In 1984 Hallo Dandy won the Seagram sponsored Grand National in a time of nine minutes and 21.4 seconds. The field was limited for the first time to a maximum of 40 runners, of which 23 completed the course, setting the record for most finishers in the gruelling race.
Owned by Richard Shaw and trained by Gordon Richards, 10 year old Hallo Dandy was ridden by Welsh jockey Neale Doughty. The race was sponsored for the first time by Seagram’s, the Canadian distillery company who would continue to sponsor the race until 1991 when by coincidence it would be won by a horse named Seagram. Sadly the fifth placed horse, Earthstopper, collapsed and died after the race.
Hallo Dandy was originally trained by Ginger McCain (also trainer of legendary Red Rum) under whom he won a novice handicap chase as a six year old. He was later moved to the Greystoke yard of Gordon Richards in Cumbria. In 1982 he was placed third in a chase on Aintree’s Mildmay course and Richards began to see his potential as a Grand National prospect.
On his Grand National debut in 1983 and priced at 60/1 he finished fourth to Corbiere, running a much better race than expected on soft ground which was not to his liking. His owner Richard Shaw began placing bets on him to win the 1984 race securing odds of 66/1.
Hallo Dandy started beat the 1984 race at a price of 13/1 with Greasepaint the 9/1 favourite and the previous years winner Corbiere at 16/1. Doughty rode him patiently, holding back until the second circuit, then at Becher’s an impressive jump took him into a prominent position. He took the lead from Greasepaint at the second last quickly opening a gap and despite a challenge 100 yards out beat him by four lengths with Corbiere in third place.
After further Grand National appearances in 1985 when he unseated his rider at the first fence and 1986 when he finished 12th, he was retired to hunt. In 1994 he was found in a very poor condition and after being cared for by the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre and returned to health he lived to the age of thirty three.
Pos | Name | Jockey | Age | Weight | SP
1st | Hallo Dandy | Neale Doughty | 10 | 10-02 | 13/1
2nd | Greasepaint | 9/1 Fav
3rd | Corbiere | 16/1
4th | Lucky Vane | 12/1