Imagine a minuscule €850 was paid to buy Hewick for Shark Hanlon, proving that it is all a question of luck. One does not have to spend millions to discover raw talent.
Hewick is a prime example after cracking the 2-mile five furlongs $250,000 American Grand National at Far Hills, New Jersey.
The seven-year-old unseated Jordan Gainford at the final fence of last month’s Kerry National, but on Saturday, all was smooth.
Noah and the Ark was second, 11.5 lengths adrift, and Ask Paddington third. Favourite, Snap Decision, never rallied much, finishing sixth.
Hewick rose to prominence a year ago when taking the Durham National at Sedgefield, bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, and Galway Plate. So, he is no flash in the pan, with a staggering rating of 167. Baaeed is 145!
Hewick had already proved he could perform overseas, and this National bore testament to his abilities, even over the shorter distance which he clocked in at 5:11:6/10.
Jordan Gainford said: “Hewick is a relentless horse to gallop and quite difficult to manage, so, it is very appreciated that Shark Hanlon gave me the plumb ride. They are talking about the Cheltenham Gold Cup, or even Aintree. He is that sharp."
The American Grand National was 'piece de la resistance' at an ultra-festive day of steeplechasing, bringing a crowd estimated between 25-30,000. It unfolded like a festival for avid fans who spent the day happily eating, drinking, and socialising.
Australia's champion sprinter, Nature Strip (James Mcdonald 2-5), did not live up to his top billing in the A$15 million Tab Everest, as Giga Kick (Craig Williams 20-1), reigned supreme from Private Eye and Mazu. Nature Strip had a bad draw, but motored along powerfully, just fading in the final furlong. Trained by Clayton Douglas, Giga Kick is something very interesting for the future, but don't panic. Nature Strip was only beaten very narrowly into fourth. He'll be back.
Baaeed (Jim Crowley 2-9), did not manage to eclipse his final journey at Ascot in the Qipco Champion Stakes, only catching fourth behind Bay Bridge (Richard Kingscote 10-1. Where did it go wrong? Without removing any of the glitters from Sir Michael Stoute's splendid Bay Bridge, William Haggas believes the softer conditions and distance were to blame for Baaeed. Adayar (William Buick 5-1), nabbed second in fancy style, looking sensational.
The Shadwell homebred had won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes previously, but Baaeed did not appear to be spot on. His demeanour at the start was too calm. Usually, he is quite excitable. Still, fans gathered around to honour his majesty's presence, ever proud of past achievements. Obviously, the stud is the next assignment, where he will be treated as royalty.