1945 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year

The 1945 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year was the 20th year of greyhound racing in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1]

1945 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year
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Roll of honourEdit

Major Winners
Award Name of Winner
1945 English Greyhound Derby Ballyhennessy Seal
1945 Irish Greyhound Derby[2][3] Lilac Luck
1945 Scottish Greyhound Derby [4] Mondays Son
1945 Welsh Greyhound Derby Shaggy Lass


The Second World War came to an end in Europe on 8 May, leaving time for the industry to complete a full racing schedule including a return of the 1945 English Greyhound Derby that was won by Ballyhennessy Seal.[5][6]

Attendances and totalisator turnover for NGRC tracks reached record highs, with over 50 million paying customers going through the turnstiles. It was also announced that the NGRC tracks had earned the government £120,000 for war charities during the duration.[7][8][9][10] Annual totalisator turnover nearly doubled to 137,715,273 (a phenomenal sum in 1945).[11]

The leading greyhound company, the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) recorded a record profit of £1,616,000 but £1,230,000 of that was allocated for the liability of excess profit tax and National Defence Contribution.[12] The annual report indicated that greyhound racing had served service and industrial workers with a form of relaxation and thereby creating a very substantial contribution to the war effort but warned that much improvement was required to its racetracks to replace damage from the past six years.[13]

Other tracks reported even worse deductions with the Daily Herald reporting that Wandsworth Stadium Ltd (the company that owned the track) was subject to over 97% government tax deductions. Sidney Parkes the owner of the company revealed that gross profit was £430,000 of which £420,000 was taken by the government in various taxes leaving just £10,000 net profit. He stated "What a money making proposition dog racing is to the Labour government."[14]


Reg Perkins a farming and transport businessman and George Ellingworth a garage owner, purchased Peterborough Greyhound Stadium and quickly began to improve facilities.[7][8][9]


In addition to the Derby, Ballyhennessy Seal won the Gold Collar at Catford Stadium after a seven length final victory, he also won his heat and semi-final by eight lengths. Nicknamed The Seal, he headed for the Laurels at Wimbledon Stadium and after progressing through the competition with ease, it was reported that he was suffering from rheumatism in his hind legs and he was not responding to treatment. He was withdrawn and retired to stud.[15][16]

The Grand Prix held its first ever running in November 1945; the event at Walthamstow Stadium would eventually become a classic race. Derby finalist Magic Bohemian won the event for Leslie Reynolds and another Derby finalist Celtic Chief also made the final. Coventry trainer George McKay experienced success with Robeen Printer after winning the St Leger.[17] The fawn bitch had arrived in England with a good reputation following a victory in the Irish Laurels and was bought for a record 1,650 guineas, for a bitch, by the Sanderson's, owners of Coventry stadium.[7][8][9][18][19]

Earlier in the year at Eastville Stadium, during the final of the Golden Crest, Shannon Shore had won by ten lengths in a new World Record for 500 yards of 28.76 sec.[7][8][9] The Welsh Derby was transferred from White City Stadium, Cardiff to Arms Park following the closure of the former in 1937.[20]


Arthur 'Doc' Callanan died, aged 51, after suffering from ill health in Dublin, his legacy was closely linked to the success of Mick the Miller and a new competition was named in his memory at Harold's Cross Stadium, called the Callanan Cup.[21] White City became the first track to install a photo finish camera. Magic Beau a litter brother to the £2,500 acquisition Magic Bohemian died in the Wembley kennels during December, the fawn and white dog had recently broken the Wembley 525 track record.[7][8][9]


Shaggy Lad, at odds of 1-10f won the Irish Puppy Derby final defeating Quare Times by 10 lengths. The fawn dog became the first greyhound to break 28 seconds at Harold's Cross when breaking the track record in the semi final by recording 27.96. He duly won the final in 27.98.[22][23]

Principal UK racesEdit

Totalisator ReturnsEdit

Extended content

The totalisator returns declared to the licensing authorities for the year 1945 are listed below. Tracks that did not have a totalisator in operation are not listed.[11]


Area Turnover
London £ 69,452,094
Rest of England £ 55,876,707
Wales £ 1,586,452
Scotland £ 10,800,020
Total £ 137,715,273


  1. ^ Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. ISBN 186054-010-4.
  2. ^ Comyn, John. 50 Years of Greyhound Racing in Ireland. Aherlow Publishers Ltd.
  3. ^ Fortune, Michael. Irish Greyhound Derby 1932-1981. Victory Irish Promotions Ltd.
  4. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2007). Greyhound Annual 2008, pages 153-154. Raceform. ISBN 978-1-905153-53-4.
  5. ^ Dack, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years. Ringpress Books. pp. 80–81. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  6. ^ ""Sports in Brief." Times [London, England] 2 July 1945". The Times Digital Archive.
  7. ^ a b c d e Genders, Roy (1975). The Greyhound and Racing Greyhound. Page Brothers (Norwich). ISBN 0-85020-0474.
  8. ^ a b c d e Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  9. ^ a b c d e Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
  10. ^ Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd.
  11. ^ a b Particulars of Licensed tracks, table 1 Licensed Dog Racecourses. Licensing Authorities. 1945.
  12. ^ ""Greyhound Racing Association." Times, 11 Apr. 1945, p. 10". The Times Digital Archive.
  13. ^ ""Greyhound Racing Association." Times, 2 May 1946, p. 9". The Times Digital Archive.
  14. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1946) November edition". Greyhound Star.
  15. ^ "Hall of Fame, Ballyhennessy Seal". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  16. ^ "Ballyhennessy Seal". Greyhound Data.
  17. ^ "Robeen Printer". Greyhound Data.
  18. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2002). Greyhound Annual 2003. Raceform. ISBN 1-904317-07-3.
  19. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  20. ^ "Cardiff History". Tumblr.
  21. ^ Tanner, Michael (2004). The Legend of Mick the Miller: Sporting Icon of the Depression. Newbury: Highdown. ISBN 978-1-904317-67-8.
  22. ^ "Shaggy Dog's Record". Belfast Telegraph. 18 October 1945. p. 4 – via British Newspaper Archives.
  23. ^ "Shaggy Lad wins Puppy Derby". Northern Whig. 20 October 1945. p. 4 – via British Newspaper Archives.