Monmore Green – Sandra Ralph
Sandra has been a stalwart of Monmore Green for over 50 years, and has had a long and successful career with highlights including the 1998 Laurels at Belle Vue with Ardant Jimmy. Jimmy was the first Monmore Trained winner of a classic. The Produce Stakes winner, Robbie De Niro who was one the dogs of his era and was expertly handled by Sandra being one of her best known charges. She also had an English Derby semi finalist with Coney Grand. Later on, some of her favourite dogs she trained included Top Aim, Liscahane Razl who won many opens at Monmore aswell as Droopys Genie, who were all Monmore favourites.
Sandra’s career began at Monmore many years ago working as a kennel girl for Eddie Bamford. She then worked for Jack Simpson before taking over herself in 1989. She was one of Monmore’s leading trainers for many years throughout her time training. Sandra retired at the end of 2019 but is still heavily involved in the running of the Chris Fereday kennel. She paraded Tommys Dove on Derby final night this year, who won over the marathon distance. She is a recognised face in the industry and still maintains the same passion for the sport as she has had throughout her time training.
Crayford – Chief Ramsbottom
The latest inductee into the Crayford Hall Of Fame is a name familiar to many racegoers but most will not know why he’s such a Crayford legend.
Paul Tompsett bred many of his own runners and one such litter came from two of his own greyhounds, the sire was Giveusachance and the dam was Willow II and they were born on 1st April 1997 – the same day current racing manager Danny Rayment started working at Crayford!
The pick of the litter was undoubtably Chief Ramsbottom. At 19 months of age his trainer decided to try him over the hurdles and the rest is history.
He made his debut on 30th November 1998 in H3 company and he made an inauspicious start to his career as he failed to win in his first 20 races.
He retired almost four years later on 25th November 2002 having clocked up exactly 200 races all over the jumps and he tasted victory on 35 occasions, not a bad record considering the slow start he made.
He even managed a six bend hurdle race and a hurdle handicap early on when we still had the staggered starts.
After retiring Crayford quickly honoured Chief by naming the hurdle competition supporting the Golden Jacket after him and we’ve just celebrated the 20th running of his race.
Romford – Peter Todd
Having started his working career at Romford Stadium some 45 years ago in April 1977 Peter Todd is a true fixture of our stadium and an undeniable part of the Romford experience. From our owners, regular customers, colleagues and bookmakers to less frequent visitors everyone knows Pete.
Peter can always be found come rain or shine dutifully managing the car parks and asks for nothing except the occasional new traffic cone! It cannot be understated the scale of the changes he has witnessed throughout his tenure, having literally seen the stadium completely refurbished, but Peter has always been a welcome constant.
Though Peter does not take easily to thanks or compliments in recognition of four and a half decades of loyal service, we would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you for everything from all your friends at Romford and we look forward to all the years to come.
Hove – Wexford Minx
Wexford Minx, trained throughout her career by Derek Knight, is the latest inductee.
In the mid-1990s Wexford Minx, one of the most successful competition greyhounds based at Hove since the sport first went metric in 1975, contributed a huge amount in the showcase events and, in doing so, bringing great honour to her herself, her connections and Hove.
“She was purchased by owner Eamon Furlong, via a link with local greyhound racing enthusiast Frank Phillips, from leading Irish breeder Brenda Kennedy at her New Ross range in co. Wexford,” said trainer Derek Knight. “Wexford Minx hailed from a very good family and, in fact, she was a half-sister to future St Leger winner Ballarue Minx.”
August ’91 whelp Wexford Minx, a 26.5 kilo brindled bitch by 1987 Irish Champion Stakes victor Manorville Major-Ballarue Suzy, enjoyed her first major open-race triumph when continuing the trend of top-class open-race stayers by landing the 1993 Brighton Belle (515 metres) at Hove.
Derek Knight has a special affinity with the Ladbroke Golden Jacket, which since its inception over 660 metres at Harringay in 1975 before ITV’s World Of Sport cameras remains a particularly high-profile event staged at Crayford.
Wexford Minx, who engraved her name on the hallowed list of winners of the Ladbroke Golden Jacket over 714 metres at Crayford in 1994, made a successful defence of her title the following year and Knight heaped praise on the staying sensation.
“Wexford Minx was a lovely, genuine bitch with great versatility and she was impervious to trap draws,” he added. “I would unhesitatingly say that she was one of the best greyhounds that I have ever handled – we will always treasure her all-conquering feats on the track.”
The prestigious Greenwich Cup (555 metres) at Catford fell to Wexford in Minx, who also put up a high-class effort when runner-up to Decoy Cougar in the final of Hove’s Regency over 740 metres the same year, in 1994 and Derek Knight’s ace stayer made a triumphant return to the now-defunct South London venue by beating top-flight opposition in the Boxing Day Marathon (718 metres) at the end of the season.
Wexford Minx, from the same litter that also produced Ballarue Aaron, Ballarue Sally, Ballarue Star, Gwincy Wats Gold, Master Butcher, Slaney View Buzz and Slaney View Suzy, was the lynchpin of Derek Knight’s powerful trio of stayers – Coolmona Road and Ballymoth Tiger were the other representatives – in the one-off Trainers’ Championship meeting at Wimbledon in 1995.
The high-flying Wexford Minx, a greyhound for all seasons, deserves her place among a pantheon of Hove’s all-time greats