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Friday, December 09, 2022

Irish trainers dominated Far Hills races with three wins, including th $250,000 Grand National

FAR HILLS, N.J.--The Irish came to Far Hills, saw America's best opposition and conquered.

Hewick leads Noah and the Ark over last in Grand National 1Hewick leads Noah And The Ark over the last fence in the Grand National (Photo by Tod Marks)Gordon Elliott, one of Ireland's leading trainers, brought three horses and won two races and was third in the other, while John (Shark) Hanlon brought one horse and won the biggest prize of all, the $250,000 Grand National Steeplechase.

T.J. McDonald's Hewick (Ire), trained by Hanlon and ridden by Jordon Gainford, won the $250,000, 2 5/8 mile,, G1 Grand National Steeplechase, decimating the opposition and winning by 11 1/2 lengths over Noah And The Ark (Ire), trained by Todd McKenna, with Ask Paddinton (Ire), trained by Keri Brion, third.

Favored Snap Decision finished sixth of the seven that finished, after Moscato fell and Pistol Whipped pulled up.

Hewick had previously this year won twice in Ireland and finished second once.

 

HANLON and Hewick's connections were ecstatic, with Hanlon wrapping himself in the Irish flag and repeatedly raising the trophy over his head.

Shark Hanlon 1Shark Hanlon enjoys the win (Photo by Tod Marks)Hanlon said he and the owners were watching together and couldn't believe Hewick was going to win.

"He was super," said Hanlon. "We saw he was traveling so well, but then we were saying to each other,`this race is too short for him'. This is a dream come true for all of us."

Hewick was bought at the 2017 Goresbridge Bloodstock Sale for $991, a purchase that prove quite worthwhile.

"The crowds here are fantastic," said Hanlon."We never get crowds like this in Ireland."

The Far Hills race course was indeed packed,with cars stacked up 10 deep behind the rails, and spectators reveling in the beautiful fall day, with plenty of tailgating involving liquor and food being enjoyed.

Gordon Elliott saddled Kenny Haughey's The Insider (Ire), ridden by Davey Russell, to win the $50,000, 2 1/8 mile Three-Year-Old Hurdle Stakes by17 1/4 lengths over Hoffman (Ire), trained by Leslie Young.

Hoffman, who had more experience over fences as Irish steeplechasing begins earlier in the year that does American jump racing, had been favored to win, but, again, this Irish invader decimated the opposition.

Elliott then saddled Aiden Ryan's Ted Hasting (Ire), ridden by Russell, to win the $75,000 Foxbrook Champion Novice Hurdle Stakes by 3/4 length over Howyabud (Ire), trained by Brion.

Brion saddled the winner of the first race and also the winner of the second most lucrative race on the card, the flat stakes.

Belle Meade Jockey Club's Ljay (Ire), ridden by Parker Hendriks, won the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Stakes by 1/2 length over Who's Counting, trained and ridden by Sean McDermott.

Brion also saddle Paul A. Willis' Agitate (Ire), ridden by Bernie Dalton, to win the $100,000, 2 mile John Forbes Memorial Turf Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths over Basso, trained by Gregor Sacco in the largest race of the day with 14 entries.

Leslie Young saddled Sharon Sheppard's Redicean (GB), ridden by Sean Flanagan, to win the $50,000 Appleton Ratings Handicap Hurdle Stakes by 3/4 length over Theocrat (Ire), trained by Brion.

In the last race of the day, the fences on the back side of the course were taken out due to shadows having fallen as the day had gotten late, leaving only five fences in the 2 1/8 mile race.

Jack Fisher saddled Riverdee Stable's Cool Jet (Ire) to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Pure Courage, trained by Todd Wyatt.

While Brion won two races on the day, flat races don't count towards Leading Trainer, Races Won, so, with 24 wins, she remains four races behind Young, with Fisher third with 16 wins..

Brion continues to lead over Young and Fisher in Trainer, Money won.

Racing fans can purchase a program for $120 that provides the live stream of all the fall races by Mandolin, but the live stream of the Far Hills races met with technical difficulties, and after a couple of races were not shown, Mandolin gave up and announced no races were to be live streamed.

For fans in the know and capable of getting Fox Sports, the races were televised by Fox Sports and seen along with all the races from the Belmont at Aqueduct races

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