Saturday, May 20, 2023

HE’S won in Ireland, he’s won in England, he’s won in America. Today, the ever popular Hewick, trained by John ‘Shark’ Hanlon, will attempt to win in France when he runs in the Grade One Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil at 2.15pm at the Auteuil track. After a successful partnership at Sandown last month, Rachael Blackmore takes the mount once again.

John ’Shark’ Hanlon with sons Paddy and Sean when he was announced as the overall Carlow Sportsperson of the Year at the Carlow Sports Awards in March. He is hoping for more success in France today Photo:

There will be plenty of familiar faces lining up alongside Hewick. Willie Mullins has four entries – Asterion Forlonge, Klassical Dream, Haut En Couleurs and Kilcruit (a horse named around the Carlow townland). Emmet Mullins runs Feronily, a recent Grade 1 winner at the Punchestown festival, and Gavin Cromwell’s double Cheltenham Festival winner Flooring Porter also runs.

“It’s a very good race,” said Hanlon, when speaking to Matt Chapman on Sky Sports Racing yesterday.

“Half the field is Irish, where Willie has four runners they won’t be too far off, you have Flooring Porter, then there is the winner of last year’s race there too (Hermes Baie). There will be a right bit of pace in the race because Flooring Porter will go off and make the running and the horse that won it last year is a bit the same. There will be no hanging around, if you miss a hurdle you will be in trouble. Willie has four in it, any of that four could win it.”

There is also strong Carlow interest in the feature race at Auteuil on Sunday. 2022 Grand National winner Noble Yeats is the favourite for Emmet Mullins, while his uncle Willie runs Franco De Port and this year’s Thyestes Chase winner, Carefully Selected.

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