1985 A report commissioned by Bord na gCon into the management of the Irish Coursing Club makes a string of serious allegations of mismanagement which are refuted by administrator Joe Fitzpatrick. One of the most serious allegations made by the accountants related to “an expenses paid trip to Honolulu made by an ICC member of staff.” In a reply in the Sporting Press, Fitzpatrick explained that the ICC had accepted an invitation for a delegate – himself – to attend the World Greyhound Conference in Australia. It had been necessary to stay for two days in Hawaii in order not to breach the regulations of his Apex airline ticket.
1959 Bradford (Greenfield) stage what is believed to be the first triple dead heat ever declared. It features Lollypo (T2), Smokey Granville (T1) and Rathboro Viceroy (T6).
1975 John Sherry is to leave his position as head lad to Tom Johnston at Wembley to become a trainer in his own right at Walthamstow
1969 May 26 A new prefix appears on British racecards on the Bank Holiday morning card at Catford. 16 month old Westmead Villa (Maryville Hi-Pincano), trained by John Horsfall, runs third in a 570 yard graded race.
1972 Major Percy Brown, White City’s racing manager, retires. His position is taken by Arthur Aldridge. The charismatic Brown has been with GRA for over 40 years having started as a racing office clerk in 1930 and been appointed Belle Vue racing manager within a year. He was appointed White City RM in 1965 but had been organising the Derby since 1935. In 1938 he was famously presented with a gold cigarette case for having graded 2,000 consecutive races without an odds-on winner.
1975 June 10 Reading become the 42nd NGRC track when it opens on June 3. The town has been without a stadium since November 1973, though the new circuit is also on a new site in Bennett Road and was formerly a council rubbish tip. The new stadium has been built by local owner-trainer Bill Dore and Martin Haigh, formely at Cradley Heath, will be the racing manager.
1984 Independent Blackburn shuts down on June 1. The closure was inevitable following Tesco’s purchase of the Hill Street site two years earlier. Their subsequent victory over the planners led to the demise of Bolton’s sister track. Meanwhile Northumberland flap Ashington re-opens after many years of closure.
1946 Former Romford owner Fred Farey justifies his decision to become a private trainer when he sends out the 62 pound Mondays News to win the English Derby. Farey, described as ‘the right side of 40’ ran a successful catering business on the London-Colchester Road before the war but decided to give it up in 1943 to become a full-time trainer. He buys a kennel at Shenfield in Essex and is fortunate that it isn’t destroyed by dozens of V2 rockets that land in the town. Mondays News was originally sold with brother Mondays Times (winner Scottish Derby) by John Maher of Carrick On Suir for £75 at seven months old. He had been a grader at Harringay before joining Farey’s kennel.
2010 Trainers Ted Soppitt (£250) and Chris Lund (£500) are both fined for the positive sample returned by Droopys Del Sol. The bitch had tested positive for methylprednisolone while in Soppitt’s care but only 11 days after she had left Lund.
1951 White City install a second photo finish camera, located high in the grandstand, to assist the judge should the print from the ground level camera prove inconclusive.
2011 Romford trainer Peter Payne relinquishes his licence due to ill health. His kennel stars during that period include Demesne Bear (Scurry/Laurels), Brownies Outlook (Romford Puppy Cup), and Sullane Princess (Oaks).
1993 The British Greyhound Racing Trust Fund (late the BGRF) unveil their first ever budget. Of the £830,000 collected in the first year, £210,000 (25.3%) goes to drug testing/’Flying Squad’, a further £248,000 (29.9%) goes to chromatography. £180,000 (21.7%) goes in grants to tracks, £100,000 (18%) goes to prize money, £50,000 (9%) goes towards a national inter-track and £42,000 (5%) to the RGT. The prize money allocation is distributed ‘on a pro-rata basis’ states chairman Lord Kimball. “The smaller tracks each share at least £1,000!”
1984 GRA vet Bruce Prole carries out some of the first research on greyhounds in the UK using lasers. He concludes that they may have some benefit in recent acute injuries but appeared ineffective on older ailments.
1957 Bookmaker Richard Occleshaw of Wigan appears in court charged with conspiracy to defraud the public. The court heard that during a ‘sting operation’ a police office sat in the van belonging to Frank Hubbard, a trainer at Raikes Park, Bolton and heard Occleshaw attempt to persuade the trainer to ‘stop’ the dog by use of a double dose of a tonic.
2010 Beaten Derby favourite Toomaline Jack is quoted as the 4-5 ante post favourite to land the William Hill Grand National. He adds the hurdle record (28.96) to his flat track record in the heats and goes to traps at 2-5f for the final. However, he fails to finish in the final after sustaining a career ending gracillis injury. The race goes to 8-1 chance Plane Daddy.
1996 Peterborough spokesman Robert Perkins announces the result of a survey in which they asked local owners and trainers what they most wanted to see at Fengate. The most common request among the 114 questionaires was “of the replies received so was for a galloping track.”