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Ambitious Oliver steps up bid for even more success

By Ron McKnight

Andy Oliver is confident his new facilities will boost his tally of winners in the seasons ahead. Oliver is staging an open day tomorrow from noon at his stables at Stragrane House, Dyan, Caledon, Co Tyrone.

The local trainer has carried out extensive upgrades to his facilities and the new gallops complex with horses working will also be on show on the day.

The gallops include a five furlong woodchip hill gallop plus a seven furlong stretch with a slight incline, concluding with a pull up circle and a sand gallop.

The stables and turn-out paddocks have also been revamped.

Oliver has in excess of 200 acres and 80 stables available to him.

"I think today you need to be a dual purpose trainer," Oliver said.

"I have trained jumpers in the past with success and very much enjoyed that code.

"I have, however, in recent years become associated with the flat but I want to get out the message that I'm happy to train horses for the flat and jumping."

The complex already boasts schooling fences and hurdles as well as a schooling track for national hunt horses.

During his career, Oliver has sent out group winners, while Lucky Nine - a former inmate - became Champion Sprinter in Hong Kong following multiple Group One wins. Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets, along with Grade One winning hurdlers Long Dog and Mega Fortune, are just three of the trainer's former charges to hit the heights over jumps following their sale.

Panama Hat, retired following his return to action in July at Naas, has been the stable's most recent star, winning five races and almost £200,000 in prize money.

Panama Hat was a very close second in the American St Leger at Arlington in 2015 and will parade for the public tomorrow.

Panama Hat is owned by the American based Team Valor, who are included in the trainer's list of owners. Team Valor have horses in training worldwide and won the $10million Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom in 2013.

Oliver - a qualified vet - is keen to not only expand his range of racing options, but also his owner base.

"I am delighted to have finally got the open day organised and hope everyone who attends will enjoy the experience and learn something about the care and training of racehorses," he added.

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