“Tony The Gent defies a massive market drift at Dundalk on Friday night”

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The lads at Hilltop Racing have really become notorious for spotting a bargain in claiming races. They aren’t chucking their money at anything in the claimers for the sake of it; undoubtedly it is more calculated than that. If they assume their assigned trainer Denis Hogan can improve or reinvigorate a prospective buy – they will put their money down; not often do their best laid plans go astray. Dubliner James McAuley heads the team alongside his brother Steven, and their uncle James Gough.

On Friday evening they attained their first winner of 2020 with Tony The Gent at Dundalk Stadium.

This former Ger Lyons inmate was initially purchased for €70,000 at The Goffs sale back in 2016, yet Hilltop racing had the chance to acquire the winning son of Kodiac last summer for €20,000 in a claiming race. He has raced in their illustrious orange silks eight time before he decisively got his head in-front on Friday evening at the County Louth track, barring two races all them have been run at Dundalk under their ownership – there is no questioning he is a better turf horse than on the all-weather surface, so there is still plenty to look forward to going forward from this old timer.

Speaking exclusively to us James McAuley insisted; “We were delighted to get Tony the Gent’s head in front on Friday, he had run some reasonable races for us after we claimed him without ever looking like his turn was coming. We gave him a break for November and most of December and it just took him a while to get himself back in gear when he went back to Hogan’s. He really needed his run badly last week when he finished 9th in the claimer at Dundalk, but he came on massively for it and even though he drifted from about 4/1 out to 14/1 in the betting, we fancied him to be bang there.  

McAuley then added; “We don’t have any wild plans for him yet, but he could continue on in the claiming races. He would be a fun horse for us or anybody else if he is claimed, we have 10 horses in pre-training in Hilltop so if someone decides to take him on, we have replacements ready and waiting to fill his spot”.

This was Hilltop Racing’s first winner of the year; one thing is for sure it won’t be their last. Tony The Gent could be a nice buy for someone in the coming weeks in a claimer.

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