US-bound Gronkowski set for warm welcome from fans of Patriots namesake
Fans of NFL team the New England Patriots may soon have a horse to follow in their own backyard as Jeremy Noseda's promising three-year-old Gronkowski, named after their giant tight end, is poised to be campaigned in the US in the near future.
The son of Lonhro is unbeaten in two outings on the all-weather this winter, most recently when landing a mile novice event by six lengths under a penalty at Newcastle on Friday.
Although he is entered in the UAE Derby, Gronkowski is to bypass Dubai and instead head to the US in the spring, where he is likely to build up a following from fans of the recent Super Bowl runners-up.
Rob Gronkowski has twice won the Super Bowl in his eight years with the Patriots (2014 and 2016) and managed two touchdowns in last week's 33-41 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
At 6ft 5in and nearly 19st, 'Gronk' is a big unit – which tells the story behind the naming of his equine namesake, bought for 300,000gns by Phoenix Thoroughbreds at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sales last year.
Kerri Radcliffe, Phoenix Thoroughbred's racing manager and bloodstock agent for the northern hemisphere, said: "I love the New England Patriots and as Rob Gronkowski is six-five and about the same wide I thought it would be an appropriate name for the horse as he's built much the same."
Before his Newcastle success, Gronkowski had turned in a similar performance when scoring by four and a half lengths at Chelmsford in November.
Radcliffe added: "Gronkowski is a lovely horse and we are excited about his future. I think the plan would be to give him one more run here and then head to the US, where I'm sure he'll generate plenty of interest with a name like his."
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