Tag Archive for: Jordan Gainford

Irish raider Hewick strikes Sandown Gold for Hanlon team

Hewick provided Ireland with another big-race success on British soil when running out an impressive winner of the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

Winner of the Durham National at Sedgefield in the autumn, Shark Hanlon’s charge was pulled up on his return from a break in last month’s Midlands National at Uttoxeter.

But back on a sounder surface for the traditional seasonal finale, the seven-year-old proved a different proposition in the hands of leading Irish conditional Jordan Gainford.

Step Back, winner of the race four years ago, gave a bold sight in front for much of the three-mile-five-furlong journey under amateur rider Lily Bradstock, but was a tired horse turning for home.

As he faltered, Hewick swept to the lead and never really looked in danger of being caught as he galloped all the way up the hill to score comfortably by eight lengths.

Musical Slave filled the runner-up spot, just ahead of 4-1 favourite Kitty’s Light in third.

Jockey Jordan Gainford with his trophy
Jockey Jordan Gainford with his trophy (Nigel French/PA)

Hanlon said: “He is a lovely horse. He was very unfortunate at Uttoxeter and but for the loose horse there, I think he would have won.

“He was hitting the front and that is his strong point at home.

“He is a summer horse and he is only starting now. We will see a lot of him over the year in England, though there are no immediate targets.”

The Hewick team after the race (
The Hewick team after the race (Nigel French/PA)

Hanlon continued: “He’s going to have plenty of weight wherever he goes, but he’s a tough little horse. The ground on the last day was soft enough which wouldn’t have been ideal.

“We’ve nothing planned, but all those long distance chases would be on the radar, he’ll probably end up as a National horse at some stage.

“I think he’s tough and you have to have a tough horse for the National and while he’s not fast, he’s got plenty of gears. He’ll jump out there like a two-mile horse but he’ll stay the whole way.

“The plan was to go home this evening, but the plan just changed!”

Philip Hobbs believes runner-up Musical Slave will eventually enjoy his day in the sun after failing to follow up a victory at Haydock last week.

He said: “It was very much another good effort in defeat today. He has run well here before.

“He didn’t have a penalty today, so he was entitled to do what he did as long as he kept his form from last week as you never know sometimes when you run them two weeks running. We are very pleased with him.

“The way he has run you wouldn’t think the quick turnaround has had any impact. I’m delighted and think there is a race like this in him.”

Kitty's Light (nearside) finished third
Kitty’s Light (nearside) finished third (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Christian Williams, trainer of Kitty’s Light, said: “It was a great run from Kitty’s Light. I thought he travelled well in the cheekpieces and is definitely one to look forward to next year.

“He has run in all those good races and will do again next season. We might put the camera down him and check his wind before next season. He has won us over £100,000 without winning a race this season which isn’t bad.”

Williams also fielded Scottish National winner Win My Wings, who fell two fences from home racing off a 14lb higher mark, and fifth-placed Cap Du Nord.

The handler added: “I’m not sure what we are meant to do with Win My Wings now. We will speak to the handicapper but if he has no intentions of helping us, we might have to retire her, but we will speak to the owners and see. She has walked back in fine. Rob (James, jockey) said the weight might have told and the ground might have been a bit dead for her.

“Cap Du Nord (who finished fifth) maybe doesn’t quite stay this trip. He jumped nicely and picked up some nice prizemoney and the owners have had a good day out. We might stick to keeping him to places like Kempton that really suit him.”

Teahupoo rallies to lift Limerick Hurdle

Teahupoo secured top honours in a thrilling renewal of the BoyleSports Sporting Limerick Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott’s charge was the 8-15 favourite for the Grade Two feature following a 12-length victory over the reopposing Quilixios in the Grade Three Fishery Lane Hurdle at Naas last month.

Quilixios, a former stablemate of Teahupoo who went on to win last season’s Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham for Henry de Bromhead, was next in the betting at 11-4.

Teahupoo led the way for much of this two-mile contest under Jordan Gainford, but looked set for minor honours after Quilixios and Darragh O’Keeffe swept into a clear lead from the home turn.

However, there was an unexpected twist in the tale after the final flight, with Teahupoo rallying for pressure and getting back up to prevail by half a length.

“He was a bit idle in front and we didn’t go mad. It actually suited me when I had something to attack at over the last two. He really put his neck out for me and tries,” said Gainford.

“He winged the last two and is a smart horse to look forward to in the spring.”

Betfair cut Teahupoo to 12-1 from 16-1 for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Robert Tyner saddled a treble on the card, initiated by Big Debates (11-2) in the Greenmount Equine Hospital Rated Novice Hurdle under 5lb claimer Jack Foley.

Split The Bucket (4-1) struck gold in the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle in the hands of Mark Walsh, who later steered Womalko (5-4 favourite) to win the Party Time Handicap Hurdle.

Split The Bucket in the Limerick winner's enclosure
Split The Bucket in the Limerick winner’s enclosure (Alan Magee/PA)

Tyner said: “Big Debates won well. He’s been consistent and he’ll probably go back over fences again. We’ll see what’s suitable for him.

“We always liked Split The Bucket a lot but he just had a lot of little problems, nothing major. He has a nice way about him.

“The horses are in good form and it’s nice to get the three on one day.

“I think I had a treble in Clonmel before and I’ve had three winners seven times in point-to-points.”

Rising star Jordan Gainford on the sidelines after Naas fall

Jockey Jordan Gainford is set for six weeks on the sidelines after breaking his wrist in a fall at Naas.

Gainford, a rising star who had a breakthrough Cheltenham Festival win on The Shunter last season, suffered the injury when his mount Buttons And Bows came down at the second-last in the Cavan Developments Home Builders Supporting St. Mary’s GAA Novice Handicap Chase on Saturday.

The 3lb claimer rides regularly for Gordon Elliott’s powerful stable, among others.

A Twitter update on Sunday from the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board’s senior medical officer Dr Jennifer Pugh confirmed the nature of Gainford’s injury and prognosis.

It read: “Jordan Gainford fractured his wrist in a fall at Naas yesterday and will be out for six weeks.”