Haydock’s Victor Ludorum and Greenall Whitley chase in the late 70s
Tomorrow’s renewal of the Victor Ludorum hurdle brings back memories of the time in the 70s when it shared billing with the Greenall Whitley Chase.
Back in 1977 the meeting was held at Haydock on the first Saturday in March. The Victor Ludorum was seen as an important prep race for the Triumph hurdle two weeks later.
That year the race was won by Rathconrath at 7/2 trained by Fred Winter and ridden by John Francome. Toby Balding’s Decent Follow was second with Monte Ceco third. Arthur Stephensons St Tribal was sent off the favourite.
The Greenall that year was won by General Mosselle trained by Harry Wharton and ridden by Ian Watkinson. Second home was Graigue House with The Snipe third. Fading in the home straight that day was a horse called Red Rum, just a few weeks before his third Grand National triumph.
The 1978 renewal of the Victor Ludorum was won by Mixed Melody trained by Gordon Richards and ridden by David Goulding at 12/1. Meanwhile Rambling Artist trained by T Gillam and ridden by Jonjo O’Neill won the Greenall at 3/1.
On to 1979 and the Victor Ludorum worth £8,000 was won by the Jim Bolger trained Exalted at 11/4 besting among others Wait and See trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Nigel Tinkler. The £10,000 Greenall was won by Gold Cup winner Alverton who was tragically killed at Bechers attempting the big race double. Future National winner Lucius was a runner at Haydock that day too.
On to 1980 and Jubilee Saint at 7/1 trained by Sally Hall and ridden by David Goulding win the Victor with Gleason (Easterby/O’Neill) second and Sauna Time third. Fourth was Batista trained by Noel Meade. Out of the money that day was the Roger Fisher trained Ekbalco who went on to win several top class races with his late burst of speed.
That year’s Greenall was won by the Tony Duckinson trained Cavity Hunter ridden by Ridley Lamb. Katmandu and The Vintner followed him home.