SOLE AIM was the first of some great greyhounds to race in the 1970s and is still remembered by many of the current generation of racegoers. By Monalee Champion out of Pigalle Wonder bitch Yurituni, he was whelped in July 1968 and in 1971 was to become only the third greyhound to win classic races both in England and in Ireland – Brilliant Bob and Queen of the Suir were the others.
Sole Aim was purchased as a puppy by Mrs Frances Chandler and, when two years old, he contested the 37th Laurels at Wimbledon. Trained by Dave Geggus at Walthamstow, Sole Aim was to win every round of the 1970 annual. He won his heat by four lengths in the fastest time for any of the eight heats and, in the second round, he again won, this time by four lengths from Idle Thoughts.
After winning his semi he took the final, for which he was made favourite for one of the most exciting races ever seen. Coming from well behind, he defeated Always a Monarch by a short head in 28.04sec, with The Other Green, whom he defeated in his semi, in third. It was Mrs Chandler’s fourth Laurels victory.
Sole Aim returned to his native Ireland for the 1971 Derby after he had been eliminated from the English event through being badly hampered in the semi-finals. In the Irish Derby he defeated the odds-on favourite Postal Vote to win his semi-final and repeated the performance in the final, beating Postal Vote by one and a half lengths in the second fastest time ever recorded for a Derby final at Shelbourne Park.
His time of 29.12sec for the old 525yds course was only bettered by Yellow Printer and Lively Band, who each clocked one-hundredth of a second faster.
Sole Aim was bred and reared in Co. Clare by Mr Jimmy Burke and, in the same litter, were two other outstanding greyhounds. One was Mic Mac, who won the Guinness 600 at Shelbourne Park and the Will’s 700 at Dunmore Park; the other was Cobbler, who in 1971 reached the final of the English Derby, ran up the Pall Mall, and won the Circuit. He in turn was to become sire of Sally’s Cobbler, who when handled by John Bassett, private trainer, broke six track records over all distances in England.
Sole Aim had the advantage of a long and fruitful career at stud and passed on to his sons those same qualities which made his sire and dam so outstanding at stud in the early 1970s.
He was the first of Monalee Champion’s sons to win a Classic and, ten years later in 1979, he sired the Irish Oaks winner and Derby finalist, Nameless Pixie. Sole Aim was also sire of Columbcille Aim, dam of Penny County, the bitch who won the Irish Derby in 1979.
Not only did Sole Aim have a magnificent career on the track, his exploits at stud meant that many of today’s champions can trace their bloodlines back to his.