Tipperary trainer Harry Kelly has the Listed four-year-old bumper at Limerick in the spring in mind for Aliym after his winning Naas debut.
The opening bumper of the year for the youngsters is often targeted by some of the most powerful yards – and the 2019 edition last Sunday appeared right up to scratch.
Aliym, a 20-1 chance with Paul Cawley in the saddle, just held the challenge of the JP McManus-owned and Joseph O’Brien-trained Top Moon.
Derek O’Connor partnered hot favourite Top Moon, and he was followed home by Noel Meade’s Zambezir – with another of the market leaders, Liz Doyle’s Fumet D’Oudairies, in fourth.
Kelly said: “We kind of thought from July time we’d store him away with this race in mind – we won it before in 2015 with Sir Will, and we had a couple of placed horses in between.
“We always like to have a nice bumper horse – we’ve just not had that many of them in the last couple of years.
“He would have won a Flat maiden, but we said we’d try to win a bumper – and go back at that game in the summer.”
Kelly has his eye on further bumper success first, though.
“I’d say the most likely place we’ll probably go with him is Limerick for the Listed bumper – there’s a good pot there,” he said.
“He’s a fine-sized horse – about sixteen-one. He’s a good, straight, clear-winded, correct horse.
“We’ll mind him – he won’t be abused. We’ve waited this long so we’ll continue to be patient with him.
“We were kind of hoping at Naas that it might be a little bit softer. He’s probably fairly versatile with the pedigree he has. He was fine on what was there on Sunday anyhow.
Aliym’s work at home had been promising a big run.
“He was doing things right,” added Kelly.
“Jamie Codd did a lot with him – he rode him in a lot of his work. Jamie got injured and Paul Cawley deputised on the day and did a grand job.
“I hear they have good regard for the Meade horse, and Joseph’s was very well fancied and he looks a fine type. By all accounts, it rode like a very good race too.
“Liz’s horse was well-fancied as well. They have a good bit of ammunition. We have a little bit to test off (at home), but not as much as those yards unfortunately.
“When you see a few sprint away from the rest it’s always a fairly good sign.”
Kelly, who is on the mend after having to stay away from Naas because of flu, was delighted to see a fresh set of silks carried to victory.
“Paul and Paula Doyle are new owners,” he said.
“They are John Kehoe’s son and daughter-in-law, and they’re all from Wexford.
“Gerry Aherne and John Kehoe picked out the horse at Goffs last February.
“We just tipped away, castrated him, gave him a bit of time – and thankfully it worked out.
“We’ll treat him like a good horse when he’s showing he might be one.”