Oct. 16, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
An Irish horse won the American Grand National in New Jersey Saturday – and its trainer was quick to pay tribute to the late Jack de Bromhead who died in a tragic racing incident in Kerry last month.
Hewick, trained by Carlow’s John Joseph “Shark” Hanlon, stormed to victory at the Far Hills venue under a commanding ride by 21-year-old Jordan Gainsford, from Wexford.
The horse, purchased for just €850, took the lead with two to jump in the 2m 5f race, and ended up winning by 10 lengths.
Hanlon said that his son Paddy, Hewick’s groom, had dedicated the victory to Jack de Bromhead after the race.
Jack, the son of trainer Henry de Bromhead, died tragically aged just 13 in a pony race last month. Paddy and Jack were close friends, according to Hanlon.
“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,” an emotional Hanlon said afterward.
“My young lad that led up the horse was his best friend, and he cried there and said ‘This is for Jack.’”
— Brian Arnold (@heyarnoldb) October 15, 2022
Hewick was the 4/7 favorite coming into America’s top steeplechase having already won this year’s Galway Plate and the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April. Last month Hewick was running a huge race in the Kerry Grand National at Listowel before falling at the last fence.
“He traveled so well,” said Hanlon of Saturday’s race.
“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.”
Scenes over at Fairhills as the favourite Hewick wins for the Shark and Jordan Gainford as they land the $250,000 American Grand National 🇺🇸
The selection Noah And The Ark ran a cracker at 16/1 finishing second but no match for the run away winner Hewick 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/xKCSYTO3T6
— Harry Roberts 🦕 (@HarryR_Sports) October 15, 2022