PALACE ISSUE had a particularly unspectacular four-bend career as a pup, but exactly the opposite was true once trainer Linda Mullins made the decision to step him up in distance and one of the great careers was truly under way.
The Carol Williams-owned dog kicked off by winning heat and final of the Puppy Stayers competition at Walthamstow’s inaugural festival and so started a run of 12 consecutive wins – including the first of three Reading Hunt Cup titles – which was only ended in a messy final of the Golden Jacket at Crayford where Gottabegood proved just too good for him.
There was also disappointment behind Touchwood Gent in the Champion Stakes at Romford after he had set a stunning track record for the 575m trip in the heats and Palace Issue then endured a few setbacks before getting firmly back on track when taking the 1999 Grand Prix at home base Walthamstow.
He was 11-10 favourite to emulate Huberts Shade and Spring Rose by completing the Grand Prix/St Leger double, but Dilemmas Lad had his measure in the final at Wimbledon and he had to settle for second.
The year ended with his second Reading Hunt Cup win, but 2000 followed the same pattern as 12 months earlier when the Golden Jacket at Crayford again eluded him despite being odds-on for the final won by Knappogue Oak.
But he did manage to land the Champion Stakes at Romford this time around when just pipping Woodbrook Wine in an absolute thriller, and the Grand Prix was retained before arguably his crowning moment when he comfortably took the St Leger at Wimbledon.
The now traditional Reading Hunt Cup win followed as he built up a winning run of 17 which ended as he approached his fourth birthday in early 2001 by which time John Mullins had taken over at the training helm from retired mother Linda.
A third Golden Jacket attempt ended in the same gallant failure in the final, this time behind record-breaking Blues Best Tayla, before time was called following defeat after leading in a race at Hove’s Trainers’ Championship meeting.
Voted Greyhound of the Year in 2000, Palace Issue won 69 of his 111 opens and over £65,000 in win prize-money.