Ian Fortune

The RPGTV Juvenile Derby continued at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night and heat after heat, the best and brightest young trackers in training amazed.

Velasco went fastest but each and every heat winner and a number of those in behind really impressed.


Champion Unraced winner Another Holiday may have suffered his first career defeat in the opening round but he quickly returned to winning ways with a brilliant run in the first of the second round heats.

The Michael O’Donovan trained son of Dorotas Wildcat and Vigorous Lindsay didn’t make a flying start but flew up the inside of the fast starting Paradise Nikibel to take over on the corner. As expected, things got pretty tight on the inside of the track, allowing the front two to race a mile clear.

Paradise Nikibel kept Another Holiday honest but Jack Roche’s exciting tracker ran out a ready length and a half scorer in a fast 28.34. It was notable that this heat was run in much wetter track conditions than the remaining races on the card after a heavy shower came and went in the minutes ahead of the off. Brinkleys Magic was third, come five and a half lengths adrift. Paradise Moldova was the fourth qualifier.


There were many similarities between the victories of Another Holiday and Droopys Got It in the second heat.

As with Another Holiday, Droopys Got It suffered his first career defeat in the opening round but put that right in emphatic fashion.

Trained by Ian Reilly for the Keogh, Senyk, Reilly Syndicate, the son of Tullymurry Act and Droopys Hunch wasn’t fastest into stride but flew up the middle of the track to better Petersburg into the corner.

There was traffic in behind which affected but the four remaining runners including Trinity Junior and Tullig Raven. By halfway, it was clear Droopys Got It was going to score as he raced a mile clear of his rivals.

Tullig Raven did stay on strongly in defeat but Droopys Got It raced to a most impressive four and a half length verdict in a rapid 28.17. Petersburg was five lengths away in third with Trinity Junior qualifying in fourth despite making a slow start and finding traffic.


Three Canons produced a simply brilliant run in Heat 3 to get the better of Clona Duke, who for much of the journey seemed to be containing his rival.

Clona Duke didn’t break fast but flew up the middle of the track to assert on the corner.

Importantly, the Pat Norris trained Three Canons turned second on the outside of the track and she immediately started to press the leader. Clona Duke did contain her to the third turn, however, and then stayed tight to the fence to increase his lead as they entered the home straight.

Three Canons was far from finished. Despite running wide, Mark Lowther’s daughter of Droopys Sydney and Coolavanny Spice carried real momentum and she flew up the straight to collar Clona Duke on the line. The pair were separated by just a neck on the line with Three Canons stopping the clock in a very quick 28.18. Ballymac Bronze was another four and a half lengths adrift in third with Ballymac Drama fourth. 


Velasco set a strong standard in Heat 4 posting a brilliant 28.07 as he made every inch but that doesn’t even start to describe this contest with the second and third home also showing exceptional promise.

Velasco was backed off the boards, eventually going to traps the 4-9 favourite. Those that backed Des Grace’s brilliant young son of Ballymac Bolger and Ballymac Arminta would have been happy at traprise as he came away racing before quickly asserting.

Bogger Hunter wasn’t going to let Velasco have things all his own way, however. Showing massive pace, he closed on the leader into the third turn only to switch sides in an attempt to get up the inner of Velasco. 

Predictably, Velasco cut in to cut off Bogger Hunter, effectively ending the hopes of his pursuer. It was now the turn of Romeo Hanzo to catch the eye. After finding early traffic, he flew home to grab second in the closing yards but there was no catching the Owen McKenna trained Velasco.

The speedy blue ran out a two and a half length winner over Romeo Hanzo in a brilliant 28.07. Bogger Hunter was another length adrift with Marinas Joker the fourth qualifier.


As with each of the six heat winners, there was so much to like about Kim Prichard’s Bens Teddy in Heat 5.

Although only fourth for much of the journey, the Pat Buckley trained son of Droopys Sydney and Beechgrove Bell didn’t panic.

