Ian Fortune

With some of the sharpest greyhounds in training on show at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night in the opening round of the RCETS Gold Cup, it was no surprise to see the majority of the eight heats won off the front.

Race after race, some of Ireland’s best set a blistering gallop and it was one of these, Bockos Budsit, that set the standard with a foot-perfect trap to line success in Heat 6. In victory, he completed a brilliant double for Graham Holland with Knight Tornado the second fastest winner on the night.


Formerly known as Matts Rocket, Bockos Budsit has quickly established himself as a serious performer and this latest display was a clear indication of what he is about.

In a contest packed with early speed, the Graham Holland trained son of Laughil Blake and Matts Monica was simply too sharp for his rivals.

Making a fast start from trap five, Bev Lochead’s lightly raced tracker comfortably cleared the corner and was never under any pressure once doing so. Serene Ace turned second but was never going to get to the leader.

Instead, Bockos Budsit maintained a strong gallop throughout to emerge a very impressive five and a half length scorer in 28.36. Ballymac Kingdom came from out of the clouds to grab second, a head to the good over the third qualifier, Serene Ace.     


Ballymac Art returned to winning ways in the opening heat when making the most of an ideal draw on the fence.

Liam Dowling’s daughter of Ballymac Best and Art Of Illusion broke fast and disputed the lead into the turn alongside Clogheen Lass.

Staying close to the fence, Ballymac Art led the field into the back straight although she had to dig deep into the third turn to repel the challenge of Jumeriah Bridge. Cutting off that rival at the third turn, she avoided traffic to increase her lead before staying on to see off Storys Direct by two and a half lengths in 28.81. Droopys Sputnik was the third qualifier, a further length adrift. 


Slippy Hazel was another winner for the fairer sex as she came home in front in Heat 2.

Hawkfield Ozark set the pace into the back straight after a fast start but Slippy Hazel was always on his heels and she predictably made her move down the back straight.

Joining Hawkfield Ozark after halfway, she forged on from the third turn. Bielsas Rebel came with a massive move around the third and fourth turns to come through for second but there was no stopping John Geoghegan’s Slippy Hazel.

The Murt Leahy trained daughter of Droopy Jet and Slippy Artifice ran on well to hit the line a length clear of Bielsas Rebel in 28.60. Hawkfield Ozark was another five lengths away in third.


Knight Tornado kicked off 2022 the way he ended last year; with an impressive success.

Larry Dunne’s hugely fast tracker overturned odds-on favourite Good Cody with a superb display of front running.

Boylesportsbingo was actually fastest into stride from trap four but Knight Tornado flew up the middle of the track from trap three to lead the field into the turn. Good Cody did fly up the fence after a moderate start to sit second but he checked to the middle of the track allowing Boylesportsbingo move second.     

Meanwhile, Knight Tornado was setting a relentless gallop out front. The Graham Holland trained son of Droopys Cain and Royal Highflyer maintained a comfortable lead throughout to eventually score by three and a half lengths in 28.39.

Good Cody displayed big back straight pace to regain second spot into the third turn and he held a renewed challenge from Boylesportsbingo by a head to take second.


Russmur Pat may have gone to traps a 6-1 chance in Heat 7 but there was nothing lucky about his victory as he left some high-class rivals standing.

In what was just his second start in Shelbourne, the son of Pat C Sabbath and Boherna Liz looked right at home as he shot up the fence to assume control into the bend.

It was all very straight forward for the James O’Regan trained star thereafter. Skywalker Angie initially gave chase although Droopys Optimum flew into the third turn to briefly move second but neither were worrying the leader.

Jerry Murphy’s talented tracker never took his foot of the pedal as he emerged a hugely impressive two length scorer over Skywalker Angie in 28.45. Droopy Optimum didn’t find much up the straight and was headed late as he finished a neck away in third.


Predator Scoby has built a mighty impressive record for himself in a short space of time and he added to his tally in fine style in Heat 5.

The Pat Buckley trained speedster was having just his seventh start and his first in open class company but it was scarcely evident.

Showing his trademark early dash after a flying start, Javier Jarne’s son of Garryvoe Bobby and Beaming Shiraz held Rahale Podge into the turn and proceeded to make all. Rahale Podge gave chase throughout but never seemed likely to bridge the gap. Predator Scoby stayed on to capture a sixth career victory by two lengths in 28.57. Rahale Podge was second with Epic News just containing the late charge of Darby Delight to take third, a further length back.     


The final heart of the round saw Ra Patterson’s brilliant tracker, Skywalker Barry, claim a remarkable twentieth career victory in his thirty fourth start.

This went very much to script with Zoom setting a blistering gallop up the fence. Skywalker Barry was always to close for comfort, however.

The Mark O’Donovan trained son of Droopys Jet and Calzaghe Jan moved through the gears down the back straight to join and head Zoom on the third turn. From there he was always in complete control, staying on well to beat Vanderbilt by four lengths in 28.59. Zoom was just a head away in third.   


A superb turn of early speed saw the Owen McKenna trained Droopys Good come home in front in Heat 4 but he needed the line as Ballymac Moment closed fast in the closing yards to get within a half length.

Droopys Good, owned by Paul Carpenter and Bev Lochead, was racing from trap five but he comfortably cleared those on his inside to open a seven length lead down the back straight. It all seemed very straightforward for the talented son of Ballybough Mike and Droopys Cuckoo but, as his stride started to shorten, the fast finishing Ballymac Moment began to close the gap.

IN the end, the line came in time for Droopys Good as he held off the best efforts of Ballymac Moment by just a half length in 28.64. There was a further six length gap to Macho Pride in third.



Flaminmoneybags took the feature on the undercard, the final of the Deánann Cu Peata Maith Open 525 as he repelled the challenge of Iso Fantasic on the run in to land the €1,500 prize.

Owned by the Two-Laois-Four-Kilkenny Syndicate, Flaminmoneybags was fastest into stride and led the field into the bend.

He was left to his own devices down the back straight as Chubbys Best, his nearest challenger, was forced to check wide at the second bend. It was then left to Iso Fantastic to offer the most resistance.

He drew closer to the final turn and looked a serious threat, only to check wide, leaving Flaminmoneybags clear. The son of Laughil Blake and Killaheen Queen took the verdict by two and a half lengths from Ringthemoon in 28.85. 


Garry Hannon’s Deadly Cavani wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Gold Cup so it was no surprise to see him take advantage of an ease in grade in the A1 opener.

The Karol Ramsbottom trained son of Droopys Sydney and Lemon Lucy was a hot favourite from trap five and he duly obliged in style.

Disputing the early running with Droopys Gambler, Deadly Cavani began to assert entering the third turn and he eased clear to emerge a very comfortable five length winner over Droopys Gambler in a quick 28.57.


The wonderfully consistent Auxerre added yet another superb victory to his impressive tally in the finale over 550yds.

As he has done so often in the past, Ollie Shields’ son of Droopy Sydney and Toms Delight flew up to the turn from the outside box to assert and he maintained a typically strong gallop throughout to emerge a comfortable scorer. Razldazl Monarch stayed on well to take second but Auxerre was in a league of his own as he emerged a facile four and a half length scorer in 29.90.   


Johnny Linehan sent out Runninta York (Laughil Blake/ Classic Valerie) to win the second race, although he did seemed set to take second for much of the opening half of the contest as Glenquain Pat set a strong gallop.

Runninta York had other ideas, however. Showing fine pace into the third turn, he challenged around the last two bends before just getting the better of his rival in a close finish. Runninta York, owned by the Runninta Syndicate, took the verdict by a neck in 28.98.