Barry Caul

While the final of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks (See separate story) was the feature at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night, the undercard was a thing of beauty with the opening round of the Shelbourne Champion 550 producing some stunning displays, while the remaining races were also won in the most impressive fashion.

Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Snazzy (Ballymac Bolger/ Ballymac Belle) ran out a game winner of the Consolation Oaks decider, chalking up a remarkable treble for Liam Dowling on the night. Reckless Nanny took a flier from trap five but was headed on the run up by Ballymac Snazzy and Droopys Gloss.

Droopys Gloss ran slightly wide at the first turn doing no favours to Reckless Nanny and this allowed Hatfield Lola to give chase into the third bend with a recovering Reckless Nanny once again in top stride.

Ballymac Snazzy still held a two-length buffer as they turned for home and that proved decisive. Hatfield Lola and Reckless Nanny challenge either side but the line came in time for Snazzy as she held off Hatfield Lola to win by a length in 28:38. Reckless Nanny was a little unlucky back in third.


The Other Kobe (Ballymac Best/ Mountaylor Queen) has shown some dazzling trial form in recent weeks and he put it all together from an unfavourable draw in four in the opening heat.

Fastest into stride, he predictably cut for the inside but somehow managed to secure a trouble-free run to the turn.  

Kilgraney Sydney flew into the bend after a tardy start to move second and continued to give chase as they entered the back straight. It turned out to be a futile chase, however, as The Other Kobe flew to the third bend, building an unassailable lead. The Jennifer O’Donnell trained star may have tied up slightly on the run in but was never in any real danger. Droops Nice One made eye-catching progress down the far side and came home well, as too did Pablo Escobark to take third place. It was an ultra-impressive run from Kobe in a blistering 29.33.


Maries Wedding (Droopys Sydney/ Ballymac Petsy) overcame some trouble in running to emerge a smart winner of heat two of the Shelbourne Champion 550.

After a level start, it was the Murt Leahy trained Story’s Nugget who showed the best early into the bend and was left with a four length lead after some crowding in behind.

Maries Wedding emerged from the pack with Hannover Phantom but they had plenty to do. By the third turn Storys Nuggets lead was down to two lengths with Maries Wedding closing rapidly. Off the last bend Maries Wedding switched wide to launch her challenge and got there with a bit to spare over a gallant Storys Nugget in 29.61. Hannover Phantom also caught the eye back in third and is one to keep on side in round two.


Hoodoo Brown (Vultiru/ Amanita Chic) is a greyhound blessed with massive pace and power and, on this occasion, he added a nice touch of early pace to his armoury.

Coming in as a reserve. Liam Dowling and Mossie O’Donnell’s powerful bridle was actually slowly into stride and last as they passed the line but, once early pace-setter Russmur Fantasy moved off on the run up, Hoodoo Brown shot up the inside and forced his way through to lead at the turn.

It was a case of name the distance from that point and he pulled further and further clear, eventually winning by seven and a half lengths and stopping the clock in a stunning 29.27. It was a much-improved performance by the massive youngster and, if he can brush up his starting, he’s a serious candidate for outright honours. Russmur Fantasy gave chase all the way but could not threaten the winner with Emilys Jet making a pleasing Shelbourne debut back in third.


Ballymac Leon (Ballymac Anton/ Coolavanny Pet) provided Liam Dowling with a quick double when making the most of an inside run at the opening turn in Heat 4.

Race favourite Mustang Jet was well away from six and was a fractional leader on the outside of Deadly Showtime with Ballymac Leon on the inside of the trio as they raced to the opening turn.

With the benefit of the inside, Leon got the cleaner run into the back straight to lead Deadly Showtime with the unlucky Mustang Jet force wide at the opening turn and losing all chance. Ballymac Leon raced on with Deadly Showtime while Drombeg Ten now moved into a distance third. Ballymac Leon went on to score by five lengths in 29.67 with Vincenzo running on for second, while Drombeg Ten did well to hold on for the bronze medal a further half-length adrift.


