1959 Wimbledon grader Maureens Fawn clocked 40.83 for the 700 yards having recorded 42.34 in her only trial over the distance. In a long and complex bulletin comparing finishing speeds and winning times over the 500 yard course, racing manager Con Stevens exonerates trainer Paddy McEllistrim believing that the near 19 length improvement was due to the greyhound’s lack of experience. The bitch opened at 3-1 and returned at 5-1.
1948 A meeting at Newcastle White City was called off after two races when it became apparent that a number of dogs in those races had been doped. Saliva samples are taken from all runners
1969 Former Irish star Flaming King fails to equal the Florida win record of nine consecutive wins when beaten a neck.
1984 Romford racegoers are treated to a fantastic buckle as the track’s top two stayers contest a match race. It came about following Wheelers Tory’s three length defeat of Rathkenny Lassie in the recent Essex Vase Final with Tory clocking 35.45 for the 575 metres. The match proved altogether more competitive with Lassie getting the verdict by a neck in 35.48.
1974 Local grader Cosha Orchis (Own Pride-Monalee Wizard, Jul 72) sprang a 12-1 shock to win the £2,000 Scottish Derby for owner Mrs Jean Crichton. The Jimmy Meechan trained dog was only bought by publican Mrs Crichton the day before the event closed. He had previously been bought by the Shawfield Greyhound Racing Company, just four months earlier from Shelbourne Sales, for £300.
1959 Walt Disney announce plans to produce a film about Mick The Miller. Meanwhile an Irish filmmaker has plans for a film about coursing legend Master McGrath. Various tales exist about Master McGrath who won the 1869 and 1870 Waterloo Cups, was sensationally beaten in 1871 and won it again in 1872. They include a story that a fortnight before the ’71 final he was left in a room with an old boot and ate it. It is also said that he almost drowned with falling through the ice on the River Alt. Last, but not least, when famously presented to Queen Victoria, his lack of ‘house training’ became immediately apparent.
1969 There are three ‘McKennas’ in the Irish Derby Final. Kilbelin Grand and Finolas Yarn are handled by Gay McKenna; Own Pride is trained by cousin Ger. There was only a short head between Own Pride (29.40) and Finolas Yarn in the fastest semi and the form was franked in the £2,000 decider on August 9. Monalee Gambler led to halfway before Own Pride went clear to win in an excellent 29.20, a fifth Derby winner for his trainer. Kilbelin Grand, who never featured, died two days after the final from apparent heart failure.
1970 Own Pride starts favourite to land his second Irish Derby Final for Ger McKenna. The fastest semi finalist, he is drawn one in the final. However there is a natural evening up of things when the race goes to cousin Gay and Monalee Pride. The 29.28 winner is a full younger brother to the previous year’s runner-up.
1948 A widespread slump in tote betting following a rise in minimum stake to four shillings sees a host of London tracks hastily reverting back to two shilling units. (Allowing for inflation, two shillings in 1948 would be worth around £3.20 today)
1989 Trainer Paul Hennessy has Ireland’s most consistent grader – sort of! Clash Eile has built up a sequence eight races, finishing second.
1996 Following its introduction at Belle Vue and Hall Green, GRA bosss Clive Feltham announces that Catford could be the next venue for the controversial Bramich hare. He says: “As for Wimbledon, when we do introduce the Bramich, as we probably will, it will be when the sport has seen it in operation elsewhere and got used to the idea. At the end of the day, our engineers consider it to be the best in terms of maintenance and reliability – a safe pair of hands.”