National hunt jockey Neale Doughty was born on October 20, 1957. Starting his riding career in 1978 and hanging up the saddle in 1995, Doughty ended his career with 598 winners to his name. During the main part of his career, he was stable jockey to Gordon Richards, the Cumbrian trainer who had spotted Doughty in his younger days and wanted him to replace the outgoing Ron Barry.
Their partnership saw the two men have some very good days, but best of all came in 1984 when they won the Grand National together. They did so with a horse called Hallo Dandy, who went close 12 months prior when being ridden by Doughty and finishing fourth after getting tired.
That may have been his biggest day, but further afield, Doughty had an excellent Grand National record, with a superb strike rate of completing the course, something that is incredibly tough to do.
Neale Doughty Grand National Wins
- 1984 - Hallo Dandy trained by Gordon W Richards
|1993||On The Other Hand||6||-||Gordon W Richards|
|1992||Twin Oaks||5||£3,629||Gordon W Richards|
|1991||Rinus||Fence 20 - Fell||-||Gordon W Richards|
|1990||Rinus||3||£13,028||Gordon W Richards|
|1989||Gala's Image||7||-||Mercy Rimell|
|1988||Friendly Henry||6||-||Michael “Mouse” Morris|
|1986||Hallo Dandy||12||-||Gordon W Richards|
|1984||Hallo Dandy||1||£40,842||Gordon W Richards|
|1983||Hallo Dandy||4||£3,219||Gordon W Richards|
|1982||Current Gold||5||-||Gordon W Richards|
Winning The 1984 Grand National On Hallo Dandy
In 1981, Neale Doughty landed two winners at the Cheltenham Festival, and surprisingly they were his only two winners at the festival during his career. Big ones, but not as big as winning the Grand National, which he did in 1984.
This was seen as a competitive Grand National, we had plenty of challengers, and a 9/1 favourite tells you all you need to know about how the punters saw the runners, this was wide open. Amongst the horses, we had some who had previously run well at Aintree, including past winners, as well as some up-and-coming dark horses.
Hallo Dandy was one of the horses that had previously run well in the Grand National, finishing fourth in 1983. That was a very good run, perhaps even better when you consider the fact that it came on ground that was too soft for him.
Raised just 1lb in the weights for this race, entering on the back of a good prep run at Ayr to get him ready and on good ground, the reasons for Hallo Dandy were building strong. Sent off at 13/1, he was amongst the leading contenders, and as the race came towards the closing stages, he was one of two horses that pulled clear, making this a two-horse battle from the second to last fence up to the finish line.
Greasepaint was the other horse in with a chance of winning, he was the 9/1 favourite after a great run to finish second in the 1983 Grand National, finishing two places ahead of Hallo Dandy on that occasion.
At the final fence, Hallo Dandy kicked clear and took the lead up by one length. He couldn’t shrug off the attention of Greasepaint, though, who was plugging away and kept close to the leader but always looking as though he would not have enough in the locker to pull him back. In the very closing stages of the race, Hallo Dandy found a little more to extend his lead and record a winning distance of four lengths.
Highly Impressive Grand National Finishing Record
While talking about Neale Doughty, it is impossible to keep away from his overall Grand National record, which is as good as you will see for a jockey. Not just with winners, because he only had one, but his ability to get around the track at Aintree and his ability to get horses finishing as good as they possibly could.
Doughty had ten rides in the Grand National during his career. First of all, let’s look at completions, this is a tough race to complete, but he managed to do it in nine of the ten races he had, a highly impressive stat which shows his ability to stay on a horse and not fall when a bad jump was made.
Then there is his finishing record. Alongside a win in the race, he placed a further twice, with Hallo Dandy in 1983 and Rinus in 1990. Then comes the really impressive bit, in eight of his ten races, Doughty guided his horse to a finish of seventh or better, the only time he completed and finished outside of the top seven was when he came 12th on Hallo Dandy in 1986.
Doughty won the contest once but did more than that in the Grand National. His ability to finish the race was excellent, and every time, he put his horse in the best possible finishing position, including plenty of top-five finishes.