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    Two-Time Champions of the Greyhound Derby
Two-Time Champions of the Greyhound Derby
Mick the Miller. Source: Offaly News

Two-Time Champions of the Greyhound Derby

The Greyhound Derby, regarded as the largest and most esteemed race in its sport, is the ultimate achievement every trainer and owner seeks. Since its inception in 1927, the race has undergone several venue changes. Currently, the prestigious English Classic takes place at Towcester Greyhound Stadium, which hosted the event for the first time in 2017. That year, Astute Missile emerged as the triumphant greyhound under the guidance of trainer Seamus Cahill. 

Now, let's delve into the historical records and explore the exclusive group of only four greyhounds who have achieved multiple victories in this competition.

Mick the Miller (1929 and 1930)

Mick the Miller, a male brindle greyhound, is renowned as the trailblazing racing greyhound who made a mark in England, despite being born in Ireland. Despite his relatively brief three-year racing tenure, his remarkable accomplishments garnered widespread attention internationally, solidifying his status as an icon of the sport by the time he retired. 

While not witnessed by many, Mick the Miller achieved a groundbreaking feat as the first greyhound to secure multiple victories in the Greyhound Derby. After triumphing in 1929, he successfully defended his title the following year as the favoured contestant with odds of 4/9 in the decisive race held at London's White City. Hailing from Ireland, this remarkable canine became the sport's inaugural superstar by claiming victory in a spectacular streak of 19 consecutive races in England. Mick the Miller's unparalleled dominance on the track persisted until his retirement in late 1931.

Patricias Hope. Source: Wiki
Patricias Hope. Source: Wiki

Patricias Hope (1972 and 1973)

Patricias Hope, without an apostrophe, earned the title of Greyhound of the Year in 1972 for excellent reasons. Not only did he secure victory in the Greyhound Derby, but he also accomplished the remarkable feat of winning the Triple Crown by triumphing in the Scottish Greyhound Derby and Welsh Greyhound Derby as well. These achievements were made possible under the guidance of trainer Adam Jackson. In the following year, despite changing kennels, Patricias Hope continued to excel and claimed another prestigious victory in the Greyhound Derby held at White City. In the final race, he was the 7/2 favourite. Following in the footsteps of Mick the Miller, he became just the second greyhound in history to secure a second championship title at that time. The momentous occasion was televised live on ITV's World of Sport, with the event boasting new sponsors, Spillers, and a substantial prize of £12,500.

Given his remarkable accomplishments in the sport, Patricias Hope is widely regarded as one of the greatest greyhounds to have ever competed on the track.

Rapid Ranger (2000 and 2001)

During the early phase of his puppyhood, Rapid Ranger did not display exceptional talent. However, everything changed when he switched to Charlie Lister's kennels in 2000. It was at this point that the dog truly captured our attention. In the 2000 Greyhound Derby, Lister's runner relied on some luck to qualify for the final. Once he reached the final, he seized the opportunity and triumphed, winning the race by a margin of over three lengths. At the end of that year, there was a temptation among the connections to retire Rapid Ranger and use him for breeding. Nonetheless, they ultimately decided against this option, holding onto the hope that he could become the third greyhound in history to win the race more than once. This choice proved to be wise because, in 2001, Rapid Ranger emerged as the first multiple-time winner of the Derby at Wimbledon. The enthusiastic crowd at the London track cheered him on as he crossed the finish line.

Westmead Hawk. Source: Greyhound Racing Oregon
Westmead Hawk. Source: Greyhound Racing Oregon

Westmead Hawk (2005 and 2006)

No dog has formed a connection with the audience quite like Westmead Hawk during the mid-00s. This popular racer overcame significant disadvantages in the competition and emerged as the winner of the English Classic in both 2005 and 2006. 

Hawk participated in the 2005 English Greyhound Derby. In the championship round, Hawk, who was the favoured contestant with odds of 5-4, began from the fourth starting position but initially fell behind the frontrunners after the first curve. Yet, a sudden surge of speed enabled Hawk to surpass the leading greyhound, Blonde Mac, during the final bend, resulting in a victory in the competition with a time of 28.56 seconds, leading by a length and three-quarters. This triumph rewarded the owners with a prize money of £100,000. Following this success, the owners announced their intention to target the Irish Greyhound Derby for Hawk's next endeavour.

Owned by Nick Savva, possessed an astonishing burst of speed, often displayed in the latter half of a race. Whenever he was in contention with two bends remaining, bettors were already anticipating his victory.

With the Greyhound Derby recently embarking on a new chapter through its relocation to Towcester racecourse, it will be intriguing to witness the emergence of the next generation of sporting superstars.

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