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Irish-Trained Hewick, Bought For €850, Wins American Grand National

Irish-Trained Hewick, Bought For €850, Wins American Grand National
By PJ Browne Updated
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Hewick won the American Grand National at Far Hills in New Jersey on Saturday. The 21/10 favourite is trained by the Carlow-based John 'Shark' Hanlon.

The horse, bought five years ago for just €850, earned €160,000 for Saturday's victory. Hewick, ridden by 21-year-old Wexford native Jordan Gainsford, took the lead with two to jump in the 2m 5f race, and ended up winning by 10 lengths.

Post-race, Hanlon said his son Paddy, Hewick's groom, had dedicated the victory to Jack de Bromhead. His close friend, the son of trainer Henry de Bromhead, died tragically aged just 13 in a pony race last month.

"He travelled so well," said Hanlon.

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"Everyone was saying that the trip was too short, we're maybe wrong to come here, but this horse has an awful lot more pace than what people think he has. He proved that in Galway, and he definitely proved it today.

"It’s a dream come true, for everyone. It's my own young lad there looking after him.

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"I just have to say, there was an accident in Ireland a couple of months ago with Jack de Bromhead, and we’re all thinking of him.

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"My young lad that led up the horse was his best friend, and he cried there and said 'This is for Jack'."

27 July 2022; President of Ireland Michael D Higgins with winning groom Paddy Hanlon, son of trainer John Hanlon, and Hewick after the Tote Galway Plate during day three of the Galway Races Summer Festival at Ballybrit Racecourse in Galway. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The winning jockey added that the race went to plan.

"It's unbelievable," said Gainsford.

"Fair play to Shark, he always has him bang on.

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"My agent at home got me on this lad in Listowel a year-and-a-half ago. They could have got anyone over here to ride him but they brought me over, and I really appreciate it.

"When he hits the front, he doesn't do much. In his previous runs, he just loved galloping. He's a relentless horse to gallop. The second down the back, the first time, there's a bit of sun on it, and he came out of my hands a little bit, but after that, every foot was perfect. For it all to go to plan, it's brilliant."

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