Andy aims at breaking America

Co Tyrone trainer, Andy Oliver
Co Tyrone trainer, Andy Oliver

Co Tyrone trainer, Andy Oliver is training stable star, Panama Hat for an ambitious tilt at the American St Leger.

The local horse won five races last season in a tremendous 2014 campaign and opened his account for this season with a Listed victory in the Lenebane Stakes, at Roscommon last month when coming from last to first under an inspired ride from top jockey, Chris Hayes.

Due to limited options on the home front, the Caledon based handler is considering sending his charge to America for the prestigious Arlington Million fixture in Chicago.

“It was an interesting race [at Roscommon]. It wasn’t our first plan to go there but he got the job done,” stated the Ulster handler.

He added: “The way he did it, coming from last to first showed he retains all his ability, so we were delighted with him on the day and he seems in good form since.

“He does have an entry at Leopardstown next week in the Ballyroan Stakes, but the plan is to go to Arlington for the American St Leger.

“The American Leger is a Grade Three race and it makes sense to take him there and see how he gets on.

“I took a horse over there a couple of years ago and unfortunately it wasn’t a very fruitful venture, but Panama Hat is a pretty laid-back individual.”

Panama Hat is owned by Team Valor – an American-based syndicate who landed the $10 million Dubai World Cup in 20 13 with Animal Kingdom.