1985 Clive Feltham is appointed as the new General Manager at Hall Green.
1973 Irish training legend Dick Ryan, three times a Waterloo Cup winner, lands his first Irish Coursing Derby with Near You Sir. It is the fourth time in five years that Newdown Heather has sired the Derby winner. The Oaks goes to Move Duchess owned by Dympna Reddan
1935 After three victories in eight days and including a track record, the first Greyhound Express Silver Collar was presented to A J Dearman’s Cameronian (bk d Decadence-Red Robin, Jan 31). This monthly award is presented to the best performance put up by any greyhound in the country on the track or coursing field.
1956 February 18 Charlton Athletic are playing Arsenal in an FA Cup tie at the Valley. After the match hundreds of people decide to take in the last race at the greyhound track around the corner. This results in the tote forecast soaring to 12,000 units, double what earlier races took. This was not Charlton’s only gain. The car park at two shillings (10p) was full long before the meeting began with football fans cars, forcing regular punters who arrived late to park in nearby streets.
2005 The NGRC and Betfair sign a memorandum of understanding. It will allow the Club to request information on betting activity in any race.
1968 Duggie Tyler publishes his Derby ante post book. Joint 20-1 favourites are As You Wish, Shady Parachute and Nancys Flash. Parachute makes the final but is beaten by Camira Flash who is 25-1 in Tyler’s book but will still be a 100-8 chance on final night.
1949 Joseph Lilley of Doncaster Road, Barnsley is found guilty of stealing a greyhound from Euston Station. The dog was chained to railing en route for Tipperary when Lilley, who was drunk, decided to take it. He is ordered to pay £25 or face two months in prison. He was also fined 20 shillings or seven days for stealing the dog’s collar.
2018 Droopys Verve wins a trialstake for the Ladbrokes Puppy Derby in 28.26 (-30) for Monmore’s 480m. It is only the third race of his career with assistant trainer Jimmy Wright rating to 20 month old pups as “as good as we’ve had.”
1964 The Irish Federation of Owners Associations are lobbying Bord na gCon over the over-production of greyhounds. 3,840 litters were registered in 1963/4. 15 years later, that figure was over 5,000.
1947 Bristol’s Eastville Stadium reported a reduction in their racing strength under the single line ‘Departures – Mountford Quiver – escaped from kennels’. Despite a widespread search, including the offer of a substantial reward, there was no sign of the young bitch for 16 days. She then returned to the stadium kennels of her own accord, in good health, despite one of the worst winters in years, but presumably bored with a diet of free range rabbits.
2001 Independent racing lost one of its most important venues with the closure of Whitwood.
1982 Tote and attendance figures for 1981 reveal that Walthamstow overtook White City for the first time in terms of tote turnover. The East London track returned £8,053,000, around £170K more than its West London counterpart. In fact, the Stow’s turnover was lower than the previous year in what was to prove a very bad year in general. Attendances at the NGRC’s 46 tracks were down 9.1% to £4,943,396.
2013 Farloe Tango stops chasing in a solo trial soon after leaving the traps at Nottingham. He had also failed to chase in a trial four months earlier.
1964 Veteran open race star and track record breaker Bowe Princess finally loses her cool and is disqualified for fighting when just four months short of her fifth birthday.
1957 Sir Arthur J Elvin MBE, the man who ‘made’ Wembley Stadium dies aged 57. From humble beginnings, Elvin and wife Jean started out as employees running a cigarette booth at the stadium. They decided to buy ten booths for the length of the British Empire Exhibition. It was a lucrative plan. At the end of the exhibition, Wembley was deemed not lucrative and was sold to entrepreneur James White. Elvin won the contract to demolish the site. He also bought the outbuildings which he gutted and sold for scrap. By now he had made enough cash to put down a 10% deposit to buy the stadium for a total of £122,500. James White died soon afterwards and the stadium went to the official receiver. It was agreed that Elvin could still buy the stadium, but he had to raise cash. He found investors and set up a new company with himself as managing director. The stadium never looked back. Elvin introduced the new sporting sensation – greyhound racing which attracted a crowd of 50,000 for its first meeting. He would also bring in football and then speedway. In 1934 he built the Empire Pool and Arena and was able to introduce ice hockey, ice shows, tennis and boxing. Of all of them – greyhound racing was his favourite. He and Lady Elvin never missed a meeting. Sir Arthur devised the wire racing muzzle, stayers racing and open race sweepstakes. Retired greyhounds ‘over ran’ his home. Rather than have any to put to sleep, he forbade his wife from buying any more. Sir Arthur died while taking a cruising holiday in an attempt to overcome “illness”. He was buried at sea off the coast of Medeira. However, at a memorial service at Wembley Town Hall shortly afterwards – there was no church in the area big enough to hold the assembled throng – the Lord Bishop of Chester considered the life of a ‘perfectionist’. He hinted of an obsessively driven and unhappy man. He said ‘Perhaps in creating this vast empire of sporting enterprise, he created a monster which destroyed him’
1949 White City announce that the 1949 English Derby will be open for 48 runners, rather than the 36 of the previous year.