Twoinarow (Droopys Sydney/ Murdaniel Beauty) features prominently in many of the Irish Derby ante post lists and, on the evidence of this latest performance, it’s easy to see why.

Showing plenty of determination, he got the better of the battle with Newinn Homer. Not for the first time on the evening, he benefited from having the inside line at the bend. As they raced down the back straight wide apart nothing separated them until halfway where Twoinarow began to edge clear. By the third turn held a length advantage.

Newinn Homer kept him up to his work but couldn’t peg back the favourite, who went on to score by three lengths in 29.54. Homer ran with plenty of credit in second place and remains one to keep on the right side of. Oakfront Cadet also caught the eye back in third.


Produce Stakes champ Gaston Pecas (Droopys Sydney/ Bobsleigh Dream) turned in a really likeable performance to win the final heat of the Shelbourne Champion 550.

Ballymac Run led early with Gaston Pecas, while Carlas Girl also showed good pace into the corner between the duo.

At this point Carlas Girl was left short of room and was forced to check, losing all momentum. Ballymac Run assumed control into the back straight with Gaston Pecas now giving chase some three lengths adrift but, as they hit the third bend, Ballymac Run left a gap on the rail and Gaston Pecas didn’t need a second invitation. Turning for home Pat Buckley’s charge powered clear to win by two and a half lengths in 29.69. The gallant Ballymac Run was second with Ballymac Ben running on strongly to take third.


Ela Supremo (Ballymac Best/ Mashmad Eyebrows) has long been one of Ireland’s very best sprinters and he turned in yet another devastating performance when taking the sprint contest.

Front Edition broke fast from one along with Two Amigos with Ela Supremo just behind them.

There was little to separate the trio as the approached the first bend, but Ela Supremo displayed the better early as the bend approached. Two Amigos was forced to check losing all chance as this left Front Edition to chase Ela Supremo in vain as he crossed the line a facile six and a half-length winner in a flying 18.41.


Coolavanny Hoffa (Droopys Sydney/ Coolavanny Ella) ran out an emphatic winner of a strong looking ninth race.

Warrenstown Boy flashed from traps and led early but Coolavanny Hoffa was soon on the case, running a brilliant first bend to take over as they entered the back straight. Michael O Donovan’s then turned on the style. Easing right away, Hoffa had over seven lengths in hand of his nearest rival Macho Pride in 28.29. Own spice was back in third.


Roxholme Kristof ran out a most impressive winner of the Open 750.

Fastest into stride from five, the Martin Lanney trained tracker was forced to check on the short run to the corner and found himself in fourth place passing the stands.

Tinnock Solis set the early gallop and led with a lap to go from Burnell Bruiser and an improving Toolmaker Beach. Down the back straight for the second time you could sense the complexion of the race was about to change as Tinnock Solis was coming back to the improving Toolmaker Beach. But the eye was drawn to Kristoff back in third.

Once again, he challenged at the wrong time at the fifth bend which allowed Tinnock Solis to go on again but Roxholme Kristof was not to be denied. Showing real determination, the one-time star in the UK came again to run out a deserving winner two and a half length winner in 41:58.


Tamara Butlers Massachusetts has often shown massive pace in top company but his record has rarely reflected his incredible ability.

It seems a step up to 575yds has done the trick or the talented son of Good Nes as he made it two on the spin in the finale, as he saw off a wonderful field in some style.

All About Ted was the favourite from trap five and things seemed to be going to plan as he bettered the fast-starting Ripley Lightning into the turn to take control. Massachusetts was on his shoulder, however, and this set up a tremendous buckle between the pair.

Try as he may, All About Ted just couldn’t contain his pursuer. Showing great pace into the third turn, Massachusetts took charge and eased on to emerge a mighty impressive four length winner in a rapid 30.96.