Ian Fortune

There was a big crowd at Shelbourne Park on Friday night as the youngsters put on a show in the opening round of the RPGTV Juvenile Derby.

For as long as I can remember the opening round has been held on the eve of the Derby itself and there was a real sense of anticipation with many of those present having one eye on the action twenty-four hours later.

They were kept engaged by the youngsters on show, however. Heat after heat the stars of tomorrow produced some massive displays both in victory and defeat, while the honour of going fastest went to the hugely exciting Trinity Junior.


Trinity Junior was typically sharp in Heat 6 and he needed to be as Oaks champion Raha Mofo looked back to herself in second.

Trinity Junior is a rapid improver, however, and once getting the jump on his rival, was always going to maintain his unbeaten career record. 

Trained by Peter Cronin for Tim Slevin, the son of Laughil Blake and Oi OI Upenalty made every inch after a flying start. Raha Mofo entered the back straight four lengths adrift and predictably closed in the second half of the contest but Trinity Junior ran right to the line to score by two lengths in a stunning fastest of the night 28.11. Shady Bueno was five lengths back in third.


Early speed was the key to success for Radical Hero in the opening heat as he posted the next fast time, getting first run on the persistent Bogger Hunter.

The latter raced up to challenge in second but was forced to check off the turn.
He attempted to come back at the leader down the back straight but Radical Hero boasts a 28.26 victory at Shelbourne and it’s clear the Tommy O’Donovan was going to be a tough but to crack. The son of Droopys Sydney and Yahoo Ava kept going right to the line to hold Bogger Hunter by two lengths in 28.24.


The predicted buckle between Velasco and Another Holiday never materialised in Heat 5 with the latter missing the start and never landing a blow before finishing third. Instead,

Velasco, trained by Owen McKenna for Des Grace, lew from trap three to dominate throughout.

Ballymac Bronze gave chase but could never land a glove on the leader. The leader, a son of Ballymac Bolger and Ballymac Arminta, went on to a comfortable five length verdict over Ballymac Bronze in 28.27. Another Holiday ran better than the bare form suggests, a further six length adrift.


Crafty Jayko provided the Divilly clan with a good winner ahead of the appearance of Crafty Kokoro in the final of the Boylesports Derby when coming home clear in Heat 3.

She was always to the fore after a fast start but really had to dig deep down the back straight as Paradise Nikibel advanced to join her.

The pair had a great buckle into the third turn but Crafty Jayko held the inside line and she moved on around the last two bends before powering up the home straight to score by two and a half length in 28.29.


Pat Buckley and Robert Brinkley have a very nice sort on their hands in the form of Brinkleys Magic, who emerged a tremendous winner of the penultimate heat.

In what was just his third career start, the son of Magical Bale and Bobsleigh Jet reproduced some impressive trial form to lead from the early stages.

Staying tight to the fence, he increased his advantage into the back straight before easing away from the chasing pack to cross the line with six lengths to spare over Marinas Joker in 28.34. Killeacle Phelps stayed on in third, just a half length adrift.


Heat 8 was a very competitive affair on paper but Storys Cashout produced a fine front running effort to score for last year’ winning handler Murty Leahy.

Gavin O’Mahoney’s strong running son of Tullymurry Act and Droopys Hunch had performed well in the early rounds of the Boylesports Derby and was never gong to be picked up once turning in front.

His litter brother Droopys Got It missed the start but displayed fine early dash to recover, moving second early in the back straight. Droopys Cashout was in control, however, and he stayed on well to come home five lengths clear in 28.32. Droopys Got It was second with A Lucky Gift third.


The early speed of Michael Corr’s Petersburg was crucial in the final heat as the son of Dorotas Wildcat and Vigorous Lindsey displayed a clean pair of heels to his rivals throughout.

Flying up the fence, he never looked in a moment’s trouble as he dictated throughout to runout a six length winner over Ballymac Run in 28.55.   


Clona Duke overcame early bother to win Heat 2 for Graham Holland and Kevin O’Brien.

There was much to like about this display from the son of Malachi and Coolavanny Pearl as he powered past Ballymac Whirl down the back straight to take control.

Once going to the front, he was never going to be stopped although the well-backed Bens Teddy did run on well to finish just two lengths adrift. Clona Duke ran out a ready scorer in 28.59. Sign On Rocket ran on well to take third, just two lengths further adrift.


Seamus McConville’s Kilbarry Sydney did what was needed to win Heat 7.

Sipping around in front after a good start, the son of Droopys Sydney and Kilbarry Sharpe went on to contain the late charge of Three Canons by a length in 28.79. Clounamon Sydney was just a half length back in third. 


Heat 4 was a muddling affair with all five runners finding traffic at various points in the contest.

Liam Dowling’s Ballymac Drama was always close to the pace, however, despite running into a bit of trouble on the corner.

Roanna Sheiler forced his way up the fence to assume control but ran out of steam in the later stages. In contrast, Ballymac Drama despite catching the heels of Roanna Sheiler at the final turn stayed on well to eventually come home in front. The daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Clear Mountain saw off the eye-catching Romeo Command by two lengths in 28.88.