On This Day 1930: Mick The Miller completes back-to-back Greyhound Derby wins

PA Sport Staff
PA Media: Sport

Mick The Miller became the first greyhound to claim back to back English Greyhound Derby victories when winning the 1929 and 1930 races.

His record stood for 42 years until Patricia’s Hope matched the double when taking the race in both 1972 and 1973.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the four greyhounds who have triumphed in successive stagings of the English Greyhound Derby.

Mick The Miller – 1929 and 1930

Mick The Miller (PA)
Mick The Miller (PA)

Irish-born Mick The Miller is the greyhound credited with popularising the sport in England after winning a remarkable nineteen successive races, including two victories in the Derby. Owned initially by Catholic priest Father Martin Brophy and trained firstly by Mick Horan and latterly by Sidney Orton, Mick The Miller won his first Derby in front of a crowd of 40,000 spectators. However, after a collision interrupted the first staging of the contest, a re-run was arranged the same evening. The delay did little to hamper Mick The Miller’s chances as he triumphed by three lengths from Palatinus. The following year he returned to White City stadium to repeat the victory, again coming home three lengths ahead of his nearest rival. Mick The Miller did appear in 1931 to try and defend his crown and although he technically won the race, a re-run was staged as another dog was disqualified for impeding the run of a rival. Phiddy Kempton, Mick The Miller’s owner at the time, initially refused to partake in the re-run, insisting that his dog had won the race already. Eventually Kempton did agree to a re-staging, but his tired dog could not repeat his earlier performance and was unplaced.

Patricia’s Hope – 1972 and 1973

Patricia’s Hope, a white and fawn dog trained by Adam Jackson & John O’Connor, not only won two English Greyhound Derby titles but also won both the Scottish and Welsh versions of the race. Having won his first English Derby in 1972, alongside the Scottish and Welsh races, Patricia’s Hope consequently became only the third dog to win the Triple Crown – awarded to any runner who can triumph in all three contests in the same year. A return to White City in 1973 saw Patricia’s Hope emulate Mick The Miller’s achievements when he prevailed by half a length in a thrilling sprint finish. Like Mick The Miller, Patricia’s Hope did attempt a third victory in the race, but failed to qualify for the semi-final after finishing fifth in his heat.

Rapid Ranger – 2000 and 2001

Despite being defeated in the semi-final of the 2000 renewal of the race, Rapid Ranger still progressed to the final to defeat Rackethall Jet by three-and-a-half lengths and claim his first title. In 2001 he successfully defended his crown when beating Sonic Flight by three-and-a-quarter lengths to equal the record held by both Mick The Miller and Patricia’s Hope. Like the latter two dogs, Rapid Ranger attempted to lift the title for a third time and become the first greyhound ever to do so, but the bid was ill-fated and he was knocked out before the final in 2003.

Westmead Hawk – 2005 and 2006

Westmead Hawk (left) winning the 2006 English Greyhound Derby (Mark Lees/PA)
Westmead Hawk (left) winning the 2006 English Greyhound Derby (Mark Lees/PA)

Winning his first Derby by a length-and-three-quarters from Blond Mac, Westmead Hawk targeted the race again in 2006 and progressed through the qualifying rounds undefeated. In the final he passed Mineola Farloe to prevail by three-quarters of a length and become the fourth dog ever to successfully defend the English Greyhound Derby crown. Like the other three dogs who have attained the distinction, Westmead Hawk was aimed at a third run in the contest but an injury ended his career and he was retired to stud before the race was staged.

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