Ian Fortune

Droopys Good, known as Jake at home, came back into the final of the €3,000 RCETS Open 525 at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night following the withdrawal of his kennel companion Mags Memory and the speedster took his opportunity with a swashbuckling display.

The persistent rain throughout the day saw track conditions running on the slow side but it didn’t stop some of Ireland’s best producing brilliant displays throughout the night. The track was rated .50 slow for much of the night and it was hard to argue. 

The race to the bend in the feature race was always going to be of huge importance and Zoom and Droopys Good went toe to toe. The pair bumped on the bend with Droopys Good, owned by Paul Carpenter and Bev Lochead, carrying more momentum into the second bend. Taking over at the head of affairs, he quickly opened up a decisive lead.

Vanderbilt bettered Zoom on the third turn to go second but Droopys Good remained three and a half lengths clear and, staying tight to the fence, maintained his advantage into the home straight. Vanderbilt and Callaway Masters attempted to close on the leader to the line but it was futile.

Droopys Good was too good and he emerged a comfortable winner by roughly two and a half lengths (Result incorrectly states 8 lengths) in 29.17. Callaway Masters took second by a head from Vanderbilt, in turn handing Owen McKenna a one-two in the contest.    


Crokers Spirit justified favouritism in the penultimate race on the card but he was pushed all the way by Good Cody.

The pair are firmly established as two of the very best in training and they quickly turned it into a match race.

John Croker’s Crokers Spirit broke smartly and quickly set out his stall. Good Cody had to work a little harder to better Ballymac Art at halfway but, once doing so, he started to close the gap on the leader.

Crokers Spirit was not going to surrender his advantage without a battle, however, and the Matt Harte trained son of Scolari Me Daddy and Boleys Ace dug deep to contain Good Cody by a half length in 28.93 (.50 slow).


Pat Flanagan and Stuart Kenny’s Off The Pitch returned to racing action after a layoff of 133 days but there were no signs of rust as he produced a near perfect display of sprinting to win the SS0 third race in mighty impressive fashion.

Smashing from trap five, he raced right away from a high class field to leave them chasing shadows. Maintaining a strong gallop to the line, the Marie Gilbert trained son of Droopys Jet and Sizzling Daisy won by an ever-increasing seven length margin from the fast finishing Gizmo Cash in a very fast 18.68.


Fernandes was given the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways in the opener over 575yds and Brendan Matthews’ son of Droopys Sydney and Follys View seized his opportunity with real relish.

Not alone did he win by a wide margin, but he also produced one of the performances of the night,  

Showing far superior pace to his rivals into the turn, the February ’20 whelp moved clear before pulling right away to the third turn. From there he coasted home the easiest of winners, crossing the line twelve lengths clear of the always second Moyola Seamrog in 31.10 (.40 slow).

Given the wet conditions, it was an incredible display from the winner. If he can improve his consistency at traps, he is certainly fast enough to challenge for major honours in the coming months.   


Born Warrior has rapidly established himself as one of the most exciting young trackers in training and he claimed a fourth win on the bounce to bring his career record to four wins from five starts in the ninth race.

Owned jointly by Jennifer O’Donnell and John Mitchell, the well bred son of Ballymac Best and Mountaylor Queen was a little flat-footed at the boxes and was only fourth into the turn behind the flying starter Hawkfield Ozark.

Born Warrior had to keep a wide line to get around Lynchy Boy and Thirtynine Winks on the second turn but, once doing so, he quickly set about closing the gap on the early pace-setter. Showing big pace down the back straight, Born Warrior joined Hawkfield Ozark between the last two bends.   

Moving with real fluency, the April ’20 whelp quickly eased on to put the result beyond doubt. Despite swinging wide off the final turn, Born Warrior went on to beat Hawkfield Ozark by two and a half lengths in 28.99 (.50 slow).


Sentimental Lad looked the one to beat in the finale over 575yds and he certainly didn’t disappoint those that took the odds on about Eimear and Michael Heeney’s powerful son of Droopys Jet and Vigorous Hilary.

Moving to the front on the long run to the turn, the September ’19 whelp never looked under threat although Getawaywithit did finish at speed to get much closer at the finish. Sentimental Lad was never going to be denied, however, and he went on to see off his challenger by two lengths in 31


Auxerre has been an incredible performer for Ollie Shields and it’s clear he is far from finished winning following his latest success - the twentieth of his stellar career - in the sixth race over 600yds.

Iso fantastic went up fastest to set the pace in the opening yards but Auxerre was always on his shoulder and the son of Droopys Sydney and Toms Delight displayed fine pace and determination down the back straight to assume at the halfway mark. Once doing so, the talented black eased away to see off Droopys Soldier by six lengths in 32.94 (.50 slow).


Dolores Merriman’s Highview Moment Produced a fine display to win the seventh race on the card, an Open Bitch 525.

Meenagh melody set a strong gallop up the middle of the track but Highview Moment was always close enough in second to mount a decisive challenge.

That moment came at the third turn as Highview Moment drove up the inside of Meenagh Melody to take over at the head of affairs. In a matter of strides, the Gerry Merriman trained daughter of Jaytee Jet and Highview Daisy pulled clear before going on to cross the line with  five and half lengths in hand on the early pace setter in 29.23 (.50 slow).   


While her litter sister Wide Open is in action at Towcester today, Tullovin Vita continued her rapid rise up the ranks in the A1 fifth race over 550yds when getting the better of the warm favourite Cu Mochua before holding the late charge of Droopys Dot.

James Wade’s daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Dolce Vita is a very likeable type while her improvement has been evident to most. Turning a close second to Cu Mochua, she got the better of the pace-setter into the third turn.

Once doing so she was always going to be hard to pass. Droopys Dot did stay on strongly but so too did Tullovin Vita. The August ’20 whelp emerged a length scorer over her pursuer in 30.36 (.50 slow).  


Supporters of Hoodoo Brown may have given up hope in the A1 second race as the massive son of Vulturi and Amanita Chick found traffic on the turn after a slow start.

However he was to unleash the most incredible finishing flourish to deny long-time leader Emers Spike, opening his account at the eighth attempt in the process.

There was no doubting the slow conditions helped Hoodoo Brown but he still had to perform a minor miracle to lead in the closing yards. A distant fourth into the back straight, Mossie O’Donnell and Liam Dowling’s star started to shift through the gears. By halfway he was in full stride and making up eye-catching ground.

Emers Spike was still clear and seemed likely to remain so when Hoodoo Brown found further traffic on the third turn. But in the slow conditions, the leader’s stride began to shorten. The same couldn’t be said for Hoodoo Brown.

Powering up the straight, he closed with each massive stride before getting up late to score by a length in 29.14 (.40 slow). Emers Spike was second. 


Ballybough Bela made an early advantage count in the fourth race.

Trained by Murt Leahy for Pat Carroll, the daughter of Droopys Noah and Droopys Coast skipped around in front and proceeded to make all for a comfortable two length victory over Innfield Supreme in 29.25 (.50 slow).