Ian Fortune

Crafty Kokoro was always touted as a future superstar from the moment she hit the track for the first time last October.

There have been a couple of bumps in the road since then but on Saturday night at Shelbourne Park she became a classic winner, running out a wide margin winner of the Corn Cuchulainn.

Magical Poppy was a hot favourite to emerge triumphant after a couple of sensational displays in the previous fortnight but a mistimed start was to prove her undoing. Instead the rank outsider of the field Ballinabola Bolt flew from traps five to lead into the bend.

Importantly, Crafty Kokoro was close to the pace in second and she made her move on the inside of the track as they entered the home straight. Going to the front at this point, it was clear to all that her immense four-bend pace was going to carry her clear.

By the third turn, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Cockyorconfident had built a three lengths advantage and she continued to turn the screw. Ballymac Belvult was now challenging Ballinabola Bolt in second but neither looked likely to worry the pace-setter.

By the fifth turn, Crafty Kokoro was four lengths clear of Balymac Belvult and on her way to classic glory. Magical Poppy, Ballinabola Bolt and Dark Ava attempted to close in behind but their efforts were futile.

Crafty Kokoro powered up the straight to emerge a truly brilliant winner by some seven and a half lengths in a fast 41.31. Ballinabola Bolt ran a remarkable race, rallying on the run in to grab second, while the luckless Magical Poppy was just a short head away in third.

It was a brilliant run by the winner. She is no longer a future superstar. Instead, she will be remembered as a thoroughly deserving classic winner. 

William Rigney presents the trophy to Peter Divilly owner of Crafty Kokora winner of the 2022 Corn Cuchulainn Open 750 at Shelbourne Park. Also included are Michael Dempsy Racing Manager Shelbourne Park, Noelle, Snake and Johnnie Divilly, Eimear O'Dwyer, Wayne McCarthy GRI, Cillian and Jack McCarthy, Cara, Darcie and Ruby Reynolds.                  Pic: Imelda Grauer



There was a fitting finish to proceedings with Twoinarow (Droopys Sydney/ Murdaniel Beauty) and Bockos Budsit serving up a thriller as the latter rallied in the closing yards to deny his rival.

From the opening yards this was very much a two-dog affair.

Both Twoinarow, owned by the El Moro Syndicate, and Bockos Budist broke fast to challenge for the lead in the opening yards. Twoinarow displayed the better early dash, however, to lead before the corner and this seemed likely to be a decisive move.

Bockos Budsit had other ideas. Displaying massive back straight pace, Bockos Budsit shot past Twoinarow into the third turn to go to the front. Still, the race was far from over. With Bockos Budsit starting to show signs of fatigue, the Pat Kiely trained Twoinarow began to rally. In a desperate finish, Twoinarow got up in the closing yards to claim a half-length victory in 29.48.


Coolavanny Hoffa is rapidly developing into the greyhound he always promised to be.

Mark O’Donovan’s son of Droopys Sydney and Coolavanny Ella was favourite to win the quality-packed sixth race on the card and while he was forced to work hard, he ultimately ran out a brilliant and relatively comfortable winner.

The exciting Velasco broke fastest to the lead the field into the bend but the writing was on the wall when Coolavanny Hoffa flew into the turn to move second past Galloping Sydney. This set up a tremendous buckle down the back straight with Velasco displaying big pace to repel Coolavanny Hoffa but the latter was too strong. Showing in front between the last two bends, the June ’20 whelp eased on to score by an ever-widening three and a half length victory over Velasco in 28.02. Have no doubt, Coolavanny Hoffa is a serious Derby challenger.  


Cu Mochua was one of the warmest favourites on the card and he justified market support with a trap to line victory in the fifth race over the 575yd trip.

Trained by Karol Ramsbottom for the aptly named Thirsty Seven Syndicate, the son of Droopys Sydney and Bangla Road led the field into the turn and always had the pursuing Athlacca Zette at arm’s length.

The latter continued to chase hard throughout but Cu Mochua ran right to the line to eventually see off his gallant rival by three lengths in a very quick 30.90.


Paul Hennessy recorded a superb double in the opening half of the card with both Hello Sydney and Boylesports Glory emerging comfortable winners of their respective races.

Hello Sydney, owned by Susan Hennessy, broke smartly to lead into the turn in the A1 third race and he duly went on to emerge a good winner.

The son of Droopys Summer and Jaytee Ruby eased clear down the back straight before coasting to a four and a half length victory over Power Nap in 28.73.


Hennessy didn’t have to wait long to complete his double as Boylesports Glory won the very next race in fine style.

Despite mistiming the start and taking a bump in the opening yards, John Boyle’s son of Good News and Charity Anna displayed tremendous early speed to take up the running into the corner.

Courtmac Duffy gave chase but could never get close enough to threaten the pace-setter. Maintaining a strong gallop to the line, Boylesports Glory emerged an impressive three and a half length winner over Courtmac Duffy in 28.43.


Denis Murphy’s Callaway Masters has appreciated a return to Shelbourne Park and he made it two wins on the bounce in the seventh race as he dictated throughout.

Making a flying start from the inside box, the son of Droopys Sydney and Callaway Razl was left further clear on the bend when his rivals clashed.

Beach Avenue was left second and did close, as you expect, all the way to the line but Callaway Masters is a strong runner and he duly saw it out by two lengths in 29.77.


Racing commenced with a dominant display from Gaa Gaa Carla as he left his rivals standing on the way to a wide margin 28.23 success.

Trained by Marie Gilbert for Aiden Comerford and Barry Whelan, the son of Droopys Sydney and Palermo, who is a brother to English Derby runner-up Kildare, flashed from traps and was always in complete command as he saw off Newinn Mover by seven and a half lengths. 


Tommy Sneyd’s Paradise Biko faced a tough draw in the A2 second race but a flying start saw him slip around the corner in front before drawing right away for a comfortable victory.

Trained by Liam O’Rourke, the son of Magical Bale and Paradise Summer was having his sixth career start and he pulled right away to open his account by six lengths in 28.55. Coss Ace was second.


Ballintine Misty has really hit top form in recent weeks and she made a flying start to dominate in the ninth race on the card.

Trained by Ray Melia for the Ballintine Bunch Syndicate, the daughter of Droops Sydney and Misty Survivor was length clear into the back straight and she duly stayed on well to see off Bo Bobbity by six and a half lengths in 28.76.