Reading Stadium (Oxford Road)
The stadium attracted a crowd estimated to be between four and five thousand who came to watch a seven race card produced by Racing Manager Mr J Compton with the first race starting at 7.30pm. The first race was won by 'Symbol' but the feature events of the evening were the Berkshire Stakes heats and Tilehurst hurdles stakes heats.
The success of the first nights racing resulted in two more meetings on the Monday and Wednesday and track alterations took place in time for the finals of the events mentioned that were held the following Saturday. The reason for alterations was because the public required a better view of the greyhounds from the run up to the winning post. The rails were moved back five yards and the track was lowered slightly.
Clapton Stadium Ltd acquired the track in 1934 with the Managing Director being Mr H Garland Wells, the Director of Racing was Major C E R Moss and the Racing Manager was Mr H Craven. The track was running under National Greyhound Racing Club rules and the trainers included G F Spencer & George McKay. McKay went on to train the track's first big race winner when Black Lion Favourite won the Trafalgar Cup. Race distances were 400, 525 & 600 yards, the 400 yard distance was unique because it was the only race of that length that could be held over just two bends due to the extremely large nature of the track. Some of the fastest track times set in Britain were at Reading on the 526 yard circumference circuit.
The main grandstand was next to the racing kennels on the home straight and was accessed from the car park on Wigmore Lane and Oxford Road. The Popular Grandstand on the north side was opposite the main stand next to the railway line. The resident kennels were in a rural setting in nearby Tilehurst.
Snowball left for sister track Clapton Stadium in 1946 as Assistant Racing Manager before reverting to being a trainer once more. Tom Smith a former Catford Stadium trainer was also transferred to Clapton by the company in 1948 after a short spell as a trainer at Reading. Further company changes saw Eric Godfrey installed as Racing Manager before he became Director of Racing and was replaced by John Collins. In 1960 both were replaced, Collins by Ron Fraser and Godfrey by H J Richardson.
The premier event at the track was the Hunt Cup and during 1963 Clapton Stadiums Ltd scrapped evening starting times in an attempt to scupper the bookmaker shops from being able to take advantage of off-course betting without paying the industry its due worth.
Wayside Abbey who won the Golden Crest for trainer Joe Farrand in 1954 and Jim Sherry younger brother of Jack Sherry the well-known Ramsgate Stadium trainer won the Oxford Two Year Old Produce Stakes with Corrigeen Prince in 1965.
Clapton Stadiums Ltd sold up to the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) in 1966 and worryingly the GRA at this time ran the Property Trust who were responsible for selling land to developers (three stadiums had already been closed by them). Racing continued on Thursday and Saturday evenings with the greyhounds supplied by resident trainers Jim Sherry, Ron Jeffrey and Jim Barker plus Yates, Jimmy Jowett & Paddy Pierce. However, in 1971 the resident kennels were sold and Reading turned to the contracted trainers system. It was the beginning of the end with the stadium being sold in 1973 by the GRA.
The final meeting was held on 10 November 1973 and the stadium was closed down on 1 January 1974, the site today is the Stadium Business Park on Stadium Way.
|1932||Guideless Joe||Mick Horan (Private)||22.00|
|1933||Beef Cutlet||John Hegarty (White City Cardiff)|
|1934||Light Lucifer||Arthur Doc Callanan (Wembley)||22.50||6-1|
|1938||Produski||Paddy Quigley (West Ham)||22.11||9-4|
|1939||Brave Reward||J P Young (Private)||22.51||7-1|
|1945||Look Out Post||Jack Harvey (Wembley)||22.14||7-2|
|1946||Ferry Robin||Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon)||22.33||3-1|
|1947||Rowley||P. O'Shaughnessy (Wandsworth)||22.32||6-1|
|1948||Kerry Rally||Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon)||22.48||5-2jf|
|1949||Burndennet Brook||Leslie Reynolds (Wembley)||22.05||6-4f|
|1950||Derrycrussan||Tom Smith (Clapton)||22.00||4-6f|
|1958||Knockarea Chancer||Jack Harvey (Wembley)||25.74||4-7f|
|1963||Sir Walter||Jimmy Jowett (Clapton)||28.05|
|1964||Captain Pike||Phil Rees Sr. (Private)||28.16||7-4jf|
|1965||Silver Glory||Paddy McEvoy (Wimbledon)||28.26|
|1966||Shamrock Clipper||Phil Rees Sr. (Wimbledon)||28.40|
|1967||Lucky Me||Len Drewery (Private)||28.33|
|1968||Dreaming Prince||Reg Webb (Private)||27.87||5-1|
|1969||Beaverwood Wind||Stan Martin (Wimbledon)||27.89||7-4jf|
|1970||Spotted Rory||Paddy McEllistrim (Wimbledon)||28.48|
|1978||Westmead Manor||Natalie Savva (Bletchley)||39.65|
|1981||Curragh Bridge||John Honeysett (Crayford)||42.31||5-1|
|1982||Wolf Cub||Ray Iremonger (Slough)||41.24||3-1|
|1983||Astrosyn Doll||Ray Peacock (Harringay)||41.42|
|1985||Spill the Beans||41.28|
|1986||Milltown Genius||Kenny Linzell (Walthamstow)||41.71||11-4|
|1988||Waltham Abbey||Adam Jackson (Wembley)||41.17|
|1990||Coloured Panther||Jo Burridge (Portsmouth)||41.55||7-2|
|1991||Snow Shoes||John McGee Sr. (Canterbury)||41.16||2-1f|
|1992||Airmount Flash||Jimmy Gibson (Belle Vue)||41.19||11-10f|
|1997||Lydpal Frankie||Tony Meek (Hall Green)||41.49||9-2|
|1998||Palace Issue||Linda Mullins (Walthamstow)||41.10||4-7f|
|1999||Palace Issue||Linda Mullins (Walthamstow)||41.80||8-11f|
|2000||Palace Issue||Linda Mullins (Walthamstow)||41.32||1-6f|
|2001||Southlodge Rage||Nick Colton (Oxford)||41.34||5-2|
|2002||Princess Manor||Jo Burridge (Poole)||41.15||16-1|
|2003||Double Take||Andy Heyes (Belle Vue)||40.50||7-4f||Track record|
|2004||Shelbourne Lyn||Nick Colton (Oxford)||41.25||7-4f|
|2005||Call Girl||Paul Foster (Swindon)||41.94||5-2jf|
|2006||Well Tutored||Terry Dartnall (Reading)||41.31||4-1|
|2007||Spankee Moved||Heather Dimmock (Peterborough)||41.18||9-4|
(1932-50 Blackpool), (1948–73 Reading Oxford Road), (1975-2007 Reading Bennett Road)
|400y||Guideless Joe||22.00||15.06.1932||National Record|
|400yH||Mac's Double||22.82||10.05.1933||National Record|
- Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
- "OS County Series Berkshire 1932-1936". old-maps.co.uk.
- "Track opened at Reading, Saturday 21 November". Reading Mercury. 1931.
- Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd.
- "Reading dog wins puppies final, Monday 12 November". Daily Herald. 1934.
- Genders, Roy (1975). The Greyhound and Racing Greyhound. Page Brothers (Norwich). pp. 97–97. ISBN 0-85020-0474.
- Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
- Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. p. 127. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.