Hathal proved his close encounter with an unusual training partner is no bar to success on the track as he breezed to victory in Wolverhampton’s sunracing.co.uk Conditions Stakes.
Jamie Osborne’s seven-year-old last week became an unwitting co-star for social-media sensation ‘Bobby’ – the wayward whippet who stepped out of her role as the trainer’s companion to instead chase after Hathal and stable star Toast Of New York on the Lambourn gallops.
Osborne’s Twitter post of footage, as ‘Bobby’ briefly harried the horses and the trainer shouted haplessly for her to return to heel, was lapped up by thousands of followers – along with the hashtag badbobby.
Hathal, however, showed no ill-effects on his next appearance at Wolverhampton on Monday evening – comfortably following up his victory at the same course last month.
Osborne was not present to witness Hathal’s fifth career success – by one and a half lengths at 2-1 under Nicola Currie.
Even after a slow start, the win was in no doubt once Hathal hit top gear in the final furlong, stretching clear of his four opponents.
It was 9-2 shot Oh This Is Us who got closest in vain pursuit this time, but none threatened as Bobby did once Hathal and Currie got serious.
Speaking shortly after Hathal’s latest victory, Osborne reflected on a case of all well that has ended well – and explained his own theory about Bobby’s antics.
“My daughter takes Hathal every morning, and I have a sneaking suspicion that is why Bobby went haring off after him – it was more about her than it was the horse,” he said.
“It scared the living daylights out of us at the time – but it clearly worked!
“He’s a horse in good form at the moment, and it’s always a relief to keep a good horse going the right way.”