Reading Stadium

Reading Stadium also known as Smallmead Stadium was an English greyhound racing and speedway stadium in Bennet Road, Reading in the county of Berkshire.

Reading Stadium
Reading Greyhound Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 8126.jpg
LocationBennet Road, Reading, Berkshire
OperatorAllied Presentations 1975-2001
BS Group/Gaming International 2002-2008
Opened1975
Closed2008

It is not to be confused with Reading Stadium on the Oxford Road that closed in 1974 and was located further to the north of Reading.

OriginsEdit

In 1974 the Reading Stadium on the Oxford Road, north-west of the town was closed by the Greyhound Racing Association but the town of Reading soon had a replacement stadium when a company called Allied Presentations opened a new track accessed from the Bennet Road much further to the south of the town. The stadium was constructed on disused sludge beds and south of Island Road and north of Smallmead Road.[1]

The stadium build was assisted by owner trainer Bill Dore who sat on the board of directors with Reg Fearman, F Higley and Len Silver.[2] Martin Haigh would be Racing Manager.[3]

SpeedwayEdit

Greyhound racingEdit

 
Greyhound track at Reading Stadium Smallmead c.1980

OpeningEdit

The first greyhound meeting was held on 10 June 1975. The first race was won by Mr T Coleman's Journeywork over 433 metres in a time of 27.84 secs.[4] The circuit was all sand surface with an 'Outside Sumner' hare system. The circumference was 385 metres with usual race distances consisting of 275, 465 and 660 metres.[5]

1980sEdit

The stadium introduced a significant competition called the Berkshire Cup and also resurrected the Hunt Cup.[5] and attracted a good class of trainer including Terry Dartnall and Jerry Fisher, the latter won the Cesarewitch title with Jos Gamble in 1983. Fisher also trained Game Ball who he bought with owner Brian Smith for the sum of £8,000 at the end of 1982. Game Ball was put with Sean Bourke for the English Greyhound Derby and nearly fulfilled his promise being a losing favourite in the 1983 final. game Ball also won the Pall Mall Stakes before becoming a prominent sire.[6]

Daleys Gold won the 1985 Scurry Gold Cup before Mollifrend Lucky trained by Colin Packham won the 1986 Scurry and Laurels in 1986. Martyn Dore (the son of Director and General Manager Bill Dore) was Racing Manager by 1988 as the track became renowned for having a strong class of runner.[5]

1990sEdit

In 1990 the Maldwyn Thomas trained greyhounds with the prefix ‘Trans’ began to win trophies and 1992 proved to be a very successful year starting with the announcement that a competition called the Reading Masters would take place. The race offered substantial prize money with only the English Derby and Scottish Derby able to top the £15,000 winner's prize. Poor Brian won the Oxfordshire Stakes for Ron Jeffrey (a former trainer at the old Reading track) and Bob Gilling's Skelligs Smurf became Oaks champion with Bixby (Bill Black) becoming the Puppy Derby winner.[7]

Champion trainer John 'Ginger' McGee joined the training ranks in 1993 and won the Greyhound Trainer of the Year twice as a Reading trainer in 1993 and 1994.[7] The Keith Howard 'Hedsor' prefix was next to provide the track with more success Walthamstow Stadium greyhound Palace Issue claimed a third consecutive Hunt Cup in 2001. In 1998 John McGee returned for a second spell at the track and Paul Young also arrived as a trainer.[8]

2002-2008Edit

The track underwent a major change in 2002 when the BS Group/Gaming International bought the venue from Allied Presentations.[9][10] Terry Dartnall returned to the track as a trainer once again and won two Select Stakes with Cleenas Lady before retiring and handing the licence to son Matt who then won the Juvenile in 2008 with Ballymac Under.[11]

ClosureEdit

In 2008 the local council refused to extend the tracks lease citing redevelopment plans. The plans for the company to build a new modern stadium came to nothing with the final meeting being held on 22 October 2008 and the stadium was demolished.[12]

CompetitionsEdit

Reading MastersEdit

Hunt CupEdit

[13]

