Ian Fortune

The stage is set for a tremendous finish to the A2 Dublin Cup after Friday’s semi-finals were won in fine style.

Both heat winners impressed but Walk On Gaffer really did steal the headlines with a fastest of the night 28.59 return, continuing his upward career trajectory.


The son of Ballymac Best and Annual Tears was having just his sixth start and, after improving in each of his three previous outings, he took a big step up in form, leaving his rivals standing as he ran right away to win by a wide margin.

Well housed on the fence, the January ’21 whelp broke on terms and held his pitch on the run up before asserting on the turn from Daring Bowie and Costa Candy. Once entering the back straight with a three-length advantage, he was never under any pressure.

Indeed, Walk On Gaffer eased further and further clear down the back straight to come home with six lengths in hand in 28.59. Costa Candy came through for second with Daring Bowie another our lengths adrift in third.

There is no doubt the winner is going the right way and at his current rate of progression, his owners, the Village Crew Syndicate, can look forward to some great nights. Certainly, a repeat of his latest effort would see him have a big say in the €6,000 decider. 


The second heat was on paper a fair bit stronger although they couldn’t match Walk On Gaffer on the clock.

That doesn’t mean the winner wasn’t impressive. In fact, Noirs Best produced a hugely eye-catching run to come home in front of the favourite Highview Stage.

For much of the way it seemed that impressive quarter final winner Foggy Bottom was on the way to another fine success after setting the pace into the turn and down the back. Highview Stage ran a clever bend to slip around in second and looked the only realistic threat but Noirs Best had other ideas.

Trained by Ian Reilly or Noreen O’Donovan, the son of Ballymac Best and Hoof It Katie moved third between the opening two bends to put himself into a position where he could get involved. He still seemed to have plenty on his plate but began moving through the gears as they hit the sprint boxes.

Joining Highview Stage in second at the third turn, he was carrying real momentum. Foggy Bottom remained two lengths clear but, by the final turn, Noirs Best was on terms. Staying on with real purpose, Noirs Best went on to cross the line a length and a half to the good in 28.88. Highview Stage stayed on to take second, a short head to the good over the long-time leader.      


Earlier on the card, the sei-finals of the Barking Buzz App A3 Bitch produced some fine displays including that of Quivers Magic as she recorded a fastest of the round 28.64 for PJ and Charles Sugrue.

The daughter of Droopys Sydney and Quivers Manor took charge on the turn and proceeded to see off Darbys Berry by three and a half lengths in 28.67.


Mary Jennings’ Laughil Jess wasn’t far behind her on the clock, coming home clear in the second heat in 28.74.

She was prominent in the early yards before moving to the front early in the back straight. The David Murray trained daughter of Out Of Range and Laughil Irene raced right away to see off the fast-finishing Sparta Princess by six lengths.


The opening heat was also won in fine style by the rapidly improving Black Bridges.

Owned by Barry and Matthew Caul, the daughter of Ballymac Best and Killeen Princess dominated after a fast start, staying on to secure a six length victory over Spicey Bale in 28.85.