Ian Fortune

It was another hugely successful night for Ireland at Towcester on Saturday night as six of the eleven heat winners represented these shores.

Barefoot Supremo produced an incredible run in the opening heat of the night, Heat 23, to set the tone with Deadly Showtime, Bockos Vieira, Wide Open, All About Ted and following his lead, while Ballymac Leon ended the night in emphatic fashion. 


In truth, Barefoot Supremo had no right to win the opening heat after making a slow start and finding early traffic before entering the back straight a proverbial mile behind warm favourite Bubbly Apache. Only fourth with as much as eight lengths behind the pace-setter, the powerful son of Ballymac Best began to move through the gears.

By the third turn he had moved third and was still closing fast. He moved second between the last two bends before setting his sights on the leader. With still three lengths to make up on Bubbly Apache as they turned for home, Barefoot Supremo closed the gap with some ease and incredibly won with a bit in hand, hitting the line with a head to spare over his rival in a fast 29.06.

Sadly, Barefoot Supremo’s kennel mate Beach Avenue could only finish fourth after plenty of early crowding, while the Graham Holland trained Russian Glory also crashed out, finishing fifth.


A lack of course knowledge failed to stop Deadly Showtime from justifying favouritism in Heat 25. Representing the strong team of Garry Hannon and Karol Ramsbottom, the son of Droopy Sydney broke on level terms and had to fight for the lead but, one assuming control on the bend, he eased on to emerge an impressive two length winner over Romeo On Tilt in 29.32. With the prospect of plenty of improvement, Karol Ramsbottom will be delighted with his charge.


Graham Holland would have got great satisfaction from seeing Bockos Vieira returning to winning ways in Heat 27.

The hugely talented son of Skywalker Farloe produced a really purposeful effort, showing early dash to turn a close second to rank outsider Makeit For Waz before pouncing into the third turn.

Moving with real fluency, the powerful galloper eased right away to eventually score by our and a quarter lengths in 29.08.   


Sadly, in the next heat, Bockos Budsit didn’t emulate his kennel companion.

Instead, his compatriot, the Brendan Matthews trained Wide Open again displayed her liking for the Northamptonshire venue. Breaking smartly from the inside box, she comfortably held both Borna Wine to lead the field into the back straight.

The later attempted to press around the last two bends but Wide Open is very strong and she kicked on to eventually see off Zazzeras Jack by two and a quarter lengths in 29.16. Bockos Budsit, after failing to make a slick exit, was only fifth.   


An Irish domination was expected in Heat 29 but 20-1 chance Daring Deise hadn’t read the script.

Here the Graham Holland trained Knight Tornado pressed hard throughout but could never get to the fast-starting Daring Deise. Romeo Magico, a kennel mate of Knight Tornado, made a moderate start and found plenty if early crowding.

He looked in trouble when turning fourth but he bettered Karol Ramsbottom’s Deadly Destroyer down the back straight to go third. Daring Deise went on to scorer by a length and a quarter from Knight Tornado in 29.37, while Romeo Magico actually ran a big race to finish just four and a half lengths further back in third. Deadly Destroyer made his exit in fourth.


After finding traffic in two trial stakes around Towcester, All About Ted produced a near-perfect display to emerge a facile winner of Heat 30 for Peter Cronin.

The 2021 Irish Derby finalist broke smartly and displayed superior early dash to his rivals to lead into the bend.  

Despite cutting the corner, he got around unscathed and proceeded to show his class thereafter. Pulling right away, he went on to score by four and a quarter lengths in 29.17. Headford Mike was second while the Brendan Matthews trained Fernandes took third, almost four lengths further back. Sadly, the Irish lost the services of Romeo On Fire in this contest after he failed to get loose early. He eventually finished last.


Still the Irish weren’t finished as Liam Dowling Ballymac Leon put a cherry on proceedings with a flawless display in Heat 31.

A half brother to Pestana, he looked a lot like his half-sibling as he rocketed from trap two to dominate.

All of three and a half lengths clear into the bend, he raced right away from the chasing pack into the third turn. Predictably, crack stayer Baggios Champ id run on strongly, but he was never going to get near Ballymac Leon who emerged a mighty impressive four and three parts of a length winner in a rapid, fastest of the night 29.04.     


Both Glengar Jenny and Jaytee Wexford performed admirably to qualify in the second heat.

The former actually set the pace for much of the way but was always being stalked by the fast-finishing Storys Peewee.

Predictably, Storys Peewee got up late to score by three parts of a length in 29.37, while Jaytee Wexford, after forcing his way into third on the opening turn, was just three parts of a length adrift in the last remaining qualifying spot.