Ian Fortune

Ballinakill Alf did what was needed to capture the Islandbridge Open Sprint at Shelbourne Park on Friday night, again displaying his supreme track craft and pace to see off the gallant pair of Romeo Taylor and Cree Jo Jo.

This was sprint racing at its finest yet again. Getup Me Son was fastest into stride but failed to contain Cree Jo Jo with the latter showing massive pace into the turn to dictate. Just behind the pace-setters, Ballinakill Alf and Romeo Taylor were getting themselves in position to challenge.

The Pillar Syndicate Jack & Larry O Shea Noel and David Byrne Pictured with "Ballinakill alf " and his Handler Timothy Holland after his victory in the Final of the 2024 Islandbridge Open 350 Final at Shelbourne Park,Photo Imelda Grauer

The Pillar Syndicate Jack & Larry O'Shea, Noel and David Byrne pictured with "Ballinakill Alf " and his handler Timothy Holland after his victory in the Final of the 2024 Islandbridge Open 350 Final at Shelbourne Park. Photo Imelda Grauer. 

Predictably, Cree Jo Jo moved off the fence on the corner, leaving just enough of a gap for the advancing Ballinakill Alf to make his move. Cutting across Getup Me Son and running a brilliant corner, the Pillar Syndicate owned son of Pestana and Newinn Madam ran with real purpose to take his chance.

Moving to the front before the final bend, Ballinakill Alf continued to pile on the pressure up the home straight. Cree Jo Jo did all he could to get back at the leaderbut it was futile. Romeo Taylor also ran on very strongly but Ballinakill Alf emerged a tremendous winner for Graham Holland, seeing off his kennel companion Romeo Taylor and Cree Jo Jo, who dead-heated for second, by a length in 18.67.


Earlier on the card, Max Pro again lived up to her name to capture the valuable Retired Greyhound Trust ON2 525 decider. Bouncing from trap two, Danny Kehoe's daughter of Droopys Sydney and Ballycowen Lucy soon had control into the bend and she continued to make every inch. Val Tashadelek did show pace to move second down the back straight but Max Pro stayed on well to emerge a very comfortable winner by six lengths in 28.93. Val Tashadelek was second with Ballyhimikin Sal staying on well in third, another half length adrift.