Bunkers Hill set a strong pace out front but seemed a sitting duck when Ballymac Run turned a close second. Indeed, Ballymac Run did come with a charge into the third turn to challenge. Ravensjet was on their heels but Bens Teddy was now stalking the front three in fourth. Ballymac Run still seemed like the most likely winner as they swung for home.

She took charge only for the briefest of moments, however, as Bens Teddy came with a real flourish. In a tremendous finish, Bens Teddy came through to score by three parts of a length from Ballymac Run in 28.25. Bunkers Hill ran a big race in third, a further three parts of a length adrift while RavensJet was the fourth qualifier.


The Oaks champion Raha Mofo was back to her brilliant best in the final heat as she justified market support to collar radical hero in the closing yards.

This was a great buckle between the pair while Romeo Command also ran a big race in third.

Radical Hero moved to the front in the early exchanges but Marissa Molloy’s Raha Mofo was always stalking him in second and her many followers would have been happy as she hit the third turn just a length adrift.

Radical hero did all he could to hold Raha Mofo but she was too strong and came high, wide and handsome to take up the running inside the final twenty strides. The Murt Leahy trained daughter of Droopys Sydney and Clares Queen emerged a length winner over Radical Hero in 28.15.

There was a further length back to the eye-catching Romeo Command in third with Storys Cashout also finishing fast to grab the fourth qualifying spot.



Lujaneo was a brilliant winner of the second race as she returned to her very best form when reeling in Coolboy Rusty in the closing yards.

In doing so, she initiated a wonderful treble for Murt Leahy who later scored with Raha Mofo and Ballybough Bela.

Lujaneo has always had a big engine but she really needed it in this contest as she found herself lengths behind the leader, Coolboy Rusty, in third as they entered the back straight.

Passing halfway, it was obvious Lujaneo meant business, however. Moving through the gears she headed Ballymac Bailey to go second. She still had work to do with Coolboy Rusty remaining a few lengths clear but she then began to really motor.

By the final turn, it was a case of by how far she would win. Storming home, the Club Of Champions Syndicate owned daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Ant emerged a three length winner in a very quick 28.29.


Pat Carroll’s Ballybough Bela was the final leg of the Murt Leahy treble when making every inch in the tenth race on the card.

The daughter of Droopys Noah and Droopy Coast was returning after a layoff although she displayed no signs of rust in the early yards, flashing from traps to go clear.

Some Playboy came from out of the pack to push the leader hard in the closing yards but Ballybough Bela held on to score by a head n 28.66.


Hoodoo Brown stepped up in trip to return to winning ways in the finale over 575yds.

Representing Mossie O’Donnell and Liam Dowling, the powerful son of Vulturi and Amanita Chic was installed a hot favourite to come home in front but he had to dig deep to repel Callaway Masters in the closing yards.

The latter led around the turn but was struggling to shake off Kilgraney Clang to halfway before surrendering the lead to Hoodoo Brown. Showing massive back straight pace, Hoodoo Brown moved on to the third turn but was tested on the run in by a rallying Callaway Masters. Hoodoo Brown held on to score by a length in 31.01.


Graham Holland’s runners may have been knocking on the door without luck in the heats of the Juvenile Derby but he had two superb winners on the undercard with Gaytime Nemo following up the early success of Galloping Sydney in the ninth race.

Hyde Park set a strong pace to the turn but was always in trouble once the strong running Gaytime Nemo turned second. Brendan O’Connell’s son of Droopys Sydney and Gaytime Derval displayed plenty of back straight pace to better his rival into the third turn, effectively putting the result beyond doubt. Toolmaker Wilde ran on well for second but Gaytime Nemo took the verdict by two and a half lengths in 29.78.


Galloping Sydney had earlier left favourite backers in clover in the opener as he displayed huge early dash to hand Graham his first winner on the card as well as owner Una Creed.

The son of Droopys Sydney and Mags Image won his opening round heat in the Derby itself and, when dictating the pace to the turn, was never going to be picked up. Roxholme Duke gave chase throughout but Galloping Sydney ran out a ready four and a half length scorer in 28.40.