the Puppy Derby that I started as a contract trainer at Monmore.
“I spoke to the track and saw what the situation was. I started trialling dogs and within a few weeks, we then started here properly. I’ve enjoyed my time here at the track.”
Long-time trainer Rankin, along with travelling across the border, works it around his four-day-a-week job as a bricklayer.
But greyhounds are his passion and he had two winners this past Wednesday afternoon in Simpson Dylan and Jaguar Sam.
“It’s always nice to have a couple of winners but it’s not the be all and end all. The most important thing is the dogs are safe. I just want what’s best for the dogs,” added Rankin.
“I wake up every day at 5.30am to sort the dogs. Every day is catered for them because they’re the most important thing.”
Meanwhile, there are several trophy races at Monmore tonight and perhaps the pick of the bunch is Race Eight.
Gary Griffiths’ Becky the Boo will receive her Monmore Bitch of the Month award for January after the A1 race and will look to round off the occasion with a win.