The Race

In the weeks and days leading up to the race, Duleek Dandy was often seen being exercised by Bert Dash along the roads, orchards and fields around Meldreth.  Like the majority of greyhounds, Bill Dash described Duleek Dandy as a friendly, soft and gentle dog and he could be a handful on the lead, especially if a rabbit was spotted nearby.

On the night of 25th June, 1960, the atmosphere at London's White City Stadium (now the site of BBC studios) was buzzing.  The 1960 Derby was the first ever to be televised and as Duleek Dandy (4) was led to the traps, all eyes were on the hot favourite 'Mile Bush Pride' who started in Trap One.  As the race progressed, Mile Bush Pride wasn't on his usual form and was overtaken by Duleek Dandy who later on in the race, found his legs to come home a comfortable two lengths clear of the next dog, 'Clonalvy Romance'. 

My father Terry Dash remembers it clearly.  "I was at school at the time and I had special permission to stay up because it was on black and white grainy BBC television. I think I was a pretty popular boy because I know that several of the masters had a bet on it".

Duleek Dandy at 25-1 was the biggest outsider to win the event and could be described as the greyhound equivalent of an FA Cup upset with lots of disgruntled punters and bookies. At the time the press reported that the Dashes were supremely confident which is something that in later years my grandparents Bill and Vicki didn't deny as they said that the dog was improving all the time. Vicki was also notable in being the first woman since 1937 to own a Derby winner outright! The £2,000 prize money was a very large sum of money in 1960's prices and helped her buy a yearling, fittingly called 'Dandy's Cash' who went on to be a successful mare at Newmarket.  I can remember Dandy seeing out her latter years at Meldreth grazing happily and she lived to the ripe old age of 34.

My grandfather Bill, in typical fashion, admitted to me three decades later that he had put a substantial Ante Post bet on Duleek Dandy but had got someone in Wales to do it for him to avoid suspicion!