We had a surplus of April stories last month – here are the remainder. May recollections will start next Sunday.
1928 April 28 – the NGRC is created with 43 member tracks.
2008 Frank Wright, formerly an assistant to Martin Burt, returns to the Monmore as a contract trainer after switching from Coventry.
1965 The NGRC introduces its ‘associate member’ scheme. It will allow independent tracks to race under the NGRC’s C-licence rules.
1947 A 14 month fawn sapling fetches the top price at Aldridges sapling auctions at 140 guineas (roughly £6,670 at current prices). Bred by Surrey farmer Mr J E Hawkins, the unnamed pup is from a litter of seven pups by Tarmion out of Glasha Beauty who make a combined 632gns (roughly £26,600).
1970 Sister tracks Hackney and Hendon are the latest tracks to introduce chromatography testing.
1963 The recently formed Greyhound Owners Association holds its first function at the Café Royal in London. A rival to the previously established BGBOA who stage the annual awards, the GOA’s dinner is sold out with 300 bookings. Its chairman is owner trainer Frank Sanderson, the owner of the Beaverwood Country Club.
2009 Walthamstow’s former owners association officially opens its Barley Greyhound Kennel, former base of trainer Mick Puzey.
1950 The NGRC annual report confirms that there are currently 77 racecourses operating under its rules. In an attempt to aid British breeding the club announce that the registration cost “for any greyhound other than a British bred” will rise from 10 shillings to 30 shillings (approx £54 today’s rate).
2001 Ladbrokes offering prices on the Scottish Derby make English Derby hero RABID RANGER, a 3-1 chance.
1966 A change in NGRC rules will allow private trainers to trial their runners during the registration period. Until now, this facility was only offered to track trainers.
1958 GRA announce that for the benefit of the greyhounds, all lures will now be brown, instead of white. However, in an attempt to aid the hare driver, the hare will have a white stripe along its side
2009 Punters slammed into Charlie Lister’s Ninja Jamie (2-1 to 5-4f) in the Scottish Derby third round. He finished third, beaten by litter/kennel mate Farloe Reason (7-2) who clocked the fastest time of the night – 28.71.
2009 After 72 years of Monday night fixtures, Crayford drop the night in favour of Fridays.
1993 Lord Kimball announces the first wave of payments to be made from the new Greyhound Racing Trust Fund. The chairman of the organisation that will become the BGRF. The Fund expect receipts of around £2m in its first year and the NGRC are to be given £130,000 to increase its random drug testing programme. Mark Glennerster, the NAGO representative on the BGRB intends to apply for £1,000 per month for sweepstakes at each of the 37 NGRC tracks.
1968 Connections announce the retirement of Monalee Champion who broke a toe in his final stayers race at Harringay on March 18. He will join Jack Mullan in Newry for his stud career.
2009 Hull racegoers fear the worst when the track cuts back to one meeting per week.
1969 Following a string of complaints from British owners, Bord na gCon will offer a free information service advising of ‘most recent form’ recorded for any greyhound.
1975 There is a British bred tricast in the BBC TV Trophy Final at Wolverhampton. The winner is Lizzies Girl (Newdown Heather-Knock Rose), jointly owned and bred by Epsom racehorse trainer Ron Smyth and trained by former international show jumper Ted Williams. The 7-4jf beats Silver Lipstick by a neck in a new track record opf 52.16 for the 815m with McArthur Pride in third.
1962 At Stamford Bridge, three races are televised live on Channel 9 by Associated Rediffusion Television – remember them?
1996 American vet Mark Bloomberg reveals results of a five year injury study carried out at 16 tracks in the USA. Of the 1,269 injuries, 562 (44%) are tarsus and 167 (13.1%) are to metatarsus (most trainers would consider both of them as hock injuries). Wrist injuries accounted for only 7% of the total. Just under 10% were muscle injuries. The study also concluded that 57% on injuries occur on the bends, that the better class dogs were more likely to become injured but race time or trap position appeared irrelevant.
1993 The evening opening of betting shops – beyond 6.30pm – gets under way. The NGRC will collect an extra £80,000 in special licence fees. They earn around £400,000 (£114 per race) from the daytime meetings. The first two tracks on the service are Brough Park and Monmore with racing finishing a few minutes before 8pm.
1969 Ace Of Trumps breaks the Romford 460 yard track record in a graded race. The form is soon validated when the John Coleman trained dog lands the Scurry Gold Cup.
1965 The hugely popular News of the World Inter-track loses its sponsor. They are rumoured to be disappointed with the publicity generated by the event. The news nevertheless comes as a shock since the paper owns Greyhound Express and one of its directors, Clive Carr, is an NGRC steward.