2011 Farley Bitz heads the ante post betting for the bettor.com Scottish Derby at 6-1. Eventual winner Taylors Cruise is 36th on Ladbrokes ante post book at 66-1.
1989 The John Quigley trained Make History who won the Irish Derby and reached the English Derby final is voted Irish Greyhound of the Year for 2008.
2001 Trainer Tom Foster puts in the top bid of £800 for a date with Heartbeat’s Tricia Penrose, top attraction in an RGT fund raising night at Wimbledon.
1927 April 16 Manchester (they weren’t widely known as ‘Belle Vue’ at the time) and still Britain’s only greyhound track, hold their first meeting of the new year, just 24 hours after Celtic Park’s first meeting in Ireland. The six races all carry a winner’s prize of £10 (index linked to roughly £617).
1997 In an interview in the Star, Mick Smith, the owner of Blue Murlen, reckons he knew he had a world beater when the dog was still 10 months old. He says: “He’d had one handslip and had flown so we put him in a two-dog trial with a really useful dog with 29.70 on his card at Tralee. Murlen beat him ten lengths on the schooling track and we knew we had something out of the ordinary.”
1946 Among the regulars on the open race scene, the unusually named- C.S.
1996 A proposal by Crayford racing manager Paul Lawrence to decrease the ’28 day rule’ (the period beyond which inactive runners need to retrial) down to 21 days was defeated 20-14 at the racing manager’s conference.
2011 Kilkenny chairman Phil Meaney resigns from that role to become the new Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board replacing Dick O’Sullivan who departed two months previously.
1997 Irish stud keepers reach agreement to advertise on alternate weeks in the Sporting Press. The estimated £40,000 saving will be spent on race sponsorship.
1931 Major events in April. Spring Cup Final (Wembley), National Open Hurdles (Clapton), Spring Cup (West Ham), Greyhound Guineas (Perry Barr), Gold Cup (Wembley), Gold Cup – hurdles (Wimbledon).
1997 Lisheen Angel, who was led off the Perry Barr Sales bench unsold at 1,100 guineas, proves she was worth every penny when landing the Northern Oaks.
1969 GRA announce that they have 30% interests in Wimbledon and Walthamstow. There are already connections between the different companies with Wimbledon’s John Cearns and the Stow’s Charles Chandler already GRA directors. GRA currently have 13 tracks in outright ownership.
1998 El Tenor gets up close home to win the Grand National Final at Hall Green. It is the dog’s 52nd win in 109 races.
2011 Owner Daren Johnson completes his Give A Bit Back Challenge running and cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End. He raised approximately £20,000 to be split between Help For Heroes and the RGT.
1993 Hall Green vet Jean Jones receives a phone call from a hoaxer pretending to be an RSPCA inspector. He claims that Mrs Jones should not have allowed Kildare Slippy to contest the Grand National final as he was lame. The furious vet responds that the dog, who finished last, was sound when he went to traps but picked up an injury in a trouble strewn race.
1997 Lisglass Lass (Quare Rocket-Machern), one of the most successful middle distance bitches of her generation, dies from cancer aged seven. Her victories include the Irish Laurels, Waterford Guineas, Midland St Leger and Dundalk International.
1974 Westpark Mustard turns out for a £40 550 yard open race. She has won 11 races in a row and is backed to 2-5 favourite to make it 12 on the trot. Drawn in trap 5, she is well away, but in trap 6 is Brian Jay’s Secret Dusty, who flies from the traps and leads all the way until just before the winning line when Mustard just gets up to win by a length. Had the run in at Perry Barr not been so long – nearly 100 yards from the last bend to the winning line – it is doubtful if she would have had the time to catch Secret Dusty. After this, trainer Tom Johnstone keeps Mustard to 700 and 725 yards and she goes onto beat Mick The Miller’s record of 19 wins in a row later in the year.
1990 Trainer Tony Bullen is fined a third of the winner’s prize money after his £3,000 Bedfordshire Derby winner Seafield Skipper tests positive. The dog had returned at 40-1.
2000 Mildenhall trainer and lifelong Spurs fan Ted Liddle succumbs to cancer aged 67.