Ladbrokes King George VI Chase
Grade 1, Kempton Park 14:30
£250,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus,
3m, Class 1  
Monday 26th December 2023


1 Hewick 12/1
2 Bravemansgame 9/4
3 Allaho 13/8F
6 ran Distances: 1½l, hd, 8½l
Time: 5m 55.75s (slow by 1.75s)

Hewick, an £800 purchase, staged a remarkable comeback from last to first to secure a remarkable victory.

Trained by Shark Hanlon and ridden by Gavin Sheehan, the horse appeared to face slim odds for the majority of the race.

Shishkin, leading from Frodon, had set a challenging pace that initially seemed too much for Hewick. However, as they entered the straight, Shishkin appeared in control, with Bravemansgame and Allaho making efforts to stay in contention.

Over the second-last fence, Shishkin, seemingly in command, lost his footing after a perfect jump, unseating Nico de Boinville. With Allaho leading and Bravemansgame in pursuit, Hewick, coming into contention and hitting full stride, surged ahead.

Gavin Sheehan executed a flawless jump at the last, guiding Hewick to victory by a length and a half over last year's winner, Bravemansgame. Sheehan acknowledged the horse's stamina, stating he might have considered pulling up in different circumstances.

Shark Hanlon expressed his elation, noting Hewick's staying power. Despite the challenging pace, Hanlon believed a tougher track might suit Hewick even better. Priced at £800, Hewick's victory defied expectations, with Hanlon attributing success to the horse's significant heart.

Hanlon confirmed plans for Cheltenham, acknowledging the unconventional choice of races for Hewick and hinting at the English National and Gold Cup as potential future targets. He emphasized Hewick's preference for better ground and praised Jordan Gainford's role in the horse's development.

Reflecting on the unconventional success of an £800 horse, Hanlon highlighted similar achievements with Skyace, underscoring Hewick's toughness and the widespread admiration he has garnered. Hanlon concluded with a sentiment of possibility, emphasizing that Hewick's journey showcases the unexpected in racing.

Horses 468x60 Jpg

Ladbrokes King George VI Chase
£250,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 3m, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Good

1     Hewick 8 11-10 John Joseph Hanlon 12/1
Bravemansgame 8 11-10 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 9/4
3 hd Allaho 9 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend 13/8F
The Real Whacker 7 11-10 Patrick Neville 14/1
34 Frodon 11 11-10 Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost 28/1
UR Shishkin 9 11-10 Nicky Henderson 100/30

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