Year Winner Trainer Time SP Notes
1932 Guideless Joe Mick Horan (Private) 22.00
1933 Beef Cutlet John Hegarty (White City Cardiff)
1934 Light Lucifer Arthur Doc Callanan (Wembley) 22.50 6-1
1938 Produski Paddy Quigley (West Ham) 22.11 9-4
1939 Brave Reward J P Young (Private) 22.51 7-1
1945 Look Out Post Jack Harvey (Wembley) 22.14 7-2
1946 Ferry Robin Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon) 22.33 3-1
1947 Rowley P. O'Shaughnessy (Wandsworth) 22.32 6-1
1948 Kerry Rally Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon) 22.48 5-2jf
1949 Burndennet Brook Leslie Reynolds (Wembley) 22.05 6-4f
1950 Derrycrussan Tom Smith (Clapton) 22.00 4-6f
1958 Knockarea Chancer Jack Harvey (Wembley) 25.74 4-7f
1963 Sir Walter Jimmy Jowett (Clapton) 28.05
1964 Captain Pike Phil Rees Sr. (Private) 28.16 7-4jf
1965 Silver Glory Paddy McEvoy (Wimbledon) 28.26
1966 Shamrock Clipper Phil Rees Sr. (Wimbledon) 28.40
1967 Lucky Me Len Drewery (Private) 28.33
1968 Dreaming Prince Reg Webb (Private) 27.87 5-1
1969 Beaverwood Wind Stan Martin (Wimbledon) 27.89 7-4jf
1970 Spotted Rory Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon) 28.48
1978 Westmead Manor Natalie Savva (Bletchley) 39.65
1980 Mogeely Honour 42.64
1981 Curragh Bridge John Honeysett (Crayford) 42.31 5-1
1982 Wolf Cub Ray Iremonger (Slough) 41.24 3-1
1983 Astrosyn Doll Ray Peacock (Harringay) 41.42
1984 Hot Candy 42.08
1985 Spill the Beans 41.28
1986 Milltown Genius Kenny Linzell (Walthamstow) 41.71 11-4
1987 Lowerton Susie 41.14
1988 Waltham Abbey Adam Jackson (Wembley) 41.17
1990 Coloured Panther Jo Burridge (Portsmouth) 41.55 7-2
1991 Snow Shoes John McGee Sr. (Canterbury) 41.16 2-1f
1992 Airmount Flash Jimmy Gibson (Belle Vue) 41.19 11-10f
1997 Lydpal Frankie Tony Meek (Hall Green) 41.49 9-2
1998 Palace Issue Linda Mullins (Walthamstow) 41.10 4-7f
1999 Palace Issue Linda Mullins (Walthamstow) 41.80 8-11f
2000 Palace Issue Linda Mullins (Walthamstow) 41.32 1-6f
2001 Southlodge Rage Nick Colton (Oxford) 41.34 5-2
2002 Princess Manor Jo Burridge (Poole) 41.15 16-1
2003 Double Take Andy Heyes (Belle Vue) 40.50 7-4f Track record
2004 Shelbourne Lyn Nick Colton (Oxford) 41.25 7-4f
2005 Call Girl Paul Foster (Swindon) 41.94 5-2jf
2006 Well Tutored Terry Dartnall (Reading) 41.31 4-1
2007 Spankee Moved Heather Dimmock (Peterborough) 41.18 9-4

(1932-50 Blackpool), (1948–73 Reading Oxford Road), (1975-2007 Reading Bennett Road)

Track recordsEdit

At closingEdit

Extended content

The track records at the time of closing[14] were -

Metres Greyhound Time Date Notes
275 Greenfield Box 16.32 23 October 1982
465 Blue Murlen 27.56 28 April 1997
660 Double Take 40.50 14 December 2003 Hunt Cup Final
850 Greenacre Lin 53.26 16 September 2004
1045 Slaneyside Demon 68.82 1 October 2006
465 H Druids Mickey Jo 28.40 22 September 2005
660 H Gold Splash 41.95 24 April 1993

PreviousEdit

Extended content
Metres Greyhound Time Date Notes
465 Shiloh Jenny[15] 28.77 September 1978 Berkshire Cup heats
465 Kilmagoura Mist[15] 28.74 September 1978 Berkshire Cup heats
465 Saucy Buck[15] 28.63 September 1978 Berkshire Cup heats
465 Fevata Spec 28.12 31 January 1987
465 Fearless Mustang 28.10 9 April 1991 Trainer's Championship
465 Murlens Abbey[16] 27.89 21 April 1992
465 Coomlogane Euro[16] 27.87 24 November 1994
465 Frisco Sir[16] 27.81 28 April 1997
635 Ballybeg Story 1975
635 Ballybeg Gem[17] Jan 1976
660 Racewell Royale 41.02 17 November 1987
660 Waltham Abbey 41.00 22 October 1988
660 Airmount Flash 41.00 1 December 1992
660 Hedsor Kurt 40.90 21 August 1997
660 Lydpal Frankie 40.71 16 May 1999
850 Jos Gamble 54.50 19 November 1983
850 Cloverhill June 54.28 1989
850 Ivory Lamb 54.19 11 September 1990
850 Hedsor Erika 54.03 21 August 1997
850 Lady Flyaway 53.56 3 May 1998
1045 Home Yer Go 68.60 1 November 1986
1045 Coverall 68.09 30 November 1990
1045 Sandollar Sophie 67.90 30 April 1994
1045 Souda Bay 67.58 3 May 1998
465 H The Dingle Man 28.93 8 January 1983
465 H Harbour Knight 28.92 8 April 1991
465 H Gis A Smile 28.58 30 April 1994
465 H Wisley Wonder 28.45 22 May 1997
660 H Trixies Snipe 42.51 19 November 1983
660 H Run On Tar 41.96 30 November 1990

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "OS Plan 1976-1995". old-maps.co.uk.
  2. ^ Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  3. ^ "Greyhound Star (Remember When - June)". Greyhound Star.
  4. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  5. ^ a b c Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
  6. ^ Dack, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  7. ^ a b Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. ISBN 186054-010-4.
  8. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When) November edition". Greyhound Star. 2012.
  9. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When) April edition". Greyhound Star. 2002.
  10. ^ "Greyhound Star (Remember When - January 2002)". Greyhound Star.
  11. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2007). Greyhound Annual 2008. Raceform. ISBN 978-1-905153-53-4.
  12. ^ "Smallmead Stadium is set to shut in October". Get Reading.
  13. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. p. 127. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  14. ^ "Track records". Greyhound Data.
  15. ^ a b c "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1978) September edition". Greyhound Star.
  16. ^ a b c "All Those Aprils". Vol. 16, no. 4. Greyhound Star. 4 April 1998.
  17. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1976) January edition". Greyhound Star.

Coordinates: 51°25′42″N 0°58′57″W / 51.42833°N 0.98250°W / 51.42833; -0.98250