All eyes will be on Mickys Barrett in Quarter Final Four of Saturday’s StarSports & TRC English Greyhound Derby when Jason Gray’s dog lines up in trap six.
Born in March 2020, Mickys Barrett was purchased by a group of 67 friends from Nottingham after their late friend Mick Barrett sadly passed away from cancer in 2021.
Ashley White – one of Mick’s close friends – came up with the idea of purchasing a racing greyhound that they could watch at their local track. But the group could never have dreamed they’d be taken to the quarter finals of the world’s most prestigious greyhound racing competition.
Each member paid £100 each for a share in the now two-year-old who is already a finalist in the ARC Northern Puppy Derby and the ARC Northern Flat. To date, Mickys Barrett has won two of his three qualifying heats and is now only two races away from contesting the £175,000 first prize.
Syndicate organiser Mr White said: “Before we purchased Micky and brought the syndicate together, the majority of us knew little to nothing about greyhound racing but the whole journey so far has been a whirlwind.
“We are totally surprised that our Micky has turned out to be such a star and has got this far in the Derby amongst the best of the best in the sport. He certainly couldn’t have got to this level without the fantastic care and attention that his trainer Jason and his team give him day in, day out.”
The syndicate is easily recognisable on race nights with members sporting bright orange hats – the colour of Micky’s usual trap number. Should Mickys Barrett finish in the first three of Saturday’s quarter final, the dog will be one race away from reaching the StarSports & TRC English Greyhound Derby final.
Syndicate committee member Paul Howitt added: “We are taking one race at a time but to say we are excited is an understatement.
“Our friend Micky was a brilliant sportsman and a keen Nottingham Forest FC supporter and we felt that buying a greyhound to race in his name would be a fitting way to keep his memory alive.”
Mickys Barrett’s trainer, Jason Gray, said: “We are a small kennel, and we certainly didn’t expect to make it so far in the Derby, but we are loving every minute of it.
“Micky is a great dog in the kennels, he’s very laid back and takes everything in his stride. He loves going racing and has stepped up at every stage and we couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s well prepared for Saturday’s quarter final and we know he’ll give it his best shot.”
Kim Sanzone from Derby sponsor Star Sports Bookmakers, said: “It’s been a delight to welcome the Mickys Barratt syndicate to Towcester throughout the Derby so far and I know everyone has been loving the energy and enthusiasm they have brought with them.
“You can hear them from a mile away singing and cheering – it’s fantastic to see and sums up what our sport is all about and why people get into greyhound ownership.
“The syndicate members love Micky to bits and I know are already arguing about who will bring him home when he eventually retires from his racing career. Creating this syndicate is a wonderful tribute to their late friend and I know the whole greyhound community is behind them. Best of luck to all connections.”