Ian Fortune

There is a reason why so many simply love to watch racing over the 600yd trip at Shelbourne Park.

In order to excel over the trip, a greyhound needs to have both power and raw pace and this was very evident in the opening round of the Shelbourne Open 600 on Saturday night.


Allforthebest is the perfect example of the type of greyhound referenced in the intro.

An incredibly fast greyhound with an engine that can be scarcely matched, he set the standard in the final heat of the round when reeling in Auxerre before easing on to stop the clock in a rapid 32.30.

Owned by the H-D-J Syndicate, the son of Vulturi and Aguasantas made a moderate start but recovered into the bend to chase Auxerre into the back straight. The writing was certainly on the wall thereafter.

Allforthebest joined Auxerre on the third turn and struck the front between the last two bends. Hello Hammond was also advancing in third but there was no catching the new leader. Allforthebest powered home to record a comfortable four length victory over Hello Hammond. Auxerre stayed on to finish a length and a half adrift in third.   


The remarkable Beach Avenue produced another typically swashbuckling display to claim a sixteenth career success in Heat 3.

Third into the turn behind Swords Maestro and Sentimental Lad, the Paul Hennessy trained powerhouse gave away ground swinging wide. 

In doing so he surrendered third spot to Darbys Delight but not for long. Moving through the gears, Pat Healy’s son of Laughil Blake and Cats belle was soon back in third spot but found himself in a bit of a pocked at the third turn.

Forced to switch wide, he looked in trouble for a few moments as Swords Maestro and Sentimental Lad were joined on their inner by Darbys Delight. Beach Avenue just adores the long run for home, however, and he began his charge on the wide outside. As the inside duo of Darbys Delight and Swords Maestro came together, Beach Avenue struck the front to eventually win by a relatively comfortable length in 32.42. Darbys Delight was second with Sentimental Lad just a half lengths away in third. Sadly for his connections, Darbys Delight was subsequently suspended, meaning Swords Maestro will progress to the next round.


Fast Fit Paddy justified favouritism in the opening heat but he had to show all his pace and determination to recover from early traffic.

The Declan McDonagh trained star clashed in the early yards with Adamant Phoenix, allowing Young Bud to slip the field in the early yards.

Fast Fit Paddy recovered well, however, turning second before setting his sights on the leader. Almost three lengths adrift as they entered the back straight, Fast Fit Paddy closed right up on the leader to the third turn only to check his stride as Young Bud cut the bend. That could have been a decisive blow but Fast Fit Paddy had no intention of giving up.

Young Bud continued to lead into the straight but Fast Fit Paddy was comfortable on the fence and he powered home to finally master Young Bud for a length verdict in 32.50. Given the traffic he had to overcome, it was a fine run from John Quinn and Paul Horig’s charge. Kilkenny Santy ran a fine race to finish just two lengths further adrift in third.


Pennylane Sheba displayed what an incredible engine she has in the second heat when coming from a mile off the pace to lead in the final stride to deny Spinosaurus.

The Pennylane Syndicate owned daughter of Droopys Jet and Pennylane Lace was fifth of five into the bend but got a bit lost and seemed to momentarily lose her footing.

As a result, she entered the back straight almost ten lengths behind the pace-setters. Passing halfway, she was still a long way behind Lynchy Boy who was dictating at the head of affairs but was starting to move through the gears.

As Spinosaurus challenged the leader around the last two bends, Pennylane Sheba moved past both Ballyard Taylor and Getawaywithit to sit a fast closing third. Spinosaurus finally got past Lynchy Boy but he was now being stalked by Pennylane Sheba. Powering home, the January ’19 whelp got up in the final stride to claim a head success in 32.60. Lynchy Boy was another four lengths back in third.  


The final of the Skywalker Canny @ Stud A1/ A2 Dual Distance saw Geneva Holly emerge a surprise winner for Jeanette MacKenzie.

Patient Crusader was a hot favourite after a superb semi-final success but he missed the start and failed to land a blow before finding traffic on the corner.

In contrast, Geneva Holly flashed from boxes to lead the field into the bend. The daughter of Droopys Sydney and Newinn Boodles had built a sizeable advantage by halfway and none of the remaining runners seemed close enough to land a telling blow.

In the end, Jacktavern Bella finished fastest to emerge from the pack and close on the leader but Geneva Holly held on to win by a length in a fast 32.58. Droopys Unknown was another two and a half lengths adrift in third. 


Flashing Willow has very quickly established himself as one of the best sprinters in the land and he made a stunning Shelbourne debut in the sole sprint, leaving his rivals standing with a paw-perfect display of front running.

The Pat Buckley trained star went close to the long-standing record at Tralee in his latest start and he was again pretty emphatic in his actions on this occasion. Blasting from trap four, he was never in danger despite the best efforts of Give It Up in second. Staying on strongly, Kenny Glen’s son of Laughil Blake and Cabbage pulled away to score by four lengths in a superb 18.45. 


Part Blake returned to something close to his best form in the sixth race, displaying fine speed throughout to emerge a comfortable winner for Una Creed and Mary O’Connor.

The star performer has been a little slow to come to hand this year but seems to be improving with each run.

On this occasion, he was clearly ready for action as he broke smartly to dictate from the outset. Once turning in the driver’s seat, the Graham Holland trained son of Laughil Blake and Galloping Maeve pulled further and further clear to eventually cross the line with nine and a half lengths to spare over Hawkfield Ozark in 28.29.


Rural Star justified favouritism in the fourth race but he was forced to dig deep. Cocooner flew into the turn to set the pace but was always under pressure when Rural Star turned second.

Taking up the running at the third turn, Helen and Emily O’Dwyer’s Rural Star might have been expected to emerge a comfortable scorer but Jirano Supreme was motoring in behind.

Rural Star did go on to score but Jirano Supreme ran a tremendous race to get close. Rural Star held on by a half length in 28.73. 


After the wins of Part Blake and Rural Star, Graham Holland completed a treble in the finale as Bockos Budsit displayed superior early speed to hi rivals to dominate throughout.

Bev Lochead’s son of Laughil Blake and Matts Monica displayed fine acceleration to put the result beyond doubt. Maintaining a clear lead throughout, the October ’19 whelp emerged a comfortable three length scorer over Kameko in 28.68.  


It was wonderful to see Ringthemoon scoring just over a week after his proud owner Barry Cooney sadly passed away.

Now in the name of Barry’s son Karl and his long time friend Michael Dowd, Ringthemoon turned second behind Hawkfield Mia but made his move down the back straight.

Once going to the front, the Liam O’Rourke trained son of Droopys Sydney and Sparta Emmy held the challenge of Monraud Thunder into the third turn before easing clear to emerge a four length winner in 28.72.

Milton Leo did what was needed in the second race. Jim O’Brien’s charge displayed early speed to lead before the corner and then repelled the challenge of Droopys Arplus. The son of Droopys Sydney and Cnoc Holly went on to score by a length in 28.96.

Pat Norton and Liam O’Rourke were on the mark in the opener with Ferryforth Trump finally getting a run at Crokers Samba to lead on the run in. The latter set a strong gallop but Ferryforth Trump was always poised to challenge. Moving past the early leader on the run in, Ferryforth Trump stayed on to secure a length verdict over Razldazl Monarch in 29.12.