Charlie Hall Chase memories
As we approach this year’s renewal of the prestigious Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday here’s some memories of the race over 30 years ago courtesy of some cherished race cards.
In 1978 when the first prize was just £2146 the race was won by Ken Oliver’s Fighting Fit the 6/5 favourite ridden by Ridley Lamb. Tony Dickensons’s 5 year old Cavity Hunter was amongst those he beat.
According to the racecard the previous year’s race had been won by Neville Crump’s Goolagong at 8/1 ridden by amateur Mr H Orde-Powlett.
Interestingly the second race on that 1978 card saw future Gold Cup winner Alverton and future King George winner Silver Buck compete over 2m 4f in an Embassy Premier Chase qualifier.
1979 saw 7 line up for the Charle Hall. This time Sparkies Choice 9/2 trained by Neville Crump and ridden by Chris Hawkins were the victors by 10 lengths. Grass Hand (M Morley) and Sugarally (G Fairburn) took the minor placings. The 5/4 favourite Kelso Chant finished fourth.
1980 saw the 6 year old future Hennessey and Gold Cup winner Bregawn line up at 5/2. Trained by Tony Dickinson and ridden by Chris Pimlott he was beaten by 3/4 length by Manton Castle trained by Maurice Camacho. Scottish trained Fabulous trained by J Wilson was a neck away in third ridden by Chris Grant.
Finally we step forward to 1985 when with the first prize now £7395 a certain Wayward Lad beat 3 rivals at around evens. Trained by Michael Dickenson and ridden by Graham Bradley he came home 2 1/2 lengths clear of Allerlea, with Earls Brig a further 20 lengths back in third. The other runner outsider Kudos ran out at the second fence.
Great memories of my youth of a race that is still a major challenge to current and would be chasing stars.