Ian Fortune

It was one of the rare in-between nights at Shelbourne Park on Saturday with no competitions on the card but there was still some exceptional racing on offer.

The likes of Illnotbeback, Born Warrior, Oakfront Cadet and Warrenstown Boy were amongst the best winners on the night, while Jamie McGee continued his tremendous run of form by sending out two impressive scorers.


Jamie McGee is a man on a mission of late and he added two more superb winners to his tally with both Swanley Blue and Hawkfield Ozark winning in fine style.

The former got up late to land the spoils in the sixth race.

Black Matador set a searching gallop throughout but Swanley Blue slipped onto the fence into the turn to go second and he was always too close for comfort as far as supporters of the pace-setter were concerned.

In a desperate finish, Swanley Blue flung himself up on the line to score by a neck from Black Matador in a fast 28.40. It’s clear John Edwards’ son of Ballymac Bolger and Beaming Smasher is improving with each outing and he is one to keep an eye on going forward.


Jamie completed his double in the ninth race with Jerry Connors’ Hawkfield Ozark producing a thoroughly profession display.

Razor sharp at boxes, she led from the opening stride and never looked in any danger. Glenquain Pat gave chase throughout but was always struggling to close on the leader.

Hawkfield Ozark maintained a strong gallop throughout with the daughter of Laughil Blake and Brownstown Tango eventually coming home five lengths clear of her pursuer 28.43.


The Paul Hennessy trained Illnotbeback made quite a splash when winning at Shelbourne Park in 28.37 in mid February.

She then went on to perform well in the early round of the Cork Oaks before making an unlucky exit in the semis.

She was beaten in her three subsequent starts and looked a little flat in defeat but she got right back to her best in the seventh race on the card, posting a brilliant fastest of the night 28.07. Things certainly went her way in the early yards with the inside quartet clashing, allowing Illnotbeback plenty of room to maneouvre in the opening yards.

Showing fine early speed, she shot to the front before the corner and was never under any pressure once doing so. Sean Adams’ daughter of Droopys Sydney and Shirocco Star was dominant as she emerged a facile seven and a half length scorer over Meenagh Melody in 28.07.


Born Warrior is a young greyhound that continues to make waves.

He was facing his toughest test yet in the penultimate race on the card but passed with flying colours. In a race containing Juvenile Derby winner Droopys Gloss, the hugely fast Droopys Nextone, the very speedy Crafty Jayko as well as early paced professionals Milton Leo and Toolmaker Zipper, Born Warrior needed to be at his very sharpest.

He was exactly that as he flew into the corner to dictate throughout. Owned jointly by his handler Jennifer O’Donnell and John Mitchell, the son of Ballymac Best and Mountaylor Queen hit the ground running and was soon in front, clearing Toolmaker Zipper into the bend.    

The latter continued to give chase down the ack but was never closing on Born Warrior. Instead, Droopys Gloss flashed home to grab second in the closing yards but Born Warrior emerged a tremendous two length winner in 28.27 (.20 fast).


Osmond Bennett’s Warrenstown Boy produced a brilliant display of front running to emerge the easiest winner of the night in the A1 fifth race.

The Paraic Campion trained son of Magical Bale and Road Queen rocketed from trap two and quickly built a sizeable advantage.

By halfway he had eight lengths in hand and he continued to lay it on thick before coming home nine and a half lengths to the good over Innfield Jet in a sizzling 28.26 (.30 fast). Incredibly, the winner posted a stunning 15.87 to the third turn. 


After a sighter the previous week, the exciting Oakfront Cadet opened his Dublin account in the finale over 575yds.

Owned by Chris and John Morrissey, the powerfully built son of Belles Direction and Ferryforth Belle was headed in the early yards by Maglass Brave but was perfectly poised in second.

Running a tremendous corner, Oakfront Cadet hit the front at the second turn and once doing so was always going to be difficult to reel in. A hugely strong galloper, Oakfront Cadet contained the best efforts of Catchmeflying and Droopys Dot to come home in front. At the line, the June ’20 whelp had a comfortable two length margin over the fast finishing Droopys Dot in a very quick 31.14 (.20 fast). 


Burgess Rapid had a nice warmup ahead of an Oaks challenge when setting the standard in the semi-finals of the Talking Dogs A1 Bitch 525.

Early speed was her weapon of choice as she cut down her rivals to halfway.

Owned by Sheila Spillane and JJ Fennelly, the talented daughter of Burgess Bucks and Burgess Helena was foot-perfect, flying from boxes to make every inch of the running. At the line Burgess Rapid had two lengths to spare over Innfield Supreme in 28.44.


Droopys Request forced her way to the front on the corner in the opening semi-final and duly proceeded to make every inch thereafter.

Ropewalk damsel went up fast but was pushed out of the way by the Robert Gleeson trained Droopys Request as they hit the turn.

Droopys Request maintained a strong gallop throughout to eventually come home with four and a half lengths in hand on Ropewalk Damsel in 28.48 (.30 fast).


Michael Devereux’s Tinnock Solis got back to winning ways in the eighth race over the extended 750yd trip.

The race to the turn was all-important with Tinnock Solis emerging in front with Getawaywithit in chase. The latter attempted to close the gap but could never trouble the pace-setter, who has plenty of staying form on her card.

Instead, Ballybough Champ ran on strongly to emerge as the closest rival to Tinnock Solis but the daughter of Pat C Sabbath and Glenlee emerged a good two length winner in 41.56 (rated .40 slow).


Lolos Magic isn’t far shy of his fourth birthday but there is plenty of life in the son of Head Bound and Lolos Ferrari if his display in the second race is any indication.

Ronnie Craven’s charge flew up the fence to dominate from the outset. Going clear to halfway he always looked in control and, despite tiring home, he held on to see off the advancing Montauk by a length in 28.65 (.30 fast).


There was a desperately tight finish to the opener with Eugene Hearns’ Daffys Titanium holding the late charge of Highview reality to claim a third career success.

Swift Gaelic set a fast pace but was picked up by Daffys Titanium into the third turn. From there the daughter of Laughil Blake and droopys Daffy always looked the likely winner but she had to really stick her neck out to hold Highview reality by a short head in 28.82(.30 fast).