Bob Young

FORMER Hove handler Bob Young, 74, widely-known for his association with the ‘Cosmic’ prefix and the schooling track at his training complex in Bolney, West Sussex, died in 2019.

Young initially made his name in the top races as an owner-trainer in the mid-1970s with multiple classic finalist Flip Your Top, who had the distinction of setting track records in his first two races in this country in 1975 at Hove (500m) and Wimbledon (460m).

Flip Your Top, following record-breaking runs in each of the preliminary rounds, ended his classic bogey when beating Westmead Myra by three lengths in the decider of the 1976 Scottish Derby at Shawfield.

FLIP YOUR TOP: Bob Young's all-time great landed the 1976 Scottish Derby at Shawfield.

Home-bred Fair Reward, whom Young backed at 66-1 to win the competition, came from an almost impossible position to peg back long-time leader Decoy Sovereign when completing a glorious undefeated run through the 1980 St Leger (655m) at Wembley.

The Bob Foster-owned Tapwatcher, bidding to become only the fourth runner in the previous 25 years to go unbeaten through the Greyhound Derby, came agonisingly close to giving Young a famous win in the 1987 renewal at Wimbledon when beaten a short-head by Signal Spark, who was quoted at 3-1 in the photo-finish betting.

“I was standing next to him during the race and everyone in the company thought that Tapwatcher had won – we were all absolutely stunned when the result was announced over the PA,” said Hove’s longest-serving handler Derek Knight yesterday. “Bob, to his great credit, though, enjoyed tremendous success overall with his leading open-race performers.”

GREAT DAYS: Former Hove trainer Bob Young alongside 1987 Greyhound Derby runner-up Tapwatcher.

The same year Life Policy, who came in from reserve at the start of the competition and was quoted at 150-1 prior to the first round heats, repelled a sustained challenge from trackmate Lone Wolf to land the St Leger (655m) at Wembley.

Young, a trainer at Hove since the mid-1980s until handing over the reins of his range to John Gammon in 1999, also enjoyed considerable success as a racehorse owner and his Princess Taufan was sent off favourite for the 1989 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“Bob was one of the old school – he loved the sport, his kennels were immaculate and his greyhounds were always in top condition,” added Knight. “I’m very sad to hear of his passing, and I offer my sincere condolences to all the family.”

Young left a widow Kim, whose father Sid Stenning owned a share of triple Scurry Gold Cup champion Yankee Express, and a son Ryan.

Written by Patrick Kelly