Ian Fortune

Dolores Ruth yesterday confirmed that she had taken out a public license and is back training greyhounds at her Rathangan base.

One of the most successful and well-respected handlers of the past three decades, Dolores stepped away from the sport in recent years, although made the odd appearance with her Derby runner-up Boylesports King.

But she is now ready to get back to the sport she loves. She said in her own words, “I took a few years out of the game for various reasons. But the grá is still there, in fact it’s stronger than ever.”

The fact that she has taken out a public license shouldn’t go unnoticed either. It is almost twenty years since she held one and the plan is to train around ten racers. Said Dolores, “I think the last time I had a public license was before [Razldazl] Billy in 2005 or even earlier. I have two litters at home, by Superior Panema and Ballymac Anton. They’re nice pups from a good family, only ten or eleven weeks, but I’ll concentrate on the racing side of thing with the plan to train ten or so. I’ve had the kennels upgraded, a new paddock put in and the place is looking fabulous, really modern.

“I have three bitches in the racing kennel and might have a runner this weekend with a bitch called Reckless Nanny. She’s a sister to Crafty Kokoro and looks a nice type. I might look at the unraced in Newbridge with the other two but it’s just great to be back training.”

One senses she thinks a fair bit of the three bitches and we look forward to seeing them hit the track in the near future. Of course, Dolores has already had a wonderful career and has won virtually every major event.

While she commenced training in 1991, she really hit the headlines in 1996 when Shanless Slippy captured the Produce Stakes before going onto run out a brilliant winner of the English Derby at Plough Lane, Wimbledon.

It was the start of a stunning training career that saw Dolores capture numerous classics including the Irish Derby on two different occasions with the brilliant Razldazl Billy in 2006 and Razldazl George in 2011.

Greyhounds like Makeshift, Kingo, Extra Dividend, Fleeting Image, Razldazl Pacino, Razldazl Rioga, Toomaline Jack, Razldazl Luke, Satelight Flight, Sonic Flight, Razldazl Jayfkay, Razldazl Bugatti, Razldazl Pearl, Boylesports King and so many more has seen Dolores establish herself as one of Ireland’s greatest ever handlers.

With a CV that boasts numerous classic successes including 2 Derby titles, an English Derby crown, 2 Laurels, a Leger, 3 Shelbourne 600s, 2 Corn Cuchulainns, 2 Champion Stakes, an Irish Sprint Cup, a Race of Champions, 2 Puppy Derby successes, 2 Easter Cups and many more top events, it would be no surprise if Dolores were to return to classic winning form in the very near future.

Incidentally, she has yet to win an Oaks title but, with three very promising young bitches at her disposal at present, don’t rule it out in 2022. Welcome back Dolores.