It was to Whisper Wishes that befell the doubtful distinction of winning the last Greyhound Derby to be held at White City on 23 June 1984. A black August 1981 son of the now famous American import, Sand Man, he was bred in Ireland by Mrs G. Naylor out of her brood bitch, Micklem Drive, and came into the ownership of genial Irishman John Duffy.
In 1984 Whisper Wishes had the Derby as his main objective and, under the guidance of trainer Charlie Coyle, at the time attached to the Maidstone track, ran in only seven opens that year. He won four of his five preliminary Derby heats before justifying 7-4 favouritism with a trap to line victory beating second favourite Moran’s Beef by three-quarters of a length in 29.43sec.
During 1983, in different ownership, Whisper Wishes ran in only 15 races, of which he won six, including the important Courage Select Stakes at Wembley.
When this very lightly-raced Derby winner returned to Ireland for stud duties, he was an almost instantaneous success and, in 1987, was chosen by the Irish Greyhound Review as Stud Dog of the Year, a title previously held by his sire Sand Man in 1983,1984 and 1986.
Whisper Wishes’ legacy as a sire was nothing short of remarkable and he figures strongly in modern day breeding lines. He covered hundreds of bitches who produced thousands of winners and many champions.
His greatest off-spring, a daughter, was surely Westmead Move, who was a champion on the track and quite incredible as a brood bitch. Her mother, Westmead Tania, was a champion brood bitch as well but few bitches will ever emulate Westmead Move’s record of 57 puppies, who won 277 open races, 12 of them major championships.