Ian Fortune

If ever there was an advertisement for everything that is great in greyhound racing, Saturday’s Tote Gold Cup decider was it.

This was our sport at its finest as John Boyle’s Boylesports Coco displayed great speed, dexterity, determination and bravery to land the early season showpiece from Deadly Style.


Most expected the race to the corner to have a huge bearing on the result and that was most certainly the case.

Neon Nite, Boylesports Coco and Lotto Other News on the inside came away fastest.

The few inches they had on their rivals at this very early stage were to prove crucial. Ballymac Finn was again left tight of room as Boylesports Coco edged ever so slightly to her right, while Another Holiday was squeezed into the turn, losing valuable ground.

On the outside of the track. Deadly Style was a little of the pace but had room to race. Approaching the turn, Lotto Other News seemed to have the advantage of the inside line but in the final twenty yards into the turn, both Neon Nite and Boylesports Coco applied the boosters.

It was enough for the pair to just head Lotto Other News into the turn. There would have been may closing their eyes, hoping for a good outcome. Thankfully, there was no real trouble. Showing wonderful balance and drive, Boylesports Coco shot across the bend to assume control over Neon Nite.

Lotto Other News was forced to ease his stride ever so slightly with nowhere to go, allowing Ballymac Finn and Deadly Style to improve their position as they entered the second turn. The race was now in earnest.


As they passed the sprint boxes, Boylesports Coco had just over a length in hand on Neon Nite with Deadly Style inches away in third and Ballymac Finn less than a half length away on the inside in fourth.

Neon Nite just couldn’t go with the pace down the back straight, dropping back to fourth by halfway. Deadly Style and Ballymac Finn were now in full stride and attempting to close on Boylesports Coco. Lotto Other News had also recovered well and wasn’t far away but it was a bridge too far.

By the third turn, Deadly Style was back on the heels of the leader with Ballymac Finn stuck in the pocket behind the pair. Boylesports Coco was where she needed to be, however. Ashe has shown in recent weeks, she is stronger than ever before.


Deadly Style continued to close the gap slowly off the final turn, making his move on the outside of the track but Boylesports Coco was as game as can be and kept on finding.

In a terrific finish, the brilliant daughter of Droopys Sydney and Barn Swallow claimed her first major success by a neck in 28.52. It completed an incredible day for winning handler Dolores Ruth (see separate story), welcoming her return to the big time.   

Deadly Style played his part in making this a race to remember in second, while Ballymac Finn ran a typically solid race in third, a further length adrift. Boylesports Coco is a thoroughly deserving champion and if this contest is a guide of what is to come in 2024, we’re in for an incredible year.

Linda Lenehan Tote Operations Shelbourne Park presents the 2024 Gold Cup to Sharon Donnelly after Boylesports Coco's win, also included is trainer Dolores Ruth.                            Pic: Imelda Grauer


Ryhope Beach gave another clear indication of his incredible ability in the AA0 seventh race over 600yds.

This was a truly frightening display of pace and power as he posted a sensational 32.19 despite failing to lead around the corner.

Scotty Scheffler got loose in the early yards but had the Michael O’Donovan trained Ryhope Beach to contend with into the turn. Despite taking a couple of extra steps for himself, surrendering ground to the pace-setter, Ryhope Beach was clearly too close in third.

Quickly moving second early in the back straight, he raced up to Scotty Scheffler into the third turn before sweeping past. Once going to the front, Alison Bandurak’s brilliant son of Droopys Sydney and Calzaghe Jan raced right away to win by an ever-increasing five and a half lengths. Scotty Scheffler lost nothing in defeat in second.  


Carrick Keano has a huge future.

That is not in doubt so it was hardly a surprise to see him winning the ninth race from an ideal draw on the fence. In victory, he did everything right yet left the impression there was far better to come in the near future.

Trained by Robert Gleeson for Thomas Glynn, the brilliant young son of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Zero broke smartly to dispute the early lead with Droopys Crisp but he soon asserted. Running a fluent bend, Carrick Keano entered the back straight a couple of lengths to the good and he eased on to lead by three lengths at the third turn. From there he was merciless. Powering clear, he eventually hit the line five and a half lengths to the good over Droopys Crisp in 28.34.


Ballymac Walt was at his best in the fifth race on the card, showing superb early speed to reel in the fast starting Kilcolgan Zeus into the turn before asserting at the head of affairs.

