Grand National Jockey: Henry Brooke

3 March 2020
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Ten years ago, Henry Brooke was the breakout star of British racing. It was thought he would lead the next generation of Grand National Jockeys. However, it’s been a tough road, with many ups and downs. This page will provide a brief overview of Brooke’s career and we’ll assess the likelihood of Henry Brooke Grand National winner being a reality.

Overview of Henry Brooke’s Career

When Henry Brooke moved to the Grand National-winning trainer Donald McCain’s yard and became the Conditional Champion in 2011 – 2012, he was rightly praised as the best young talent in UK racing.

Yet, Henry struggled to make the breakthrough as he went from an amateur to senior partly because he lost the luxury of the weight allowance afforded to apprentice jockeys. However, a testament to the man, where many others have quit, Brooke has knuckled down and is more determined than ever to prove that he has got what it takes to reach the top.

Henry Brooke

He now has around 300 career wins to his name, which is an achievement to be proud of. Certainly, this is a far cry from the 4,000+ Tony McCoy retired with and the 3,500 Richard Johnson has to his name but Henry Brooke hasn’t always had the best horses. As a freelance jockey, he would often accept rides on 33/1 and 50/1 longshots in the hope of getting noticed by a top stable. This is why we believe his win record is fairly impressive and making him someone to consider when looking for who to bet on.

On the 30th of November 2019, Brooke landed his maiden Grade 1 race victory as he guided 16/1 shot Cornerstone Lad to victory in the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. He managed the upset of the year beating 2/13 odds on favourite Buveur D’Air by a short head. This was the shortest-priced horse to lose a Grade 1 race since Istabraq two decades ago.

Henry Brooke Trivia

In October of 2016, Henry Brooke, riding Old Storm in the 2.25 at Hexham, fell at the second fence. Another horse struck him on his head with its hoof as he lay on the ground. Racing was stopped for more than two hours while Grand National Jockey Brooke was taken to hospital in Newcastle. He was immediately put into an induced coma but fortunately, there was no lasting damage and he was back racing within seven weeks, which considering he suffered a punctured lung and several broken ribs, is nothing short of amazing.

Henry Brooke Wins

Henry Brooke’s Grand National record isn’t the best at the moment. He first became a Grand National jockey in 2013 when he guided Across the Bay around the famous Aintree track for a 14th place finish. He has ridden in every Grand National since then but has failed to complete the course on his last five attempts.

  • 2019: Lake View Lad – Pulled up 27th fence
  • 2018: Delusionofgrandeur – Pulled up 17th fence
  • 2017: Highland Lodge – Pulled up 30th fence
  • 2016: Aachen – Pulled up 22nd fence
  • 2015: Across the Bay – Pulled up 25th fence
  • 2014: Across the Bay – Finished 14th
  • 2013: Across the Bay – Finished 14th

As mentioned, Brooke can now call himself a Grade 1 race winner after his stunning ride in the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Before that, he rode Clondaw Caitlin to victory at Wetherby, Buster Valentine at Market Rasen and Kingrullah at Sedgefield in the Sky Sports Racing Handicap Hurdle.

In the future, is Henry Brooke Grand National-winning jockey a possibility? We believe so, He has the grit and determination to succeed and he’s still young enough, too. All he needs is the right horse and the ingredients are all prepared.

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