BARGAIN buy horse Hewick, who cost just €800, could land another huge pot for Carlow based trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon this weekend.
The Shark, along with his partner Rachel and two children, headed Stateside this week, a week after the horse had left his yard in Fenniscourt, and will race in the biggest jumps race in America at 9pm Irish on Saturday, the American National in Far Hills, New Jersey.
Hewick landed the Galway Plate, worth €270,000, in the summer and looked likely to follow that up with the Kerry National in Listowel last month despite carrying top weight only to fall at the last fence.
Shark told RTE that the horse has travelled well and he believes he will enjoy the occasion.
“I think he will run brilliant! He’s in quarantine now but he travelled very well. He’s eating – some horses won’t eat or grub up but this horse has done everything right. The chap that’s with him said he’s delighted with him, he’s very happy with him.”
“I can’t believe how many Irish people are going to the race. They are texting me and ringing me and emailing me. He’s a people’s horse and we will try to keep it that way because without them people we wouldn’t be here.”
Hewick, who will have usual jockey Jordon Gainford on board, could well be put away after this race until the Cheltenham Festival, potentially for a shot at the Gold Cup, as Hanlon believes he can run well while fresh but those thoughts can wait as all focus will on this weekend and trying to win the $250,000 race.