Andrew Oliver is in no rush to make firm plans for Panama Hat
Last Updated: 19/08/14 9:53am
Trainer Andrew Oliver is in no rush to make firm plans for Panama Hat after the prolific gelding completed a five-timer at Dundalk on Sunday.
The son of Medicean began his three-year-old campaign with a rating of 60 following a fairly uninspiring juvenile season, but has rocketed up the weights and has a new official mark of 108 following his latest triumph.
The Leopardstown, Fairyhouse, Roscommon and Naas winner ultimately had little trouble getting the job done again on his all-weather debut and Oliver admits Panama Hat's days in handicap company could be over.
Oliver said: "We had a couple of things sorted over the winter, he was gelded earlier in the year and he just seems to have settled into his routine.
"He's a happy horse and has really taken to racing and I think the gelding operation had a lot to do with it. He's been a great success.
"We knew he had ability as a two-year-old but we didn't know where we stood with him after his first run of this year at Listowel. It was a terrible run, so we decided to take the hood off him and he ran in Leopardstown the next week.
"That could well have been his last run if he hadn't performed, but he ran a good race to finish second to show he was on the move and from then on I just kept entering him up and he kept winning under his penalty.
"He completed the four-timer and at that stage he was ahead of the handicapper, but after that we were looking at premier handicaps.
"There was a race at the Galway Festival but then rain came and the ground went for him, so we decided to wait for Sunday's race.
"It was his toughest task to date, we were a bit worried about the draw and I didn't know if the trip might be a bit short for him round a track like Dundalk.
"Then we had a late jockey switch after Chris Hayes got injured, but Fran Berry spoke to Chris and rode him to perfection, so it all worked out well.
"The horse is fine (after his run) and the handicapper has put him up 12lb to 108, so we're in a different bracket again now.
"There are two big handicaps on Irish Champions Weekend, one at the Curragh and one at Leopardstown, but I don't even know if he's eligible now.
"If he's not, we might have to look at stakes company and he does have a Group Three entry (Enterprise Stakes, September 13), but I'll discuss plans with the owners, Team Valor, and go from there."