John ‘Shark’ Hanlon is eyeing the Guinness Kerry National on September 21 during Listowel’s Harvest Festival as the next port of call for his Galway Plate hero Hewick.
It was the second big chasing prize the seven-year-old has plundered in 2022, having struck at Sandown on the final day of the UK jumps season in April to land the bet365 Gold Cup.
Following a run over hurdles at Ballinrobe, the gelding showed his versatility when dropping back in trip almost a mile to claim the Galway Festival feature under a fine ride by talented conditional Jordan Gainford.
Hanlon now reports his stable star to have come out of the race in rude health and has highlighted a race he won in 2011 with Alfa Beat as the next major target.
“He’s 100 per cent and we’re going to Kerry now,” said Hanlon. “He got 8lb, but I love Kerry and Listowel has been my favourite all my life.
“We won the Kerry National before. He’s going to have to give away a lot of weight, but it’ll be his last run of the season.
“Before now I was going for a National with him, but I think now he might be a Gold Cup horse. That’s there on top of my head.”