At a glance

  • Gelding, Ontario-bred, foaled May 21, 2021
  • By Souper Speedy out of Two Klassy
  • Trainer: Kevin Attard
  • Acquired at 2022 Canadian Premier Yearling Sale
  • Foundation development at Margaux Farm (KY)

Behind the name

Hanlan’s name is a tribute to the first Canadian athlete to ever be named world champion in any individual sport.

Hailed as “the little Canuck” and “a Canadian David”, Canada Sports Hall of Famer Edward “Ned” Hanlan was Canada’s most prominent athlete of the 19th century. In 1877, the rower became Champion Sculler of Canada and followed that by becoming Champion Sculler of the United States in 1878. The next year, he defeated the Champion of England to claim rowing’s equivalent of the Triple Crown. Then in 1880, in front of 100,000 spectators lining the banks of the River Thames, Hanlan won the World Championship of singles rowing by easily defeating E.A. Trickett of Australia who had held the title for four consecutive years.

Hanlan was the first Canadian ever to become world champion in an individual sport and the first one to really gain international recognition in any discipline, even those outside of sport. Giving Canadians a reason to be proud, he was a bona fide superstar whose name was a household word in Paris, London, Rome, Boston, New York, and throughout the British Empire.

Considered the father of the modern rowing technique, Hanlan competed with icy calm and was a master at “psyching out” opponents before that term ever existed. Usually sportsmanlike and reserved, he had absolutely no qualms about humiliating and laying waste to opponents he disliked.

Before Hanlan’s first world championship, the 6’ 4” reigning champ Trickett and his trainers publicly mocked the 150 lb Canadian and dismissed the race as a total mismatch. Hanlan responded by chatting with spectators as he rowed, blowing them kisses, and rowing in zigzags while the Australian laboured in his wake. When Hanlan pulled too far ahead, he stopped to allow Trickett to catch up and then sped off again. At one point, the Canadian cried out, dropped his sculls clumsily into the water, and collapsed flat on his back. While the crowd groaned that something terrible had happened, the Aussie closed to within a length and a half before Hanlan sprung up laughing and dashed off again. He stopped a few more times, including once to wash his face, before winning the 4 1/4 mile race by three lengths.

In 1882, Hanlan granted another shot at the world title to Trickett who refused to acknowledge the Canadian’s superiority and guaranteed victory courtesy of his new boat that weighed only 29 lbs. In that rematch, Hanlan crossed the finish line so far in front of Trickett that he leisurely turned around, rowed back to his opponent, swung in behind him, and then beat him a second time. Hanlan lost only six of 300 races during a rowing career in which he successfully defended his world championship six times.

When Hanlan raced, theatres, operas, and stores closed. Canada’s Parliament paused. Even the London and New York stock exchanges halted to celebrate his achievements. A community in Mississauga was named after Hanlan and a postage stamp was issued in his honour. There is a Hanlan Road in Vaughan, Ontario and in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia. To honor Hanlan’s birthplace, Australians changed the name of the town of Ebenezer to Toronto, New South Wales.

A bronze statue of Hanlan stood on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition from 1926 until 2004 when it was relocated to Hanlan’s Point in the Toronto Islands. It commemorates a “victorious career that has no parallel in the annals of sport”.

About the sire

Our gelding’s sire, Souper Speedy, is a stakes winning son of Indian Charlie who was an important sire of Champions, a G1 Santa Anita Derby winner, and third place finisher in the Kentucky Derby. Half brother to G1 winning millionaire Brilliant Speed and hailing from one of the richest, deepest families in the stud book, Souper Speedy is a Top 10 cumulative fourth crop sire in North America and was the #1 sire in Canada in 2021, #2 in 2022, and #3 in 2023 by average earnings per starter. He has sired 6 crops of racing age, 255 foals (including Canuck Racing Club’ Sinclairity), 129 starters (including Canuck Racing Club’s Hanlan), 9 black-type winners, and 81 winners of 229 races (including Canuck Racing Club’s Vandoo) with progeny earnings $8,724,039.

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