1985 Former Wembley trainer Bob Burls has died aged 81. The man who sent out four St Leger winners remained a Wembley trainer from 1927 until the track introduced contract trainers in 1973.
1973 Bletchley reveal that new arrival Seldom Sober is the biggest greyhound ever to have raced at the track. He bends the scales at 93lbs (42.2kg).
2001 The BGRB launch a £200,000 advertising campaign which will result in around 400 adverts on SKY. BS Group’s Bill Glass says: “That £200,000 is the entire budget. I am not convinced that any track outside the major cities will benefit.”
1958 Frank Rowe, the auctioneer at Aldridges, writes an interesting article recalling his years in the industry. His Aldridge’s career began in 1927, before greyhound racing had reached London, though he didn’t act as an auctioneer until 1939. He could recall Kitshine who changed hands for three guineas and went on to win the 1935 Oaks and Laurels. Waterloo Cup winner Swinging Light was sold for 105 guineas as a sapling, as were the 1948 Waterloo winner and runner-up. Complete litters were often sold. In 1934, Aldridges (founded in 1753) were asked to dispose of a GRA bred litter by Doumerogue. The entire bunch were bought by R H Dent, who gave one of the little bitches to a friend, a Harley Street Surgeon. She turned out to be Derby winner Greta Renee. Among the 33,000 greyhounds that Rowe had officiated over were two dogs with hefty reserves. The 1936 Derby winner Davesland was auctioned soon afterwards and fortuitously failed to make his 1,200 guinea reserve, because he never won another race. Motts Reject failed to make his 950 guinea reserve but was sold privately afterwards. Renamed Trevs Perfection, he became the first ever winner of the Triple Crown.
2015 Yarmouth set a new record when staging seven A1 races on the same card, six of which were heats of the Yarmouth Championship.
1978 The British Greyhound Racing Federation’s plan to introduce its own stud book – to ultimately replace the British and Irish Stud Books – results in a flurry of agitated activity. First, Fred Underhill, who heads both the BGRF and the NGRC announces that following a recent decision of the stewards, the Club now has “no interest” in Greyhound Stud Book or Irish Coursing Club transfer dealings. This basically implies that in future, to register a dog for racing the BGRF/NGRC would simply need an owner’s signed statement proclaiming ownership of a the dog. (ie they wouldn’t require an ICC or GSB identity book in their name) Until now, the NGRC have insisted on owners paying the Irish Coursing Club a transfer of ownership fee before they would register the dog to race in Britain, even though more than 98% of all greyhounds do not return to Ireland. The Greyhound Stud Book are set to lose thousands of pounds per year in transfers of ownership. However, the Irish Coursing Club, on volume alone, faced a far bigger headaches. The new rule would mean that only that 2% would be likely to pay the fee, thus costing the ICC tens of thousands of pounds of British owners cash per year. In response, the ICC threaten Irish breeders that they must return the identity book of any dog sold, given away or ‘transferred otherwise’ or face a £20 fine. In other words, the dog’s ID card MUST go back to Clonmel, and not accompany the dog. Although British owners might rejoice at not being fleeced by the Irish Coursing Club, breeders (headed by Breeders Forum Chairman David Poulter) do not trust Underhill and are outraged when they are threatened that they must register their pups in the new BGRF Stud Book or be fined. The ICC plan is unworkable and falters within a month. Underhill’s plan takes longer but also perishes.