Horse racing is far from an exact science. Huge amounts of money are banded about in the hope of finding a top-level racehorse that can provide owners, trainers, and jockeys, with some of the greatest days of their lives.
Sometimes these huge sums of money stumped up for a potential star of the track can be money well spent, but the majority of the time the outlay proves to be wasted money, as the horse fails to reach the expected heights placed upon him.
On the other side of the coin, there are plenty of owners and trainers who spend their time rustling through the equine bargain bin, hoping to find a diamond in the rough that may have managed to slip through the cracks.
The majority of the time, the bargain basement fails to deliver, but, on occasion, a gem is located and goes on to shock the racing world.
Hewick – An Unexpected Success Story
He was the horse that no one wanted. Hewick was a below-average hurdler on the road to nowhere, another horse that was supposedly not good enough to be on the race track. That was until the legendary Irish trainer Shark Hanlon took a chance on him for just €850.
Hanlon now had a choice. Should he keep Hewick to himself, find a sole owner, or try to put together a racing syndicate to pay the horse’s way at a cost of the price to each member? Hanlon is a trainer that loves to include racing syndicates among his yard’s owners, joining in with those with racehorse shares to celebrate the big days that come with being a part of a successful racehorse syndicate.
Eventually, it was a brave man named TJ McDonald took a chance on the so-far unimpressive horse, and the rest, as they say, is history. McDonald and everyone else involved with Hewick would go on to enjoy some of the biggest days of their lives with their bargain buy, proving that money is not everything when it comes to the sport of horse racing.
Rising From The Ashes
Having put his career in jeopardy with his performances over hurdles, Hewick would turn his, his owner’s and his trainer’s lives around when sent to tackle the bigger obstacles. He proved to be a natural over fences and began progressing at a rate of knots.
From his debut win in Ireland, Hewick became one of the most exciting talents as a chaser and would eventually win the prestigious Galway Plate at the Galway Festival in 2022. His improvement in form also led to his trainer giving him a chance to return to hurdling on occasion, resulting in some great performances in big races.
The American Dream And Gold Cup Hopes
Meet the Eclipse Award Winner— USASteeplechase (@USASteeplechase) January 27, 2023
The story behind €850 horse that has now won over €450,000 in prize money after American Grand National win. This is all the more remarkable considering he was purchased for just €850.
Hewick really burst onto the scene when his connections made the unusual decision to take him across the Atlantic to compete in the Grand National Hurdle Stakes, a race he would win easily. With this win, the €850 purchase would earn over £100,000 in prizemoney and would attract a huge following stateside.
The next step in the meteoric rise of Hewick will see him compete in the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. The Gold Cup is the most prestigious jump race in Europe and will see Hewick take on the best equine talent that the sport has to offer.
With nearly £400,000 now earned by the bargain bin purchase, whatever the result at Cheltenham, he now owes his connections absolutely nothing and has already stamped his name in racing folklore.