Imaging got his campaign off to a flying start with a taking victory in the Spin 1038 Heritage Stakes at Leopardstown, as Dermot Weld dominated proceedings at the Dublin track.
The Rosewell House handler first struck with Tarnawa (evens favourite) and Tinandali (5-1), before the four-year-old Imaging made it three and then Titanium Sky (8-1) added to the haul.
Oisin Orr – who was also aboard Titanium Sky – was content to have the Khalid Abdullah-owned Imaging off the early pace set by Surrounding, with Quizzical and Verbal Dexterity not far away.
Zihba staked a strong bid on the run from the straight, but Imaging (3-1) burst through to get the verdict by half a length for a second Listed success. Surrounding was a length behind Zihba in third place.
“He’s a very consistent stakes’ horse and he’ll head on for a Group race now,” said Weld.
“The Gladness is a possibility for him, providing it doesn’t come too soon.
“Every drop of rain helped him, as he’s a big horse and likes a good dig. He can step all the way up into a Group horse without any problems.”
Weld added: “Oisin gave him a lovely ride and that’s his first stakes’ winner. He’s a former champion apprentice and he’s a very talented young rider.
“People could say that he couldn’t claim his 3lb here, but I wasn’t worried about that. He rides out for me a couple of days a week now.”
Weld was equally pleased with Orr and Titanium Sky, saying: “He gave her a lovely ride. It was in some ways a messy race, but he took his time, got a nice run through, and she did it well.
“I’d say another furlong would be well within her compass. I would expect to be able to get some black type with her during the year. I thought she quickened up very nicely.”
Weld – who will aim Tarnawa at the Blue Wind Stakes – added: “It’s been a great evening, a lovely four-timer.
“It’s like old times, I’ve had a couple of five-timers here, but four-timers are always appreciated, as things are a bit tougher nowadays.”