1959 Mullingar introduce a new 820 yard distance and managed to get sponsors for two eight bend races on the same card. The new marathon distance is the longest in operation on any Irish track.
1984 Spotty Mor was backed at 100-1 (£3,000-£30) to win an 874 metre marathon open at Bristol and duly obliged when returning at 50s. The Pete Swadden trained five year old beat Green Law (also 50-1) by a short head.
1947 Tote ticket forgery is proving a problem at many tracks. At one stadium, a punter was so concerned that his high dividend ticket might be considered a forgery that instead of handing it over at the tote window, he asked that he might present it to a supervisor. The stadium employee duly examined the ticket meticulously and decided that it was indeed genuine. It was only after the customer had left the stadium with over £200 (worth around £8,000 at today’s values) that it was discovered that the ticket was for the wrong result.
1959 Cheeky Robin, owned by the film magnate Lord Rank, wins the Irish Cup. It was a second victory in the event for the man behind the Rank Films organisation. He had previously won it with Deeside in 1932, who had been nominated by his brother. The peer, who was a guest of close friend Lord Dunraven, on whose grounds the event is staged, left without the cup shortly after the final. He explained: “It will be sent on to me. Just now it is being filled in an appropriate manner by my friends in Limerick.”
1969 130 enthusiasts attend the first meeting of the Greyhound Breeders Forum at the St Johns Ambulance Hall in Clapton. Vet David Poulter is the first chairman with Dr Dick Handley installed as treasurer.
1949 Wembley place an advert for entries for the 1949 American Greyhound Derby at Taunton in Massachusetts. It is ‘restricted’ to dogs whelped between 1944 and 1947! The 64 entries @ $200 will compete three times in six days over 525 yards. The winner collects $15,000 – which could have been exchanged to around £3,600 – that’s right, just over $4 to the £1! The same year’s English Derby winner collected £1,500.
1990 Brownies Outlook lands the £7,500 Arc Final by a length from Westmead Roman. Walthamstow announce that the tote turnover at the meeting was a record £205,000 (roughy £486K today).
1951 Smart Figaro was 100-30 when winning a 565 graded event at Willenhall on Friday night. Less than 24 hour later he came in as a reserve in a race at sister track Wolverhampton and won again. On Monday night it was back to Willenhall to complete a four-day hat-trick and he raced again, on the Thursday but could finish no better than second.
2009 Following hare problems and a delay the meeting, two of Sittingbourne’s three bookmakers decide to go home meaning three races did not have an SP returned.
1985 A change in the rules of racing allows the stewards to declare a race result, even if there has been outside interference in the race, provided they are satisfied that the result of the race would not have been affected.
1965 GRA announce a series of swathing cutbacks starting with the sacking of five trainers: Harry Buck (White City), Dick Clarke, Albert Jonas (Stamford Bridge) and Eric Hiscock, Jack Cooper (Harringay). The plan is that six of the remaining Northaw trainers will supply both Harringay and White City while another four will train for Stamford Bridge. Harry Back is the most experienced of all the handlers having started working for the company at Belle Vue in 1926 before joining White City in 1938. In addition to the trainers, two advertising executives are also dismissed.
1991 Construction multimillionaire Patsy Byrne (of Byrne Brothers) becomes a contract trainer at Wimbledon.
1949 Interesting winner – receiving three yards in a graded handicap at Perry Barr – Slaney Record. The Toseland trained runner, who two years earlier had reached an English Derby Final, will eventually go to stud and sire one of the most important dogs in breeding history, Hi There.
1959 Belle Vue’s Charlie Birch (44) is the new racing manager at White City (London) having held a similar position at the GRA’s Manchester equivalent. Birch had held the London role for a period in 1940 when Percy Brown was ‘called to colours’. Birch soon followed into the services and was a Japanese prisoner of war, an episode that resulted in an extended hospital stay prior to his return to GRA’s Northaw kennel.
Tony Howarth reminds us that Towcester was not the first horserace course to adopt greyhound racing on his great site Greyhound Racing Times