It was all very straightforward thereafter for Liam Dowling’s hugely talented son of Ballymac Cashout and Ballymac Diva as he raced on to a facile three and a half length success over Kilcolgan Zeus in 28.45.  


After scoring just fifteen minutes earlier with Sliabh Gcullion, Karol Ramsbottom completed a quick double in the fourth race, an open bitch 525, as Castleivy Ginge (Droopys Sydney/ Pennys Baccata) continued her superb run of form to repel the strong challenge of Droopys Fidget.

Castleivy Ginge was again very sharp in the early yards, showing in front at traps rise before holding Teena to lead around the opening two bends. Droopys Fidget made her move into second early in the back straight and momentarily looked the likely winner when getting to within a half length of the pace-setter but it wasn’t to be.

Holding on to her racing line with real tenacity, Castleivy Ginge, who is owned by Michael and Noel Nash, stayed on well to secure a fifth career victory by a length over Droopys Fidget in 28.60.


Delightful Izzy (Droopys Sydney/ Urban Time) may have been facing a far from ideal draw in the stripes in the eighth race but Reggie Roberts’ powerful performer was simply too good for the opposition once turning close over the 575yds trip.

Tribal Syd made much of the running but he was a sitting duck into the third turn with Delightful Izzy on his heels. Slipping through on the fence, Delightful Izzy kicked clear off the final turn to contain another big finisher Stepitoutjulia by two and a half lengths in 31.36.


Tommy Woods ended the night in style, sending out Lord Messi to land the spoils by a length in 28.87.

This was not a straightforward success with the son of Ballymac Best and Camera Shy having to dig deep to repel the challenge of Tracker Man.

Lord Messi was fastest into stride to lead the pack into the turn and down the back straight but Tracker Man flew into the third turn to take up the running. He went on by a length but, once doing so, Lord Messi began to rally.

Showing real determination, Lord Messi slipped back up the inner of his rival to lead the field off the final turn. This was to prove a decisive maneouvre. Lord Messi race on to win in great fashion.  


Pintsnotpilates must be a joy to own.

The son of Makeshift and Scissors so rarely runs a bad race and he displayed all his many qualities to win the penultimate race for his handler Martin Lanney and owners, the Pints Not Pilates Syndicate.

Displaying superb early dash, the veteran performer was always in charge and the verdict was never really in doubt. Staying on well, Pintsnotpilates saw off Brayview Picture by three lengths in 28.89.


Murt Leahy sent out Annie On Faya to record a sixth career success in the AA0 sixth race.

The daughter of Superior Panama and Cabra Skylar may have been a 16-1 chance but she fully deserved her success, getting to the front early to make all for Cian Mulrooney.

Ballymac Danica was the hot favourite and she ran a fine race to get as close as she did after bad traffic but Annie On Faya always had her rivals at arm’s length. Maintaining a strong gallop throughout, she emerged a two and a half length winner in 30.25. Miami King was second with Ballymac Danica just a head away in third.


Racing commenced with the opening round of an A2 525 and all three heats were won in good style, although honour of going fastest went to Valderrama, who overcame bumping on the turn to build a huge lead by the third turn.

Showing superb early speed, he rode a bump on the turn to slip around in front and coasted clear as his nearest rivals clashed. Ballymac Slick did catch the eye in second, closing the gap significantly from the third turn, but the Martin Lanney trained Valderrama was up to the task.

Owned by Hayley Keightly and PJ Cardosi, the son of Good News and Martinstown Diva cruised home two and a half lengths clear in 28.82.


Sliabh Gcuillion was next fastest when making every in in the final heat for Gavin Johns and Karol Ramsbottom.

Getup Me Son was snapping at his heels throughout but could never quite get close enough to threaten.

Instead, Ashmore Toby ran on well to emerge as the only serious threat in the closing yards but Sliabh Gcullion was not for catching. The son of Droopys Sydney and Sliabh Liag hit the line with a half-length in hand in 28.87.


Youandme Babe was a last to first winner of the opening heat, showing real strength and determination from halfway to cut down her rivals to lead early in the home straight.

Trained by Paul Hennessy for Paul Hynes, a combination that has tasted big race success in the past, the daughter of Ballymac Cashout and Jaytee Pearl really flew to round those in front of her at the final bend. Storming home, the July ’22 whelp emerged a facile four length scorer over Phoenix Tyson in 29.00.