Ian Fortune

Bogger Hunter produced a brilliant display to emerge a thoroughly deserving winner of the Paddy Kehoe Suspended Ceilings Gold Cup at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.

For his handler Ian Reilly it was a return to the big time, while it became the latest in a long line of big race success for owners Brendan Keogh and Simon Senyk, who were recently named the Owners of the Year in the UK for the eighth time.

This was a wonderful spectacle, although from the early yards it was evident the winner could only come from the front three. That soon became two as the fast starting Bogger Hunter was headed by Rathdown Molly on the corner with Born Warrior failing to get to the front on the outside.

Rathdown Molly set sail for home, opening a lead of just over a length as they straightened up into the back straight. Bogger Hunter was second with Born Warrior another length adrift in third. The race was now on for the €16,000 prize.

Passing halfway, Bogger Hunter made his move. The hugely fast son of Skywalker Farloe and Bottle Of Banter began to move through the gears. Passing the 750yd boxes, the pair were side by side but the momentum was very much with Bogger Hunter.

And so, at the third turn, the result was decided. Bogger Hunter had already moved on by a half-length but he quickly increased the lead to almost two lengths. Rathdown Molly did all she could in an attempt to get back on terms but it was futile.

Behind the front two, Born Warrior drifted wide off the final turn leaving the fast finishing Stream Of Sydney to move third but Bogger Hunter was not going to be denied. Despite the best efforts of Rathdown Molly and Stream Of Sydney, Bogger Hunter raced to a famous success, crossing the line a length to the good in 28.52.

Rathdown Molly ran her heart out in second while Stream Of Sydney ran another huge race in third but this night belonged to Bogger Hunter.     

Paddy Kehoe presents the trophy to Shannon Reilly after Bogger Hunter won the final of the Paddy Kehoe Suspended Ceilings Gold Cup at Shelbourne Park. Also included are trainer Ian Reilly, handler Billy Reilly, Ann Channon GRI, Richie O'Regan GRI, David Wilson, Susan Whelan, Donal Healy and Michael Dempsy Shelbourne Park Racing Manager.                                Pic: Imelda Grauer


Bockos Crystal maintained her unbeaten 2023 record with a superb success over kennel companion Romeo Magico in the tenth race over 550yds.

This was effectively over from the start with the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Vigorous Hilary flashing from the inside box.

Romeo Magico was soon second but, in what was his first run of the year, he was never going to get back on terms. He did fly down the back straight to close the gap but Bockos Crystal is very strong and she emerged a comfortable three length scorer for Bev Lochead and Graham Holland by three lengths in 29.67. 


The Other Kobe was at his brilliant best in the ninth race for owners Brian Carte and David L’estrange, flashing from four before making every inch.

Driving to the fence in the early yards, the Jennifer O’Donnell trained son of Ballymac Best and Mountaylor Queen was always going to take some stopping once going to the front and that was the case.

Cryptopunk, in his first race since landing the Laurels consolation, slipped around in second but was always struggling to get back on terms. Despite his stride shortening in the latter yards, the Other Kobe went on to score by 


Ballyhimikin Leo already boasted some superb form ahead of his final race success but this latest run was clear evidence that he has the pace to become a really top tracker in the coming year.

Billy and John Dunne’s son of Ballyhimikin Jet and Slaneyside Poppy missed the start but flew into the turn to dispute third spot.

In contrast, Wilms Blake flew up the straight to lead the field around the corner. Ballyhimikin Leo was held up a couple of times around the opening bends, leaving him five lengths of the pace. It seemed as though he had too much to do but the January ’21 whelp had other ideas.

Motoring down the back straight, he rapidly closed the gap on those up front into the third turn. Going second before the final turn, he readied himself for a late surge. In a tremendous finish, the Graham Holland trained powerhouse collared Wilms Blake in the final strides to score by a neck in 28.87. Over a trip that is perhaps a little on the sharp side, Ballyhimikin Leo really impressed and he is on to following the months ahead.   


The opening semi-final of the mini open 525 went to Ken Busteed’s Capitan Garfio as he got first run on his rivals to contain the persistent challenge of Millroad Bolger.

Capitan Garfio, a son of Droopys Sydney and Ballymac Petsy, went up fast to lead around the turn and proceeded to keep Millridge Bolger at arm’s length throughout.  

Despite the best efforts of Millroad Bolger, Capitan Garfio went on to claim his tenth career victory by a length and a half in 28.69.


There was a desperately tight finish to the second semi with Mcneill coming from off the pace to lead in the closing yards.

Glenmalure Flyer won a tremendous early battle to set the pace but as he came back to the field from the third turn, things got very tight up front.

In truth, any of the remaining five could have won the race off the final turn but Mcneill came storming through for Carol O’Riordan and Paul Hennessy to lead in the dying strides. The judge declared the son of Jaytee Jet and Home Julie won by a half-length from a line of greyhounds, including runner-up Great Dale, in 28.82.


There was no easier winner on the card than Midfield Deano in the A1 second race over 575yds.

The Rachel Wheeler trained son of Droopys Sydney and Midfield Diva was headed early by the fast starting Midnightinnfield but quickly moved to the front to lead the field into the turn.

Once taking charge, John Newman’s August ’19 whelp drew right away to eventually see off the strong finishing Docktechnik Diva by six and a half lengths in a fast 31.18.


Recent A2 Dublin Cup winner Fogy Bottom claimed his first victory in open company in the sixth race, making the most of an ideal draw on the fence to lead the field from the early yards.

His Dublin Cup rival, Walk On Gaffer, slipped around in second but could never get close enough to threaten.

Instead, Laurence Jones’ Foggy Bottom (Ballymac Best/ Corduff Flame) continued to make every inch for a two length victory over Walk On Gaffer in 28.70.   


Veteran performer Lochranza has been a hugely talented tracker for some time and it was great to see him return to winning ways in the fifth race, leading early for a fine victory for Howard Wallace and Francie Murray.

The son of Top Honcho and Leezie Lindsay was at his sharpest in the opening exchanges, breaking fast from the inside trap to lead throughout. Carrauntoohil did stay on well but couldn’t get back on terms. Lochranza hit the line a length to the good in 28.73.


Ravensjet was a somewhat fortunate winner of the eighth race as he was left in front after an opening bend scrimmage.

Paula Heffernan’s son of Droopys Jet and Higher Level avoided all the traffic to turn in front and he then stayed on strongly to contain the persistent challenge of Forest Willow for a length and a half verdict in 28.89.


An early advantage made the difference for Tommys Duke in the A1 opener as he held Ballynew King to score in 29.16.

Trained by Ray Melia for Liam O’Connor, the son of Ballymac Kingdom and Holycross Heidi hit the line with a short head to spare.