Ian Fortune

When Bobsleigh Dream was pulled out of the final of the Time Irish Cesarewitch less than a fortnight ago, it ended one of the great racing careers of the past decade.

There is scarcely a man, woman or child that follows greyhound sport that didn’t have a soft spot for the stunningly fast daughter of Droopys Sydney and Bobsleigh Jet.

During a career than spanned almost three years, she won a remarkable 29 times, amassed prizemoney totaling over €63k and beat the very best in training on a regular basis over any number of different trips. She also won two classics with her display in the final of the 2022 Irish St Leger perhaps the greatest of her career.

For her handler Pat Buckley and family and lucky owner Willie Joe Murphy, she was more than just a fast greyhound; she was a personality. Yes, she had amazing pace and huge strength but there was no doubt she had her own way of doing things.


Her career actually started slowly with the February ‘20 whelp failing to win any of her first four starts.

She debuted in an ON2 Unraced at Tralee in June 2021, reaching the final without winning any round. She then came in season and returned for a fourth career start at Limerick in December, again failing to win.

It was in her next outing at Tralee she really announced her arrival on the track scene. On the same night as the opening round of the Kingdom Derby, she won a supporting A1 contest in 28.19 which compered very favourably to the runs being produced by the stars in feature.

She had a month of over Christmas but returned for the Tote Gold Cup at Shelbourne Park, an indication of how highly Pat Buckley held her. It was a short-lived challenge, however, as she took a tumble at the third turn when getting into contention.

Her connections weren’t deterred and she was kept in the hottest company, winning a 600 at Shelbourne in 32.68 and taking on the likes of Beach Avenue and a certain Susie Sapphire over 550yds in her next two starts.


It was then back to Tralee for an Open 570 on Juvenile Classic final night.

On a night when so many big names were on show, she stood out, posting a sensational 30.40 to smash the previous track record by over three lengths.

Her career was ready to take off and she was certainly kept busy. After a few one-off races, she was sent to the UK for a crack at the English Derby. Winning her opening round assignment, she went on to make the quarter finals before making a luckless exit.


Next it was on to Thurles where she landed her first big prize.

Simply different class to her rivals through the Tipperary Cup, she emerged a brilliant winner of the decider in a rapid 28.75.

The Derby was next. A wide margin winner in the opening round, she found traffic in the second round before crashing out but she quickly returned to reach the final of the Derby Plate where luck would again desert her.   

It was a similar scenario in the Yvonne Barry 600 where she went unbeaten through the prelims before finding traffic in the decider but there was another big prize just around the corner.


Such was her CV, Bobsleigh Dream was installed one of the favourites for Leger glory at Limerick and her name always seemed destined to be etched on the trophy.

Simply brilliant through the classic, she suffered just one narrow defeat in the prelims and was the 11-8 favourite to land the decider.

This was the performance she will forever be remembered for. Despite a perfect draw on the fence, she was only fifth into the turn and was crowded at the second turn when attempting to improve her position.

As this was happening Mustang Jet shot clear. By the time Bobsleigh Dream got space to maneouvre she was over six lengths back, with only the slimmest chance. Her chances improved significantly into the third turn as she forced her way into a clear second and began to close the gap.

Between the last two bends, the leader’s advantage was down to three lengths and still Bobsleigh Dream advanced. Less than a length behind as they straightened for home, it was clear Bobsleigh Dream would claim her first classic. She flew up the straight to win by three parts of a length. It was an incredible run from a truly special lady.


Mustang Jet would exact his revenge at the Winter Racing Festival but Bobsleigh Dream would run another huge race in second.

She was given a layoff at this point before returning in March for a crack at the Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar.

Yet again, Bobsleigh Dream seemed destined to win the classic. A big run from off the pace in the opening round send out a clear warning to her rivals and she was then foot-perfect in the semis and final, eventually claiming her second classic success by seven lengths in a near record 32.79.

Her next target was the Sporting Press Irish Oaks. Many felt the 525yd trip would be too sharp for her but victories in the second round, the quarter-final and semi-final silenced her doubters. She was sent off the 6-4 favourite but a trap three draw proved her undoing and she would finish fourth.

She again took in the Derby, making it to the quarter finals before a very slow start ended her hopes. Her next outing would come at Nottingham where she won an invitation race before returning to home soil in an attempt to defend her Leger title. Three superb displays in the early rounds hinted that it was possible but again luck would not be her ally in the semis and she made her exit.


Her final start of 2023 would come at the Winter Racing Festival where she finished a close third to Another Holiday.

Sadly, she would have just a handful more races. She reached the final of the Champion Bitch Stake at Thurles before signing of with a victory in the semi final of the Cesarewitch at Mullingar.

When the news of a TFL injury broke, ending her career, and forcing her withdrawal from the final of the Cesarewitch, it ended one of the great racing careers of modern times. Blessed with awesome pace, huge power and a strong character, she was a joy to watch in full flow.


For Willie Joe Murphy and the Buckley family, she was one in a million.

Dream will return to Willie Joe where she will begin her career as a brood.

It will be sad for the Buckley family to see her leaving their kennels but Pat will be forever grateful that he had the chance to train her. Said Pat about Bobsleigh Dream, “What can you say about her. She was never beaten. She’d run from any trap at any track in any company. We had some journey with her. She took us up and down the country, to the UK and she competed no matter where she went.

“Honestly, she would nearly talk to you. She was one strong willed lady but she used that to her advantage. We can only hope she passes on her pace to her pups. If she does, we look forward to training them.” 

Certainly, if her progeny are anything like their dam, they too will be special. Much like Pat, we look forward to seeing little dreams hitting the track in the future.