Magico Feeling Great


Ian Fortune

Graham Holland was still in buoyant form following the wonderful success of Romeo Magico in the Star Sports & TRC English Derby at Towcester on Saturday night when we caught up with him this morning.

This was despite only landing back to his Golden based Riverside Kennels in the early hours of Monday morning.

Said Graham of his brilliant Derby champion, “We only got into Dublin at midnight last night and by the time we were home it was 2am. The dog is great, he came out of the race really well. It’s only starting to sink in what he achieved. It’s like when we’ve won the Irish Derby in the past, you don’t recognize what you’ve achieved for a few days.

“It’s a funny game. You don’t really get the chance to celebrate like you’d want to on the night as you have to look after the dogs. What we’ve always done is go out for a meal with the kids during the week in a nice restaurant and really celebrate that night. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to do it again this week.


And what of the future for Romeo Magico. Graham is pretty fluid in his plans but obviously has a major target in mind. Said Graham, “The plan is the Irish Derby but you never know. He’ll be given a short break with the Derby the target but I didn’t discuss it with Dave [Firmager] yet.

“It’s difficult with dogs to plan too far in advance. They’ll tell you when they are ready but Badger seems fine after the past six weeks. It goes to show how much he has strengthened up this year. The six weeks didn’t take too much out of him. There was never a point when I thought he was tired.

“He’s a heavier dog this year but you wouldn’t think it to look at him. He’s just built more muscle ad really grown into a man.

“If he was to retire today, he would be guaranteed a massive career at stud. He’s a big handsome dog and after producing such a performance the other night he would be very popular. He’s also British bred so should be a big hit in the UK. But Dave wants to race on and I’m more than happy with that. He isn’t three yet and is at the very peak of his powers.”


Thankfully, we’re in an era when so many sporting owners continue to race on with their Derby champions.

Romeo Magico was a sensational and most deserving winner of the English Derby at Towcester on Saturday and by the sounds of it, his sporting connections, trainer Graham Holland a breeder/owner Dave Firmager are planning to run him again in the future.

Let’s hope he does indeed line up in what could be one of the finest renewals of the Irish Derby for many years. If he does, he won’t be a big price to become the first greyhound to complete the Derby double in the same year and only the second in history to win both classics after Toms the Best. His presence at Shelbourne Park would add so much to Boylesports Irish Derby.