Ian Fortune

Friday’s feature at Shelbourne Park was the second round of the Soul & Cushie Jet @ Stud A3 and Navy Blue was the standout performer, improving considerably on his opening round effort to post a rapid 28.46.

Seamus Knox’s son of Superior Product and Global Liberty had shown big promise in qualifying, posting a fast 18.82 at Youghal for the sprint trip, but has been out of luck in three career outings. He certainly put that right on Friday, flashing from trap two to dictate throughout.

Stefans Tornado was soon second and pushed the leader to the third turn but Navy Blue flew up the straight to race right away from his pursuer to eventually score by five lengths in a rapid fastest of the night 28.46.


Kiltymon Pearl was next fastest in the last of the four heats.

Trained by Paul Hennessy for the Maiden Voyage Syndicate, the daughter of Droopys Cain and Rockburst Pearl flew into the turn to go clear and she was never under any pressure. Staying on well, the June ’18 whelp emerged a comfortable seven length scorer over Leinster Leo in 28.60.  


Swift Lotus came in as a reserve to win Heat 3 for Reggie Roberts.

Lacken Padjo was in front for much of the way but Swift Lotus entered the back straight in second and gradually closed the gap top the third turn. Going to the front on the fence between the last two bends, the son of Farloe Blitz and Annie From Cork went on to score by a half length in 28.97. 


There was a desperately tight finish to the second heat with Stephen McBride’s Pennys Rascal (Deanridge Viking/ Pennys Papayer) emerging triumphant in a three-way photo finish.

 Pearlstone Jet made virtually every yard after a fast start but he was joined on the line by the advancing Pennys Rascal and Plum Tree. In the end Pennys Rascal was judged to have won by a short head from Plum Tree in 29.19 with the long-time leader a neck away in third.


The opening round of the Shelbourne A1 575 also produced some superb racing and the undoubted star was Howard Wallace’s Cordial as he broke the 31 second barrier when running clear of his rivals in the opening heat.

Crucial Matt set the pace into the back straight but Cordial was on his shoulder and duly took charge before halfway. Once doing so the result was never in doubt. The Francie Murray trained son of Pat C Sabbath and Auntie really turned on the afterburners from the third turn and pulled right away to win by five lengths from Crucial Matt in a brilliant 30.94.


The Graham Holland trained Sizzler again displayed superb early speed to claim a ninth career victory in the second heat, making every yard to hold the late charge of Droopys Wyatt.

Beechview Cognac was the main challenger to Sizzler down the far side but sadly lost his action approaching the third turn.

It meant Marion Moloney’s Sizzler remained clear and the son of Laughil Blake and Illusion Dream went on to contain Droopys Wyatt by a length in 31.26.    


The final heat went the way of Hold Fire Now.

Ollie Bray’s son of Kisses For Cloda and Royal Diva raced in third through the opening half of the contest, just on the heels of the front pair, Burgess Macy and Ropewalk Bhoy, before making his move to the third turn.

Staying wide of his rivals, Hold Fire Now took charge and quickly moved on. Mikeys Gift emerged from the pack to give chase and stayed on well in second but Hold Fire Now was too good and he crossed the line two and a half lengths clear in 31.52.