2000 Australian greyhound racing is rocked by evidence given at the Independent Commission Against Corruption concerning the New South Wales senior steward Rodney Potter.
Potter, who had been exonerated years earlier of a previous charge of corruption, did not attend the hearings and had been given an armed guard after agreeing to come clean. The evidence against him was substantial and had been collated over many months using advanced surveillance techniques including bugging the vehicles of all the stewards.
The enquiry heard that Potter had:
– interfered with drugs samples by either swapping them or allowing the contents to leak away
– had interfered with the random dope testing procedure
– had tipped off trainers as to which dogs would be tested
– for $1,000 provided false sets of registration documents which allowed a ringer to be run at a meeting at Bulli. It won and was backed fromm 5-2 to 1-2f
– applied pressure on other stewards to help certain trainers
– accepted $100,000 in bribes from two top trainers, Ron Gill and Ken Howe
2002 After being told that they cannot broadcast racing from NGRC tracks, gobarkingmad.com show regular racing from Highgate.
1977 Preston racegoers besiege the judges box when only three of the four runners take part in a graded handicap. The race had been reduced to four runners by injuries, but one of the quartet declined to leave the traps. The management, rightly, refused to void the race, as instructed by NGRC rule 131.
1989 Bord nag Con announce that the 1989 Irish Derby will be seeded for the first time. In addition, they will introduce an American style points system with dogs running twice in the first round and the 36 highest points scorers qualifying for the next round.
2004 Jim Snowden is made redundant as general manager at Oxford. He will not be replaced.
1980 The NGRC showed rare lateral thinking when one of the five qualifying heats of the Midland Grand Prix was declared void due to a broken hare. The original plan was for all five heat winners to contest the final, but with only two days before the final, there was no time for a run-off. With only two runners declared fit from the void race, the stewards gave Leicester racing manager Mick Wheble permission to extend the final to six runners including both runners from the void heat. The result was unaffected with the first two places going to heat winners Dodford Bill and Westmead Prince.
1982 Local owners March to the Blackburn Council offices following the granting of planning permission to turn the independent track into a Tesco supermarket.
1960 ‘Malcolm’ the Greyhound Express tipster at New Cross selected all eight winners: 7-2, 9-4, 2-1, 7-4, 7-4, 7-4, 6-4 for combined odds of 4,561-1.
2007 The inaugural William Hill Festival of Racing is staged at Sunderland with more than £100,000 prize money on offer for one meeting. The highlight (lowlight) of the night came in the £40,000 William Hill Classic Final where Groovy Stan appeared to have the race at his mercy who chose to attack leader Mahers Boy who held on by a short head (Stan would have lost the race in the steward’s room anyway).
1956 Grand Reject wins the Circuit at Walthamstow for one of the sport’s great characters, Billy Fear. Billy had taken over the training of Reject from Stow trainer Marsh who was recovering from illness, but in a brief spell in charge would win his last competition in an incredible career. Born in Timsbury, near Bath, in the 1890s, Billy came from a successful coursing family. In 1911, he had moved to Russia where he trained coursing dogs for the Czar and won the Russian Waterloo Cup. He enlisted during the Great War and at the end of hostilities, he returned to assist his father Tom who was handling the ‘Melksham’ runners. In 1927, Billy became one of the original trainers at the newly opened London White City. He eventually moved on to become a private trainer with owners including Billy Chandler and then took over as kennel manager at Walthamstow Stadium. When he retired he was presented with a house by Charles Chandler. When asked to name the greatest tracker he had seen in his many years as a trainer, Billy nominated Magourna Reject, who, by coincidence was also the sire of Grand Reject.
1994 Droopys Sandy wins the Scottish Derby by nine lengths and takes 23 spots off Shawfield’s 500m track record.
1936 May 24. The draw for the English Grand National is made. There are three heats of four runners, and one heat of just three runners.
1953 Leading Irish sire Mad Tanist dies at the Celbridge kennel of Paddy Kelly aged 11. Among his progeny were Ballylanigan Tanist, Rushton Smutty, Sandown Champion, Carmodys Tanist, Quare Customer, and Polonius.