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Blast from the past

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  • #1680971
    Avatar photoIanDavies
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    There’s a 3m4f Handicap Chase at Haydock Park on Saturday which, what feels like a lifetime ago now, used to be the Greenall Whitley Breweries Handicap Chase over 3m.

    Haydock had imposing, big, drop fences back then and IIRC Red Rum almost fell at the first in the 1978 renewal which might have been his racecourse swansong.

    Anyway, yet again courtesy of the amazing espmadrid, responsible for so much wonderful vintage material on YouTube, here’s the 1982 running which was a favourite of mine, not least because after Bregawn franked the form by finishing runner up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, I had what was left of my spring term uni grant on Scot Lane at 15/2 for the following NH Handicap Chase (now Ultima) about half an hour later.

    Enjoy: https://youtu.be/7IuctIJPYfI?si=vpUP56Gw5GymRavJ

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    #1680974
    Avatar photoCork All Star
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    A lot to get nostalgic about in that clip!

    All those marvellous old names, several of which were regulars in the Grand National.

    Haydock when it still had its proper fences, its long run in and its unique water jump with a hedge for the fence.

    Greenall Whitley was still brewing. It owned a huge tied estate around St Helen’s and Warrington but ceased brewing in the 1990s.

    Does anyone know what the going was? It was noticeable they were not kicking up many divots in that long lost era before Clerks poured water on the course. Imagine ground like that at Haydock in winter now…

    #1680984
    Avatar photobefair
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    And the 1995 version, full of racing legends
    Thanks again to Espmadrid

    #1680986
    Avatar photoGladiateur
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    “Does anyone know what the going was?”

    CAS, Timeform gave it as good to soft.

    #1680987
    Avatar photoIanDavies
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    • Total Posts 12804

    IIRC the race (and this meeting) was staged a bit later then than it is now – on the first Saturday in March, after Kempton’s big late February card (valuable 3m handicap chase and 2m juvenile hurdle – both sponsored by Yellow Pages back in the day) and also after the Grand National weights had been published.

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    #1680992
    apracing
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    • Total Posts 3651

    The Greenalls Gold Cup was actually run at Kempton on the Racing Post Chase card in 1994. Haydock had been scheduled to run on the same day as Kempton, but was abandoned early enough in that week for the race to be switched. It was won by Master Oats, just one of the oddities in his chasing career. It was run over the full 3M 4F, the last time that distance was raced at Kempton, although they used to have a race each year over the trip in the 70’s and 80’s.

    Apart from that switch to Kempton, Master Oats also won a Welsh National in Berkshire, at Newbury, and a Gold Cup that was run on the New Course most of the way round, but finished on the Old Course.

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