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    Endless Gossip: A Legend in Greyhound Racing
Endless Gossip: A Legend in Greyhound Racing
Endless Gossip. Source: greyhoundracingtimes.co

Endless Gossip: A Legend in Greyhound Racing

Endless Gossip would have to be included in the best dozen greyhounds ever to have raced in England. He was English-bred and, perhaps, the greatest of all English track greyhounds, with Dolores Rocket surely one of the greatest bitches. 

His owner and breeder, Mr H.E. Gocher, a retired cattle breeder, was over eighty when he had the idea of breeding a greyhound applying the same genetic theories he had used for many years in raising his prize beef cattle. He believed that he could breed a greyhound to take on and defeat all-comers and, miraculously, he did so. 

A programme from the 1952 Derby Final, its content are shown below. Source: Courtesy of Mr A Nash.
A programme from the 1952 Derby Final, its content are shown below. Source: Courtesy of Mr A Nash.

He purchased the bitch Narrogar Ann from W.J. Reid, for whom she had won the English Derby in 1949, and put her to Priceless Border, who had won the coveted trophy the previous year. In Narrogar Ann’s pedigree were Mutton Cutlet and his son Beef Cutlet, and her sire was Dutton Swordfish, the 1944 Waterloo Cup winner; in Priceless Border’s pedigree were Priceless Sandhills and Creamery Border. So on both sides there was a combination of the best coursing and track blood, and Gocherwas in no doubt about the result for he had given it long and careful study. 

Both Endless Gossip’s parents had been trained at Wembley by Leslie Reynolds and, as a puppy, their son was handed to the Wembley maestro in the hope that he would achieve the same success with him. He soon did. 

Entered for the 1952 Derby when just two years old, he won his first-round heat by an amazing ten lengths in 28.52 seconds and was quoted 1-4 on to win the event, the shortest odds of any Derby winner. In his semi-final, he was beaten into third place and only just managed to qualify for the final, in which, however, he made no mistakes, winning by four lengths in 28.50 seconds, a time which remained unbeaten for more than twenty years when the event came to be run over 500m. 

In the 1952 Select Stakes at Wembley, Endless Gossip made all the running from the moment the traps flew up and won by a length from Magourna Reject with Galtee Cleo in third. These were the best three greyhounds of 1952. His last race was for Wimbledon’s Champion Stakes in October 1953, which he again won by a length from Magourna Reject with Galtee Cleo third, and so brought his winnings to more than £5,000.

There are many instances of greyhounds which have proved themselves on the coursing field before becoming track champions – Brilliant Bob was one – but it is rare to hear of a greyhound turning to the coursing field after establishing himself as a true champion on the track. Two months later, in the Laurels, Endless Gossip took the event in the fast time of 27.96 seconds, the first time 28 seconds had been broken. So certain was it thought that the dog would win the event that he was quoted 1-6. 

However, six months after winning the 1952 English Derby in convincing style and proving himself to be one of the outstanding track greyhounds of all time, Endless Gossip found himself at Altcar in February 1953, competing in the first round of the Waterloo Cup. In every way, it was a top-class field and Endless Gossip’s appearance added to the interest. In the first round, he easily accounted for the bitch Maylin Belle and gave an impressive display to overcome Laughing Stroller in the second round, only to come up against the Earl of Sefton’s outstanding dog, Sucker, in the third. The two ran neck and neck at the beginning and Endless Gossip looked to be getting the better of the Altcar Cup winner when Sucker found renewed powers and, after a long and severe course, did just enough to earn the judge’s verdict amidst great excitement among the spectators who braved the intense cold. 

Endless Gossip had come up against one of the gamest dogs ever to run at Altcar and, after another grueling course, Sucker reached the final. However, as was only to be expected, he was too exhausted to make any impression on the great Holystone Lifelong who ran out an easy winner of the event.

Endless Gossip could so easily have added the premier coursing event to the Blue Riband of the racecourse but on his only appearance at Altcar had done enough to show his outstanding ability behind a live hare as he had behind an artificial one. 

Endless Gossip was one of the most handsome of all greyhounds and, in 1952, after winning the Derby and Laurels, he won a prize in the show ring at Cruft’s. He weighed 70 lbs. At stud he passed on his tremendous pace and track sense to the bitch Sally’s Gossip from a mating with Castle Yard, and she was to be one of the foundation dams of modern greyhound racing.

Postwar winners. Source greyhoundtimes.co
Postwar winners. Source greyhoundtimes.co

Mated to Hi There, Sally’s Gossip produced the two great litter brothers Sally’s Yarn, sire of Finola’s Yarn and the bitch Fallen Ribocco, dam of Easy Investment whose 28.17 seconds for 525yds at Brighton was then the fastest time ever recorded in Britain; and Printer’s Prince, sire of those fabulous greyhounds Yellow Printer and Newdown Heather. 

So Endless Gossip had a hand in producing two greyhounds who produced speed records while Newdown Heather was sire of Dolores Rocket and many other outstanding greyhounds of that era. After his early mating to Castle Yard, Endless Gossip was sold to an American breeder and was for some years at stud in the USA.

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