• Mickys Barrett syndicate members in £175,000 2022 English Greyhound Derby Final

By Andrew Atkinson EXCLUSIVE

Gary Nolan is part of a syndicate who bought a share in a greyhound named in memory of friend Micky Barrett, that reached the 2022 English Greyhound Derby Final on June 25.

“Just to get into the final was beyond our wildest dreams,” Gary, who has a holiday home in Los Montesinos, told The Leader.

The syndicate have Mickys Barrett and Nottinghamforest under their umbrella, with Gary and three other members, who have houses in Playa Flamenca, part of a 62 members syndicate: “The dogs are well represented on the Costa Blanca,” said Gary.

Romeo Magico (5-2) beat Kildare (9-4) to pocket the 2022 English Greyhound Derby £175,000 winning purse, with Mickys Barrett (16-1) from 20-1, finishing a creditable third.

“The prizemoney for third was £12,500 – not a bad day at the office!,” quipped Gary.

The Nottingham based syndicate bought the greyhound in honour of Micky, who sadly died from cancer in 2021.

Two-year-old Mickys Barrett, a finalist in the ARC Northern Puppy Derby and the ARC Northern Flat, reached the English Greyhound Derby Final after running in eight heats at Towcester Racecourse.

“Ashley White from the Czech Republic started the syndicate in memory of Mick and regularly flies over to watch it racing.

“Mick was a much loved man and a big sports fan. Our initial hopes was if he was just to maybe win one local race we would have been over the moon.

“But Mickys Barrett has gone from strength to strength, reaching the Derby Final and competing in the Northern puppy Derby and Northern Flat, with great results,” said Gary.

“Trainer Jason Grey and his team have been amazing throughout, looking after Mickys Barrett and greyhound Nottinghamforest, who is starting to look promising, winning at Nottingham on June 24,” said Gary.

Ashley White said: “Before we purchased Micky and brought the syndicate together, the majority of us knew little to nothing about greyhound racing, the whole journey has been a whirlwind.

Gary Nolan: Mickys Barrett syndicate member.

“As we clubbed together to buy Micky it meant we’ve all felt personally involved in his journey and it has been such a fun way to get involved in the sport.

“Following Covid lockdowns, having visits to Nottingham Stadium has been a great way to catch up and see one another.

“We are totally surprised that our Micky has turned out to be such a star and reached the 2022 English Greyhound Derby Final, against 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.”

Black-and-white greyhound Mickys Barrett came from Ireland to be trained by Nottinghamshire-based trainer Jason Gray.

“We are a small kennel and certainly didn’t expect to make the Derby, 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 really stepped up at every stage and we couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Jason.

Gary added: “The greyhound racing community have been great to us all, with nothing but good wishes and positive support.

“It has been an amazing journey for all involved, in memory of a fantastic man, greatly missed by all. Hopefully our journey will continue onwards and upwards.”