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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

NFL star Gronkowski buys into Noseda namesake and eyes Churchill Downs history

Rob Gronkowski: "I love winners"
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Gronkowski, the horse who could give Britain its first Kentucky Derby triumph next month, has been bought into by the NFL ace he shares his name with.

Connections of the Lonhro colt named him after Rob Gronkowski because of the strapping physique the equine and human athletes share and the New England Patriots tight end has taken things a step further by becoming officially involved with owners Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited.

Watch Gronkowski's last win at Newcastle

Quoted on the Officialize website, Gronkowski said: "This horse is a winner and I love a winner. When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked when he started winning.

"He's won his last three races and is now headed to the Derby. I'm all in. Welcome to the Gronk family, Gronkowski the horse!"

Trained in Newmarket by Jeremy Noseda, Gronkowski, who will be partnered at Churchill Downs on May 5 by Jamie Spencer, is a 33-1 shot with British bookmakers to land North America's most prestigious race, which would delight his new part-owner.

"I really can't think of anything cooler than having a top-class thoroughbred named after me," the 28-year-old added. "Except maybe having him win the Derby."

Gronkowski would not be the first 'sports star' to win the Kentucky Derby as Nyquist - named after Swedish ice hockey player Gustav Nyquist who plays for the Detroit Red Wings - landed it in 2016.

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I really can't think of anything cooler than having a top-class thoroughbred named after me
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