2001 The Irish Greyhound Board, under the chairmanship of Paschal Taggart, announce an 11 per cent increase in prize money for 2002. The arrival of the Euro on January 1 means the Irish Derby winner’s prize will rise from £IR100,000 to €150,000. A British winner would be guaranteed £100,000. All classic winners will receive €35,000, roughly a £IR2,000 increase on the previous year.
1982 The Wembley racing office offer some useful guidance to punters concerning the perceived hindrance to runners according to the race comments: Crowded (cwd) = 1 length, Badly crowded (bCwd) = 2-3 lengths, Bumped (Bp)= 4 lengths, ,Badly bumped (bBp)= 5 lengths, Very badly bumped (V bBp)= 6 lengths, stumbled (Srb) equates to more than six lengths
1992 Portsmouth GM Bill Francis announces that the track’s ground breaking ‘Five Good Things For A Fiver’ deal has attracted its 5000th customer (at an average of 500 customers per week). The deal is the basis of the future ‘Six Pack’ deal.
1970 Silver Plassey wins the Dunmore Puppy Cup just three months after being sold for 350gns at Shelbourne Park sales.
1947 By a strange quirk of fate, Wembley trainers Jack Harvey and Lesley Reynolds are both in Willesden General Hospital undergoing operations.
1934 Seldom Led, the 1931 English Derby winner, dies of chronic nephritis (kidney failure). He won the Derby after a re-run when he was fought by Ryland R at the fourth bend and Mick The Miller went on to win the ‘no race’, with Ryland R disqualified for fighting. Seldom Led easily beat Mick The Miller in the re-run race.
1961 Buffalo Bill (Hi There-Princess Colette, Jan 60) establishes himself as the best pup in training with victory in the £200 to winner Junior Stakes over 550 yards at West Ham. Owned by George Flintham and trained by Jack Harvey, Bill won the three round event by a combined 22 lengths.
1950 Dublin’s High Court finds in favour of plaintiff Denis McArdle who had sued to publisher of the Irish Coursing and Racing Calendar Tom Morris and Shelbourne steward for slander. They claimed that McArdle’s dog Lawless Flower, later sold to England, had been disqualified for fighting at Shelbourne Park. The judge orders costs of £Ir780.
1970 Oxford racegoers witnessed the return to graded racing of two former stars in graded racing. They were the Jim Morgan trained former British Bred Greyhound of the Year Hiver Whitenose, who recently whelped a litter, and kennelmate, former Oaks winner Perth Pat.
1946 The Greyhound Owner’s columnist Bywayman is up in arms over an assertion made by an Irish agent that Irish dogs are superior to British. After rattling off the names of a plethora of top class British stayers, the writer adds: “Figures certainly prove that more Irish dogs win races than English dogs do. For much the same reason of course, more Eskimos win football competitions in Greenland than English people do, there are more of them in the country.”
1936 Bradshaw Fold, one of the best bitches of the pre-War era dies at owner MR A Hughes’ kennels. She raced on 156 occasions, winning 70 times and finishing second on another 30 occasions including runners-up places in the Oaks, Cesarewitch and Derby.
2001 GRA announce that Oxford GM Mick Hardy is to become the new boss at Wimbledon. Its current GM Mike Raper will become the company’s ‘marketing/PR director’.
1957 English owners win two major Irish finals on the same weekend. At Harolds
Cross, George Flintham’s Prince Olly wins the £300 Puppy Derby Final by a neck in 30.11 for the 525 yards. Meanwhile at Clonmel, Mrs Violet Critchley’s Vanishing Comet wins the £250 Munster Puppy Cup Final.
1961 Take Your Pick, a greyhound given as a prize on a TV quiz programme of the same name, runs his last race. The dog, who was named after the Michael Myles hosted programme, was a long way from being the ‘Late Late Show’ of his day. He was transferred to New Cross after 15 unsuccessful races at Harringay and managed just three graded wins from his next 59 races.
1975 Hackney make major changes to their open race card as they switch the 1,000 guineas from a sprint to a 484 metre event. It will be followed by a new competition over the 523 metres, the William Hill Lead. Rye House respond to the loss of the two bend Guineas by promising trainers a new sprint event – the Sovereign Stakes.
2014 Sittingbourne and Harlow both announce significant prize money increases. Harlow will pay £25 per runner, rising to £30 for kennels with bigger kennel 1992 Ladbrokes boss Berjis Daver totally outsmarts the BGRB when setting up the Greyhound Racing Trust to administer all monies collected as a result of Norman Lamont’s recent budget instructions. Although the BGRB initially refuse to acknowledge Daver’s plan, the Trust, with 10 directors split between representatives of bookmaking and greyhound racing is the perfect precursor to the future BGRF.
2015 Towcester are claiming that no greyhound has been KO’d in a BAGS race in more than six months.
1992 Lorraine Rogers, a Catford employee is taken hostage in a van by armed raiders as she leaves the track on Saturday night. At 8.30am the next morning she is taken back to the track. With the raiders holding a security guard at gunpoint, she is forced to over-ride the security code on the stadium safe. A total of £30,000 is taken.
1982 Former Sheffield trainer Jim Hookway dies. He joined the track as a kennel hand in 1934. He was called up and was a prisoner of war in the notorious Stalag 18 before repatriation. He rejoined the track as a trainer in 1949 and famously sent out litter brother Tric Trac and Spectre to finish 1-2 in the 1947 Derby Final.
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.
1956 Irish Laurels winner Rather Grand wins his first open race in England for John Moffatt, the managing director of Crayford Stadiums Ltd. Trained by Parsons (who trains every dog at Crayford) he wins a Walthamstow 500 yard open by seven lengths.
1937 November 23. The opening of Gateshead Stadium at Redheugh Park is conducted by the Major, Alderman W J Pickering in front of 8,000 patrons. The track is around the football pitch and has very sharp bends, with a circumference of 370 yards and an inside Sumner hare.
1984 Irish trainer Matt O’Donnell has to face a Bord na gCon enquiry after being found leaving a radio in with one of his dogs in the racing kennels at Newbridge.
2003 An attempt by Belle Vue owners to force the track to increase prize money fails miserably. Only 46 greyhounds are deliberately rested leaving 290 dogs available for grading. Within a week, four leading owners behind the plan are banned by Belle Vue.