Ian Fortune

Droopys Nextone became the latest brilliant lady to take the headlines in the Sporting Press Online Irish Oaks as she recorded a rapid 28.07 to set the standard in Saturday’s quarter-finals at Shelbourne Park.

All four heats were won in fine style but none could match the Johnny Linehan trained star.


The opening heat saw yet another incredible performance from Ballymac Whispa.

Scooby Duchess set a blistering gallop after a fast start and was chased hard by Ballymac Art. Clogheen Lass and Ballinabola Evie were next as Ballymac Whispa sat last of the five runners as they entered the back straight. 

AS we’ve seen in recent weeks, Ballymac Whispa is never out of a contest. Liam Dowling’s daughter of Ballymac Anton and Ballymac Minton was still last at halfway but was now starting to engage the afterburners.

Driving into third at the penultimate corner, the August ’20 whelp still had to work to do to better Scooby Duchess and Ballymac Art. By the final bend, Ballymac Whispa was in full stride and absolutely flying.   

Coming between the leaders, she forced her way past Ballymac Art and quickly reeled in Scooby Duchess to lead late. Whispa went on to see of the long-time leader by a half lengths in 28.23. Ballymac Art was the third qualifier, a further length and a half adrift.


Droopys Gloss (Coolavanny Jap/ Droopys Talia) emerged a relatively comfortable winner of Heat 2 but it could have been very different as the action at the opening bend completely changed the complexion of this contest.

Kilara Odessa rocketed from trap five and cut for the fence, incredibly getting across her four rivals on the inside.

Maries Wedding emerged from the pack to challenge on the turn but she clipped the heels of the leader and was forced to check wide. Kilara Odessa was also forced to run off the bend and this left a big gap on the rail.

In contrast to Kilara Odessa, John Coleman’s Droopy Gloss walked from traps but she quickened into the turn before driving across Ballymac Miranda on the rail. As the gap opened on the corner, Droopys Gloss was best positioned to make full use of it. In a matter of strides, she had gone from last to first to lead the field by over two lengths into the back straight.

Kilara Odessa was second down the far side but was run out of the frame in the latter stages. Instead Tullovin Vita ran on well to grab second with Ballymac Miranda third but the Murt Leahy trained Droopys Gloss powered home to win by three lengths and a length in 28.39.


Droopys Request and Ballymac Snazzy dominated the betting ahead of Heat but the pair fluffed their lines and clashed on the bend, ending the hopes of both.

Instead, it was Fahy Devine on the wide outside that set a really flying gallop.

Importantly, Florentis turned second to Owen McKenna and Robert Bayliss and this left the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mags Image in the perfect position to strike towards the business end. In reality the winner was only going to emerge from the front two once they skipped around clear of the pack.

Fahy Devine continued to lead to the third turn but Florentis was closing past at this point and she duly struck as they hit the final bend. Fahy Devine maintained a wide path leaving Florentis with all the room she needed and she powered home to record a comfortable two and a half length victory in 28.31. Dark Ava ran on strongly to win the race for third, a further three lengths behind Fahy Devine.         


Droopys Nextone has always had a big engine and the ability to challenge the very best but rarely gets the chance to dictate.

That was certainly not the case in the final heat as Ray Hamilton’s daughter of Ballymac Eske and Droopys Cuckoo found her trapping boots.

Making a flying exit from the inside box, she comfortably led her rivals into the turn and was always travelling like a winner. The powerful Raha Mofo found a pitch into the turn to chase Droopys Nextone into the back straight but even she couldn’t reel in the leader.

Reckless Nanny turned third and the order never changed thereafter with each of the front three immensely strong. Five lengths clear at halfway, Droopys Nextone galloped right to the line to see off the fast-finishing Raha Mofo by two and a half lengths in 28.07. Reckless Nanny was just two lengths back in third.

Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks

Semi-final draw

Heat 1

1 Ballymac Whispa

2 Ballymac Miranda

3 Raha Mofo

4 Droopys Gloss

5 Reckless Nanny (m)

6 Tullovin Vita (w)

Heat 2

1 Ballymac Art

2 Droopys Nextone

3 Dark Ava

4 Scooby Duchess

5 Florentis (m)

6 Fahy Devine (w)




There’s a new star in town if the display of Magical Kuba in the finale over 550yds can be believed.

Of course, the Pay Guilfoyle trained star had already shown that he was a potential star with some brilliant performances around Limerick but, as far as Shelbourne Park debuts go, they don’t come much better.  

In a contest packed with big names including Part Blake and Knight Tornado, Magical Kuba produced a truly dominant display of front running. A true wide seed, the son of Magical Bale and Impact Miami, who is owned by the Westwell Racing Club Syndicate, shot from the outside box to lead the field into the turn.

Running a true line and showing great fluency throughout, the May ’20 whelp emerged a brilliant five length winner over Part Blake in a rapid 29.37. Have no doubt, Magical Kuba is destined for big things.  


One of the outstanding runs on the night came from Mustang Jet in the opening semi final of the RCETS Open 525.

The Dolores Ruth trained son of Droopys Jet and Mustang Kay Cee was knocked out of the Produce Stakes at the semi-final stages but quickly returned to winning ways with a sensational display of front running.

Owned by Sean Bourke and Paul Horig, the July ’20 whelp flew to the turn and left his rivals standing to go clear to halfway. Front Pasha ran well to move second in the second half of the contest but Mustang Jet was in a league of his own as he recorded a fastest of the night 28.03. One suspects we’ll be hearing plenty more of Mustang Jet in the coming months. 


The second heat of the RCETS Open 525 saw Macho Pride overcome a tough draw to lead from the opening turn.

He was chased throughout by the fast-starting Swanley Blue but never looked likely to give up his advantage.

Trained by Kieran Lynch for the Under The Stars Syndicate, the son of Good News and Sylvias Chloe stayed on well to secure a two length victory over Swanley Blue in 28.57.


Born Warrior, owned by the Whatever You Like Syndicate, is building up quite a record and he enhanced it further in the ninth race, leading between the opening two turns to bring his tally to seven wins from eight career starts.

Although not the fastest into stride, the Jennifer O’Donnell trained son of Ballymac Best and Mountaylor Queen flew to the bend to take over from Warrenstown Boy.

Bockos Budsit emerged from the pack as a real threat down the back straight but Born Warrior was not for catching and he went on to secure another impressive victory by a length and a half in 28.42.


Early speed was the key to success for Evan McAuliffe’s Drombeg Ten in the penultimate race.

The son of Grangeview Ten and Blastoff Khalesi shot to the turn to lead the field by three lengths into the back straight. Ringthemoom emerged as a big danger and was on the heels of the leader at the third turn but Drombeg Ten had no intention of handing away his advantage. Maintaining a strong pace up the straight, the August ’20 puppy emerged an impressive length and a half scorer in 29.61 for the 550yd trip.  


After making every inch after a flying start seven days earlier, Crafty Bonanza posted an almost identical display to win the second race over 550yds for Martin Lanney and the David, Gerry, Danny Syndicate.

The fast starting, strong running son of Pat C Sabbath and Allowdale Nokia comfortably led into the turn and proceeded to dominate to beat Glendalough by two and a half lengths in 29.59.


Racing commenced with Storys Archie claiming a fifth career success.

Trained by Murt Leahy, who would later complete a fine double with Droopys Gloss, for Gavin O’Mahoney, Storys Archie was never far behind the early pace-setter Catunda Eala.

The son of Droopys Buick and Foyle Lucy made his mov at the third turn and then held the big finish of Cu Mochua by short head in 28.51.