Ian Fortune

The sad news came through in recent days that one of the most successful dogs of the past decade, Clonbrien Hero, has sadly passed on.

A dog that created many headlines during his career, he had one of the most remarkable years ever for a racing greyhound when capturing three classics in 2017.

He commenced his career at Tralee in early 2017 in the Juvenile Classic, reaching the semi-finals but it was in the Produce Stakes that he really started to make his name. Producing a series of wonderful displays, he landed the Clonmel classic with a brilliant 28.22 return in the decider.

It was then straight onto the Laurels and he duly progressed through the southern classic before winning the decider in a stunning 28.00. Still, he wasn’t finished and after an early exit from the Derby in round three, he went on to Limerick for a crack at the St Leger. One of the stars through the early rounds, he again peaked on the big night to claim a third classic. He had just one more run that year, winning the Night of Stars 550 in typically brilliant fashion.

While he didn’t win any more classics, he did win the 2018 Race of Champions at Tralee, finished third in the Champion Stakes and also went on to reach the Derby decider, where he finished fourth to Ballyanne Sim.

In terms of achievements, few greyhounds can match the son of Razldazl Jayfkay and Trout Or Salmon, while his incredible consistency and determination were something to behold. For his owners Jim and Kay Murphy, he was the greyhound of a lifetime and should be remembered for his brilliance on the track. He spent a happy retirement at home with Jim and Kay and they will miss him dearly.