Ian Fortune

The stage is set for a tremendous conclusion to the 2024 Bresbet Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park after two wonderful semi-finals on Saturday night.

Clona Duke and Glengar Martha ultimately took the headlines as they came home in front in their respective heats, although there were also some fine displays by those that qualified in second and third.


Clona Duke was first into action and a slick exit saw him race in a prominent position into the bend, alongside Ballymac Walt and Clonbrien Treaty.

Highview Splash missed the kick from trap two, meaning Clona Duke had room to edge off the fence. 

Undulation was just behind the front three into the bend but was forced to check across heels as she had nowhere to go. With the inside line in his favour, Clona Duke slipped around in front with his kennel companion Clonbrien Treaty just a half length back.

Ballymac Walt was next into the back straight with Highview Splash now sitting a close fourth. Undulation lost her position and was a further two lengths away in fifth.  

The race was now on. The Graham Holland trained duo kept battling up front with Clona Duke holding a narrow advantage, although that would change on the third turn where Clonbrien Treaty joined him before moving on by three parts of a length.

Ballymac Walt and Highview Splash were now under pressure from Undulation in behind the pace-setters. Highview Splash checked slightly as Undulation made her move into fourth and she was third as they hit the home straight.

Meanwhile, Clona Duke had again moved back to the front as the son of Malachi and Coolavanny Pearl stuck to the fence off the final bend, while a tiring Clonbrien Treaty swung wide. The eye was now drawn to Undulation as a large gap appeared between the front two.

In a tremendous finish, Clona Duke really had to dig in to contain Undulation. The pair flashed past the post locked in battle with the verdict going to Kevin O’Brien’s Clona Duke by a neck in 29.53.

Clonbrien Treaty ran his finest race of the classic a further length back in third. 


Glengar Martha also had to work hard in the second heat but her victory was a little more straightforward once negotiating the opening turn.

Hukum actually broke fastest but Glengar Martha and Beepers Lariat displayed the best pace into the turn.  

The pair bumped on the corner but the Pat Buckley trained Glengar Martha displayed fine balance to recover almost immediately and take the second turn in front. Beepers Lariat lost a little momentum and found himself under pressure in second as Glengar Martha shot clear out front.

Boylesports Bob took off down the back straight to charge into second at the third turn but Glengar Martha had set sail for home. Four lengths clear at the third turn, William Wood’s daughter of Droopys Sydney and Glengarbadminton maintained a strong gallop to the line to emerge a three length winner in 29.71.

Boylesports Bob steered a middle to wide path, allowing Droopys Fidget join him off the final turn but he did stay on well to regain second spot in the closing yards. Droopys Fidget was another half length adrift in third.

Bresbet Easter Cup

Final draw









Fresh from his Kilbride Kennels Midland’s Derby success at Mullingar, Rough Frankie added another fine prize to his CV, running out a ready winner of the This Runs Deep A0 575.

Trained by Kurtis Bain, who recorded a tremendous double on the card, the son of Goo News and Bubbly Rose again relished the long run to the bend over the 575yd trip to dominate.

Owned by the Liqourice Allsorts Syndicate, Rough Frankie flew into the turn to open a clear advantage over the chasing pack. Velvet Jenny, Riverside Pingu and Delightful Izzy all tried to get back on terms but Rough Frankie wasn’t for catching. Maintaining a relentless gallop to the line, Rough Frankie went on to see off Riverside Pingu by a length and a half in a very fast 31.16.


Slim Kerry has earlier initiated the Kurtis Bain double in the third race.

Never far away, Una Foy’s daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Lululemon charged into the third turn to take over. It seemed likely to be a winning move but Charlie And Ben was also advancing and she slipped up the inside of her rival to lead at the final bend.

The race seemed to be Charlie And Ben’s to lose but Slim Kerry had other ideas. Showing real tenacity, she rallied on the run in, finishing fast to take the verdict by a half length in 28.81. 


There was an impressive €2,000 on offer to the winner of the IRGT A1 525 and La Rebelde was in a real rush as he left his rivals standing in the opening stages to set a strong galloper.

Savana Alfredo did show acceleration into the turn to go second and briefly threaten down the back straight but his run was to ultimately peter out.

In contrast, La Rebelde kept on finding out front to put the result beyond doubt. Trained by Michael Corr for Roy Ball and Trevor Pearson, the early paced son of Good News and Coolavanny Chick emerged a pretty straightforward winner over Ballymac Kendra by five length in 28.68.


Avongate Venus took the finale for Murt Leahy and Rory Hickey.

Ballymac Marino was the warm favourite and was prominent in the early yards but failed to find a way past Innfield Rapid. As the latter moved wide down the back straight, Avongate Venus saw her opportunity.

Staying close to the fence, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Ring took over at the head of affairs before easing on to eventually emerge a two length scorer over Arent We All in 28.57.


Hawkfield Abbie (Good News/ Brownstown Tango) is really riding the crest of a wave at present and she claimed another well-deserved success for the Ginger McGee/ Jerry Connors combo in the A0 fourth race.

Going up strongly, she rode a bump on the bend to maintain her lead and seemed a certain winner once doing so.

Glenlara Blue ensured that things stayed interesting, however. He flew into the third turn to sit on the heels of the leader but Hawkfield Abbie was in no humour to surrender her advantage and she closed the door before staying on well to emerge a good length winner in 28.62.


Ballyhooley Teejay may have fluffed his lines at the start but he recovered well before finishing with a real flourish to claim victory in the Novice 750 sixth race.

Representing the combination of Tom O’Neill and the Ashgrove Trio Syndicate, the son of Ballymac Anton and Cats Belle had to pull out all the stops in the second half of the contest as Ballymac Slick was moving with purpose out front. In the end, Ballyhooley Teejey came through on the run in to secure a three length verdict over Ballymac Slick in 42.07.


Poets Dawn was one of the more impressive winners on the undercard, coming home clear in a rapid 28.37.

Representing Laurence Jones and Raymond Byrne, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Got The Charm was a close second into the turn and down the back straight behind Lord Messi before moving on at the third turn.

From there, Poets Dawn eased clear to emerge a ready three and a half length scorer over Sunshine Zoe and Lord Messi, who dead-heated for second, in a very quick 28.37.


Laurence Jones had earlier initiated the double with Tactical Take, who was too quick for his rivals in the opening race.

Chasing the early paced Stuie Griffin into the turn, Tactical Take (Our Surprise/ Speed Chime) asserted down the back straight before emerging a comfortable five length winner over Minnies Oleg in 28.89.


Beratta Reba doubled her tally in the penultimate race, showing fine determination, track craft and pace.

Despite a couple of early bumps, Graham Kelly’s daughter of Broadstrand Bono and Boulevard Mist moved second as they hit the back straight.

Showing impressive pace to the third turn, she slipped up the inside of Syrax to take up the running before going on to score by a length from the fast-finishing Chelsea Pat in 28.72.


Dubious Delux produced a career best effort to run away with the A2 second race for Paul King.

Hes Made It went up fast to lead into the turn but he was under immediate pressure from Dubious Delux with the latter moving on just after halfway.

Once going to the front, the daughter of Pestana and Sidarian Pearl put daylight between herself and the pursuers to eventually hit the line eight lengths clear of Urban Flight in a rapid 28.67.