Hathiq (Rory Cleary, left) quickens away from Optionality and Andrew Slattery with Stanhope in behind© Photo Healy Racing
Owner James McAuley and trainer Denis Hogan combined for their tenth winner since December when Hathiq ran out an impressive winner of the Curragh Official Opening Day Handicap.
Purchased by McAuley for 3,000 pounds in January, the beautifully bred Hathiq was following up on a win at Tipperary a month ago.
The son of Exceed And Excel did it impressively from the front, by three and three parts of a length from Optionality
Paddy Power go 6/1 from 10/1 about Hathiq for the Epsom Dash.
“I have to give a big thanks to the owners, Jim (Gough) and James (McAuley) — they approached me in Dundalk and gave me the opportunity to ride all these horses,” revealed winning rider Rory Cleary.
“It’s great to be able to win on a horse like this on a big weekend.”
Meanwhile Hogan stated: “He looks decent. We were thinking he’d probably go to the Rockingham after Tipperary but some lads were saying he might not be certain to get in.
“We weren’t certain about fast ground either but now we know it’s no problem. I wouldn’t say six is out of the question but he’s a proper five-furlong horse.
“He’s in the Dash at Epsom next weekend. He wasn’t getting in before today but he might go now. We’ll see how he is and what the handicapper does.
“He’s a nice one to have and is a bargain buy. At the January Sale they got Lincoln, Eastern Racer and this lad was the dearest — be cost 3,000!
“It’s great to get one on a big day as the owners are great supporters of mine.”
Under the provisions of Rule 90, the Stewards allowed Optionality (GB), trained by D.J. Bunyan, to run on receipt of the trainer's written assurance that the error identified in the certification of vaccinations would be corrected in accordance with Rule 91 within the timeframe specified.
(AM & EM)