Helvic Dream and Chris Hayes pictured on their way to victory
© Photo Healy Racing
Helvic Dream made the breakthrough on the third time of asking, as he took the feature at Roscommon this evening, the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race.
An eye-catching third on his first two starts at Down Royal and Galway respectively, the Noel Meade trained victor was expected to go close this evening and was sent off the 11/4 second favourite.
Settled in mid-division by Chris Hayes, he was fifth entering the straight and was ridden to challenge on the outer with a furlong and half left to race.
He edged to the front inside the final 200 yards and kept on well from there, coming home three and a half lengths to the good.
Xian Express was returned the 11/8 favourite and he finished second under Billy Lee for Paddy Twomey, while the front-running Vormir (3/1) was a head back in third.
"He ran well the first day over five, and he hadn't been showing us much at all at home before we ran him," said Meade.
"In Galway he got into a little bit of trouble but Colin (Keane) has loved him all the time. He just couldn't ride today because he had to ride for Ger (Lyons). He was pretty confident that he was a pretty decent horse.
"I'd imagine he'll go for the final of this series and we'll probably give him another run before that.
"He's thriving all the time. He's going the right way and hopefully he'll keep going that way.
"I'd say the ground was an advantage to him. I felt that he mightn't be a real fast ground horse and it wasn't a disadvantage that easy ground.
"I bought him off Joanna Morgan and she told me 'you have to buy him'. She was right anyway. He hasn't got a great pedigree but he's a very good looking horse, big and strong.
"Finbar (Cahill) is probably one of the luckiest owners I've ever had and he's been with me from the beginning.
"He owned one of the real good horses we had at the beginning, Pinch Hitter, who won two Galway Hurdles.
"He owns half of Dadoozdart and anything he touches seem to be lucky and Tom Hendron who is the other owner had horses with me years ago and he's been a lucky owner too."
* The Stewards wished to interview C.D. Hayes, rider of Helvic Dream, concerning his use of the whip in this race following a report from the I.H.R.B. Veterinary Officer, that Helvic Dream was marked post race. C.D. Hayes confirmed to the Stewards that he had three or more previous breaches of Regulation 10 since the new whip Regulations came into effect and confirmed the presence of marks on the animal from photographic evidence. Having considered the rider's acceptance of his disciplinary record in relation to Regulation 10, the Stewards referred the matter to the Referrals Committee for consideration under the provisions of Regulation 10.6.
Additional reporting by Gary Carson