Rapid Ranger

Rapid Ranger

Photo(s) Courtesy www.thedogs.co.uk

A brindle son of Come On Ranger out of Rapid Vienna, Rapid Ranger was whelped in January 1998. His early form, while promising, was not outstanding, but he showed his potential when slamming a good dog of trainer Charlie Lister’s at Sheffield in fast time. When, following that run, Rapid Ranger was made available for sale, Lister stepped in and bought him for £17000 on behalf of owner Ray White.

Initially Lister wasn’t entirely happy with Rapid Ranger, and he subsequently discovered that the dog’s tonsils were inflamed. After he’d had them removed Rapid Ranger was able to show his true form. His first race in the year 2000 was the Scottish Derby, where he finished third in the final. He continued to improve, and his trainer was confident that he would win the English Derby. Despite a second round defeat he made it through to the final, which he won by three and a half lengths from Rackethall Jet. Lister was hopeful that Rapid Ranger would go on to win the Irish Derby too, but he just failed to do so, finishing second in the final to Judicial Pride.

At the start of the following season Rapid Ranger showed Lister enough at home to enter him again for the English Derby. He was beaten at Hove, and in the Scottish Derby, but Lister was convinced that Rapid Ranger was at least as good as last year. His judgement was vindicated when Rapid Ranger overcame defeats in the first round and quarter finals to beat Sonic Flight by three lengths in the Derby final, recording exactly the same time as he had the year before. Rapid Ranger became only the third greyhound to win consecutive English Derbys, following Mick The Miller (1929/30) and Patricia’s Hope (1972/3).

In Julia Barnes’s book ‘Charlie Lister on Greyhounds’, the trainer describes Rapid Ranger as ‘the perfect dog to train. He always looked well – his coat gleamed. The best thing about him was that he was so laid back. He slept in his kennel before racing as if he didn’t have a care in the world.’

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