DESCRIBED as one of the greatest bitches of all time, Dolores Rocket was one of those greyhounds that found her way into to the hearts of all who saw her in action. She was truly a superb athlete and the likes of her are rarely seen on the track.
The only bitch in a litter of seven, her owners decided to sell the dogs when they were just over eight weeks old but kept the extremely well-bred Dolores Rocket with thoughts of breeding from her when her racing days were over.
She stamped herself as a potential superstar when storming home in the 1970 Puppy Oaks in an exceptional time for a youngster and then went on to win the Sporting Life Puppy Stakes, where she beat off the best of the best of her generation, both male and female.
She broke down in season shortly afterwards and was barely back in training again before the heats of the 1971 Derby loomed ever closer. It was touch and go whether Dolores Rocket would be forward enough to do herself justice and there were grave doubts when, although winning her heat, she was clearly below her best.
The struggle to get her back to her peak continued as the event continued and she barely made it through to the final, just shading the great Sole Aim by a short head in her semi-final for the third qualifying spot. Come the final, though, owner-trainer Harry White had her spot on and she showed all her old brilliance to beat one of the greatest ever Derby fields.
In the process she produced the then second fastest ever time for a Derby winner which spoke volumes about her ability. After her famous Derby victory, a decision was taken to step Dolores Rocket up to six bends and that choice brought almost immediate results, breaking track records at Romford and Wimbledon during July.
All roads led to the St Leger and she became the biggest prize-winner ever in a single year when taking the famous Wembley Classic, bravely coming from off the pace to beat a greyhound called Spectre Jockey by an in the end comfortable enough length and a half.
The victory also saw her become the only bitch in the history of greyhound racing to win The Derby and St Leger. She was a star in what was a vintage period with outstanding greyhounds seemingly in abundance.