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Greyhound people: Robert Parker

April 20th, 2018

When and how was you involved in Greyhounds?
Used to be involved in horse racing, won French Champion Hurdle twice, went with a friend to a Greyhound auction at Hackney – knew nothing about dogs, but bought one named Daytona Bay £70 (Dougle to his friends) and took him home, won many opens over long distances.

Where are you located?
I am now located in Lincolnshire, UK.

Who is the Greyhound you remember the most?
Daytona Bay, without him I would never have got involved with dogs.

What was your biggest succes regarding Greyhounds?
I have won every Classic and Cat. 1 races, incl. the Oaks twice, St. Leger, TV Trophy, Golden Jacket, etc. I have had 3 Derby finalists, the best I was involved with I suppose Tico who won the Pall Mall and the Derby – bought him after watching him race at Clonmel. The fastest: a dog called Dayleys Gold who was acknowledged as fastes EP dog in country, won Scurry and Laurels and several other top races, did not quite stay Derby distance.

Did dogs changed your life? If so in which direction?
They did as I began to realise: the best dogs came from Ireland, and started up an agency selling dogs, and was I suppose acknowledged as the top greyhound agent in the country. Went on to be involved with various tracks, including buying Hackney for 17 million, unfortunately all ended in tears and huge loss of money.

Plans for the (near) future?
Stay alive and fight the cancer I have.

What do you think about a racing system where no prize moneis are given? Would you still involved?
Not nowadays but one track I owned Edgeware Straights – had a system were everyone paid an entry fee for each race, from £5 to £500 and the winner took all, was very successful.

What are the main problems – in your opinion – in Greyhound racing right now?
Main problem in Greyhound racing at moment is most tracks are owned by bookmakers and look at it as glorified roulette, the other big problem is that the people running the sport are unelected, disliked and pretty clueless a bit like Sepp Blatter at FIFA.

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