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    Staking His Claim: Gainford Vies for Place on Hewick in Gold Cup
Staking His Claim: Gainford Vies for Place on Hewick in Gold Cup
Jordan Gainford riding Hewick by Healy Racing

Staking His Claim: Gainford Vies for Place on Hewick in Gold Cup

Jordan Gainford is aiming to gain an advantage over Hewick in the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup following his triumphant return from a prolonged injury break at Leopardstown.

The jockey established a strong rapport with Shark Hanlon’s horse in the spring of 2022, steering him to victory in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, followed by a win in the Galway Plate in July and a notable triumph in the American Grand National that October.

Nonetheless, Gainford hasn't been on Hewick's back since their mishap at the second-to-last fence in last year's Gold Cup. He was sidelined for a considerable period due to concussion and injuries, including fracturing two vertebrae in a fall in December, causing him to miss Hewick's victory in the King George VI Chase, where Gavin Sheehan took the reins.

Having demonstrated his fitness by guiding 16-1 outsider Miss Gherkin to victory in the Anton O’Toole Handicap Hurdle, Gainford is eager to renew his partnership with Hewick in the Cheltenham showcase next Friday.

Reflecting on his recent success, Gainford expressed his enthusiasm for being back in action, particularly in Gordon Elliott's stables and at Shark's yard. He credited individuals such as Gavin Egan from RACE, fitness coach Graham Harrison, and Jennifer and Adrian McGoldrick for their support and assistance.

Regarding Miss Gherkin, he commented on trainer Peter Croke's confidence in her abilities, highlighting her promising performance at Tramore and her resilience during the recent race despite past setbacks. He noted her determination to pass rivals in the latter stages of the race, showcasing a commendable attitude and spirit.

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