Ian Fortune

Fast Fit Paddy has run his final race following the news that he is to be retired after failing to recover from a small injury.

A very talented tracker from the start of his career, he was one of those rare greyhounds that continued to improve into his second full year.

That’s not to say he didn’t achieve much in his first year but there is no doubt he was a very different, more mature greyhound in 2022 which culminated in him becoming a classic winner.

After debuting in late January, 2021, in the Rural Kennels Unraced at Clonmel, making the semi-finals, it was onto Shelbourne Park where he was a class above his rivals in a graded stake, coming home a wide-margin winner in each of the three rounds, stopping the clock in 28.31 in the decider.


It would be his last ever start in graded company. He was now thrown into far deeper waters and he more than held his own, reaching the final of a valuable open 525 at Shelbourne Park before taking in the Shelbourne Champion 550.

In the decider, he overcame an opening bend bump to finish runner-up to Deadly Destroyer, in front of such names as subsequent Derby third Jackslittlething, future Leger champion Ballymac Merlin and one of the fastest in training Ballymac Ariel.

He had earned a crack at the Derby although luck wasn’t on his side. Finding bad traffic in the opening round he made an early exit before going on to reach the semis of the Derby Plate.

Later in the year he reached the semis of the Leger at Limerick but bad traffic again ended his challenge. He had just one last race in 2021 at the Winter Racing Festival in the 600 yd contest and it gave a clue to what the future held.

He made much of the running only to be collared late by Allforthebest. In defeat, he gave an indication that the longer run to the turn, allied with the extra emphasis on power and pace would suit him down to the ground. 


He returned in 2022 a different greyhound. He had always possessed huge pace and power but now he seemed to be a far more polished performer.

He was one of the most impressive greyhounds in the early rounds of the Easter Cup but was desperately unlucky not to qualify for the final, losing out by just a head and as short head.

To highlight how well he was in himself, he returned on final night and left a talented field standing over 550yds, clocking 29.54, less than a length slower than Easter Cup winner Susie Sapphire on the same night.


It was then onto the Shelbourne Open 600 and the rest is history.

The famous event, which was known as the Guinness 600 for so many years, is perhaps the truest test of a racing greyhound. In order to win the classic, a greyhound needs the perfect blend of speed, strength and constitution.

The son of Ballymac Vic and Rosmult Martha had them all. He stayed on well to win his opening round assignment in 32.50, ran a huge race behind Hello Hammond in the semis, clocking 32.25 in the process before producing one of the great runs in the decider.

On the biggest stage, he produced his greatest run. Showing his wonderful trapping ability, he held a narrow advantage into the turn, staying tight to the fence at this point. It meant he led a top-class line-up by three lengths into the back straight.

The immensely strong Hello Hammond went after him but could never land a glove on Fast Fit Paddy. In what was his thirty-seventh career outing, the August ’19 whelp was now at the peak of his powers and he galloped on to his greatest success.

Crossing the line two and a half lengths clear, he was a more than deserving winner of the classic. All you can ask of a greyhound is that they produce their best on the night that matters and fast Fit Paddy did just that. He stopped the clock in 31.96, becoming just the third greyhound ever to break the 32 second barrier at Shelbourne Park.

Connections set their sights on further glory, targeting the English Derby but it wasn’t meant to be. He picked up a small injury in the opening round and was off the track for a spell. He returned for one more race at Shelbourne Park blew away some cobwebs but picked up another small problem ahead of the Derby. Sadly, he never returned to racing action but will forever be remembered as a tremendous classic winner.


Declan McDonagh trained him throughout his career and, while sad to lose him, is very thankful for all he achieved.

Said Declan, He was just an incredible dog for us. He brought us places we never thought we’d get to and now we’re left with the very difficult task of trying to find another like him.

“I’d like to thank Paul [Horig] and John [Quinn] for leaving him with me. We had a great journey with Paddy and it would be nice to train another for them in the future. His 600 win was my greatest night in dogs and it’ll stay with me forever.”

Fast Fit Paddy was originally owned by John Quinn and his daughter Tara and he has returned ‘home’. Said Tara, “It’s great to have Paddy back with us. He’s just the most wonderful dog and gave all of us so much enjoyment over the past two years. He’s already served an open class bitch of our own and we’ll give him a chance to serve a few more and see where it goes but he has earned a permanent place on our sofa.”

While his racing career may have ended, the Fast Fit Paddy story will continue. He is the perfect example of how a greyhound can bring joy to those around him and it would be wonderful to see him pass on his many qualities to his progeny in the future.