Hear the Echo Takes Charge

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No matter how many times spectators are warned that anything can happen during a racing event, they never seem to believe that a huge upset is possible until it unfolds right before their eyes. With a 33-1 chance of winning the Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National, run at Fairyhouse, most spectators probably didn’t even notice the name Hear the Echo on the card. But as this amazing horse started to fight his way into the lead, nothing was going to stop this underdog from stunning everyone in attendance.

The Irish Grand National was a highly emotional horse racing event. While some fans had to process emotions of disappointment as Beef or Salmon came in last place, others mourned the loss of Alexander Taipan who fatally injured himself over a jump. And while the air was thick with disbelief and tragedy, there was one shining moment in the form of Hear the Echo.

Trainer of Hear the Echo, Mouse Morris, who put the Gigginstown Stud on the map after training War of Attrition who won the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup, clearly showed his surprise and elation at his horse’s performance. Hear the Echo is owned by Michael O’Leary and has not performed as well as everyone had hoped at recent racing events. But he most definitely made up for his past races by securing a twelve length gap between himself and race favorite, Royal County Star, and winning the race. Plans to train Hear the Echo and condition him for next year’s Aintree meet are already being discussed, especially now that he has proven that he can take charge and outrun the competition.

Royal County Star came in second place, followed by Notre Pere and A New Story. It most certainly proved to be a nail-biting race, filled with excitement, surprises and magnetic performances. It is now up to Hear the Echo to continue on this road of victory, and all his fans will definitely be hoping to see him at Aintree in 2009. The Irish Grand National also witnessed Conor O’Dwyer in the saddle for the last time, as he confirmed his immediate retirement from the sport of horse racing. As a well loved and champion hurdle jockey, Conor O’Dwyer will be missed and remembered, together with the day that Hear the Echo made a forceful and strong comeback in his racing career.