1969 Former NGRS track Rochdale, which has been operating as an independent for seven years, has closed. Landlords Rochdale Hornets declined to renew the lease.
1965 Police finally charge three men following the most famous betting coup ever carried out at a greyhound track. John Turner (37), a “general dealer” of Romford, company directors Terence Cooper (35) of Brentwood and Henry Cohen (40) of Hornchurch are accused of heading a gang of around 70 people to block tote windows in the execution of the previous year’s Dagenham Coup. It is believed that over 1,000 members of the bookmakers trade organisation, the National Sporting League, contested the pay-out which resulted in a dividend of £987 to a two shilling bet. In the meantime, Turner, holder of the only winning ticket on the race, launches as civil claim against Romford Stadiums Ltd, the owners of Dagenham.
1948 Wembley racegoers are invited to participate in the annual Racegoers Invitation Stakes. The track publish a list of all available runners on the strength and invite racegoers to put together “the most spectacular” race available. All entries are judged by racing manager Captain A E Brice. The winner will be a guest of the stadium on December 13 where they will watch their dream race take place and then present the trophy to the winner.
2011 Chris Allsopp hits the front for the umpteenth, but pivotal last time in the Trainers Championship, when Brittons Empire wins the Super Paws. The Monmore trainer is 12 points clear of Mark Wallis on 809 points. The gap will soon shorten to seven points when Charlie Lister leaps into second by landing the Oaks before Allsopp finally ‘finishes well’ with Drumcove Lad taking the National Sprint in December. The sixth and final place guaranteeing a slot in the Trainers Championship meeting is undecided until December 29 when Seamus Cahill has four winners against Childs two. Final points: 887 Chris Allsopp, 857 Mark Wallis, 850 Charlie Lister OBE, 386 Kelly Findlay, 383 Nick Savva, 373 Seamus Cahill, 369 Dean Childs
1978 Another Spatter (Barbadus-Small Spatter) is top lot at Shelbourne Sales at 1,425 guineas. He joins Joe Pickering and goes on to win the 1979 English Laurels.
1969 Cambridgeshire bred English Derby winner Chittering Clapton, now at stud, dies while undergoing an operation for a broken leg.
1946 The Daily Herald runs a story about Sidney Parkes, owner of the Wandsworth group of stadiums. It notes that after various taxes, Mr Parkes retained roughly £10,000 of the £430,000 made by the company in 1945. (To put the two figures into perspective – index linked they would equate to £348,000 and £14.9m). The article concludes “What a money making proposition dog racing is to the Labour Government” Greyhound owners are not sympathetic bombarding the racing press with complaints that winners at Mr Parkes’ tracks “receive no more than between £5 or £10”. (That’s index linked to between £175 and £350)
2003 Rye House – the track that opens and shuts more often than the lift doors in Debenhams – closes for the winter after a broken sewer floods the main car park.
2007 Two Romford graders are taken off parade for a graded race when a nearby fireworks party causes them great distress. The race goes off with four dogs.
1998 Harlow trainers are incensed with a huge rise in trial prices. Solos will cost £9. Two-dog trials will rise from £3 per runner to £4.50.
1957 Wimbledon racing manager Con Stevens tells the press of his discoveries when seeing greyhound action on holiday. Dismayed to learn that racing in Milan had been suspended, he visited two tracks in Barcelona “one of which is like an enclosed cockpit with a course of around 200 yards in circumference. The other is in the open with an enclosure along one side. At both tracks the runners race on sand. Welfare conditions for the greyhounds fall far short of British standards.” He also attended a little country track in The Hague.
1965 Rayleigh becomes the first ‘flap’ to become an associate member of the NGRC. It is the first NGRC track to race on sand.
1983 After proving sterile at stud, former British bred open race star Duke Of Hazzard (Silver Collar, Anglo-Irish, Breeders Forum Stakes, RU Scottish Derby) returns to racing for new trainer Bill Black.
1998 Armed robbers cashed in on the Stow’s Racing Post Festival when holding up security staff with a firearm and stealing bags of cash containing several thousand pounds in takings.