BY Astra’s Son out of Saucy Dame, Magourna Reject is still considered by greyhound racing enthusiasts old enough to remember him as one of the best ten greyhounds ever to have raced in Britain.
He was a strikingly handsome brindle, possessing the stamina and speed of his grand dam Astra, whose mating with the great Castledown Lad sire Paddy the Champion produced another outstanding sire, Astra’s Son.
Magourna Reject was bought by Mrs Frances Chandler, who placed the dog with Miss Noreen Collin, the then Walthamstow trainer. He was to follow and rival Ballymac Ball and Endless Gossip in his ability to draw and enthral the crowds. Then came Duet Leader, Ford Spartan, Pigalle Wonder and Mile Bush Pride, greyhounds who made their contribution to a golden era of racing in the 1950s.
Magourna Reject was at his best over the longer distances, and his time of 39.88sec when winning the 1953 St Leger over 700yds was bettered by only one greyhound, Dante II, in the first twenty-five years of the race. In the Cesarewitch, run at West Ham over 600yds, he ran brilliantly, his time of 33.24sec being the fastest ever for the trip at the now non-existent track.
Later, when trained by Tommy Reilly, the dog won the Coronation Cup at Monmore Green and the Stewards’ Cup at Gloucester, beating Dashing Ash and Galtee Cleo by two lengths and setting a new track record.
He was the first greyhound to win a televised race, which was the 1953 St Leger.
Magourna Reject was to become the sire of Chittering Hope, dam of the 1965 Derby winner Chittering Clapton from a mating with Noted Crusader but, surprisingly, sired little else of note.