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The Essex Vase was first run back in 1939 when Happy Squire captured the title but there has been no more popular winner than the great Adageo Bob in 2015. Not even the track-record breaking run in 1985 by Ballyreagan Bob can top the scenes we witnessed at Romford after this success. It was a truly emotional night with Coral and Romford naming the race after the late great Mitch Millward. His family presented the trophy and the winner’s cheque of £10,000 to the greatest Essex Vase champion of all time. Everyone will always remember the Mitch Millward Essex Vase and his name will live on forever. 


The Adageo Bob story is one of 'Hollywood' proportions filled with drama, excitement, disappointment and frustration, but like all great stories the final chapter is a happy one. The July 2011 whelp put in a breath taking display to explode from the boxes and turn in front. At that point the greyhound world erupted chants from the terraces of 'easy' ringed out, people started to applaud and grown men started to cry. Adageo Bob was not going to be denied his date with destiny and he stepped on the accelerator. His rivals simply had no answer for the great dog, there was never an anxious moment and he crossed the line a whopping 8 ¾ lengths to the good over Bubbly Gold in 35.05 (-20) to cheers that nearly lifted the roof off the London Road stadium.


The scenes where unbelievable at the track and he rightly got a standing ovation. He was applauded and cheered by everyone present. It was not just at the track though, because Sky Sports viewers stood to their feet in their own homes and applauded this amazing greyhound. The Adageo Bob story has had the greyhound public gripped from the first chapter right to the last. He said goodbye to his fans in the best possible way and now bows out at the top. The Adageo Bob story may have more to come because now he will embark on a stud career and the people's champion is bound to be popular. Not since the great Westmead Hawk has a British bred greyhound been this popular. The Hawk had an outstanding stud career standing in Ireland but Adageo Bob will stand in the UK with Mark Wallis. If he can pass on his magic then he will be a major success. 


Mark Wallis said 'dogs like Bob make trainers' that is very true but you have to hand it to the champion trainer because this is one of the most amazing training performances the sport of greyhound racing has ever seen. To get Bob to perform at this level at his age is one thing, but to get him to win is another. Adageo Bob is great but also is Mark Wallis and hopefully the dog and trainer will get all the recognition they richly deserve. Hove have a statue of the great Ballyreagan Bob perhaps Romford should have one of the great Adageo Bob.


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There was only one man to speak to and that was Dick Barfoot who owns Adageo Bob with his wife Ann.


“A very dramatic night, for him to win by nearly 9 lengths is incredible. It is some training feat from Mark and his team. They have worked so hard on Bob and to see all that hard work pay off was incredible. I could not believe it when he came out the way he did, at my time of life approaching 80 years old, I never thought I'd see scenes like I did in this sport. It is more unreal than ever because it was my dog that caused those scenes. He did a lap of honour and the reception he got was incredible. I was walking down from the restaurant with my walking stick and holding on to my wife's arm and to see what everyone was doing really moved me. Adageo Bob has retired on a high and he is very much the people's champion. It is important to us that he finishes on a high and everyone can remember him for this great night and his brilliant career.

He will take up stud duties now and this is going to be exciting and already the response has been phenomenal, Mark tells me the phones not stopped”.