Paddy brennan

The unacknowledged stars of the jump season

The Irish aren’t just good at winning horse races: they are in the Super League when it comes to celebrating victories. After Shark Hanlon’s Hewick had collected the £90,000 first prize in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park last Saturday, the red-haired trainer said with a twinkle: ‘The plan was to go home this evening. The plan just changed.’ I hope the craic was good: the year before, when Shark had his first Grade One victory with Skyace, he went home and fed 50 calves before opening a bottle of champagne only for his boxer bitch to start producing a series of eight pups – a process that engaged