From selling newspapers on the street corner with cardboard in his shoes to cover the holes, to standing in the mounting enclosure at Flemington waiting to be acclaimed the winning Melbourne Cup jockey, Greg Hall has done it all.
For 15 years Greg’s daily program was to be up at 3am cleaning out horse stalls. As he got older his daily ritual included riding track work at Caulfield and Flemington.
Over the years Greg has broken his collarbone, left wrist twice, his ribs on 4 separate occasions, 2 vertebrae in his back, neck, punctured his lung and has been knocked unconscious on several occasions.
Known in racing circles as a big occasion jockey Greg or “The G” as punters call him, has won the Melbourne Cup, Sydney Cup, Adelaide Cup, and Brisbane Cup.
The Victorian Derby twice and the Sydney Derby twice. He has won 3 Blue Diamonds and two Golden Slippers. In total Greg has ridden 44 Group 1 winners, 41 Group 2 and 43 Group 3 winners
He has ridden for owners such as Kerry Packer and Sheik el Maktoum.
The G has ridden against the very best in the world and is regarded by his peers as being a fearless, highly talented jockey with ice cool nerves in the big races.
It only took Greg 20 years to become an over night success. Hall rode his first stakes winner at the age of 21 _ an auspicious beginning as he galloped home on another 200 before retiring from the saddle at age 45.
Few jockeys could match his strength in a stirring finish or his judgment and nerve under pressure, and, as the years rolled on, his dedication to his profession.
Hall rode the bulk of his major winners after the age of 30, all of them in wake of injuries from which he rebounded to become one of the fittest and most determined in the riding ranks.
At the pinnacle of his career, he won the 1992 Melbourne Cup aboard Subzero, the Cox Plate on evergreen galloper Super Impose and the Victoria Derby aboard Mahogany, a horse with whom he shared a special affinity. That Derby win was a classic example of his fetching qualities and unquestionable acceptance with the punting public.
Lee Freedman trained mahogany and on race morning prominent owner Lloyd Williams kept a promise to share the glory of a Derby winner with his mate, Kerry Packer.
Hall stormed to victory and stood beside three of the most prominent characters in racing on the podium.
The public cheered Hall as their hero even though the Derby had lived up to its blueblood tradition for “top hats and tails.”
Hall could do that. He spoke from the heart, and often from the hip, a habit that made him a natural with the fans but which occasionally stunned owners and trainers.
Hall has rubbed shoulders with some of the greats of the game _ trainers Freedman, Angus Armanasco, David Hayes and John Meagher. He has ridden against all the best, from Roy Higgins and George Moore, to Shane Dye and Darren Beadman to Damien Oliver, who was an apprentice when Hall already was a senior rider in Melbourne.
Greg’s stories of riding for Kerry Packer and other extremely successful owners have audiences enthralled and entertained from the time he picks up the microphone.
If you want to make a real difference at your next corporate function or conference “The G “ just has to be your choice.