Ian Fortune

Skywalker Barry was simply too hot to handle in the final of the Juvenile Derby at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night as he confirmed his standing as one of the most exciting young greyhounds in training.

The brilliant son of Droopys Jet and Calzaghe Jan never saw another rival as he shot from boxes to make all to provide his young handler Mark O’Donovan with a memorable one-two.

This was a contest that was decided at trap rise. Skywalker Barry, racing in the red jacket, was first to react and he displayed immediate acceleration to lead by two lengths at the line first time up. Darth Vader was just second into the turn but Knight Tornado pushed his way through to give chase.

The race was now on. Skywalker Barry, who had suffered his first career defeat a week earlier, was in no humour to hand back his advantage. Entering the back straight with three lengths in hand, the October ’18 whelp maintained a powerful gallop to the third turn.

Knight Tornado did close the gap a little around the last two turns but his stride shortened on the run in, allowing Deadly Missile to come through for second. It all meant that Skywalker Barry went on to claim the €20,000 prize by two and a half lengths in a rapid 28.13.

It was a wonderful performance from a greyhound with the world at his feet. In victory he was handing Ray Patterson a second victory in the competition after the 2017 success of Skywalker Rafa, who was trained by Mark O’Donovan’s legendary father Michael.

Presentation of trophies after Skywalker Barry won the 2020 Shelbourne Juvenile Derby. Derek Frehill Racing Manager Shelbourne Park, trainer Mark O'Donovan and Brendan O'Neill accepting the trophy on behalf of owner Ray Patterson.                Pic: Imelda Grauer

Shelbourne Undercard


The penny seems to have dropped with Priceless Jet in recent times and he produced a brilliant front running effort to win the eighth race in some style.

Trained by Paul Hennessy for Bryan and Kathleen Murphy, the son of Droopys Jet and Ravenna flashed from trap four and had matters in hand from the opening strides. The strong running Pilgrim Hill turned second but never looked like getting to the leader. Instead Priceless Jet ran right to the line to secure a two length victory in 29.43.


The Pat Norris trained Iconic Rory again made the most of an ideal rails pitch in the tenth race.

Mark Lowther’s charge broke fastest and scarcely saw another rival as he dominated throughout. The in-form son of Ballymac Eske and Mountaylor Queen shot up the fence and went on to score by four lengths from Our Swans Rock in 28.26.


A rails pitch was also worked in favour of 2019 Juvenile Derby winner Broadstrand Bono as he led throughout to win the following contest.

Trained by John Linehan for the Ryan-Drake-Donovan Syndicate, the brilliant son of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Blossom was never under threat as he made all to record a comfortable four length success over the staying on Toolmaker Sydney in 28.26.


Racing ended with Oran Don performing at his very best. The talented son of Over Limit and Lughill Niamh was different class to his rivals.

Flashing from trap four and making every inch. In what was his first start over 575yds, the Marie Gilbert trained star looked right at home, maintaining a strong gallop throughout before going on to beat No Green Dye by four lengths in a sensational 30.84. 


The powerful Rockburst Mike, trained by Jerry Griffin for the Bit Of Craic Syndicate, was in a league of his own in the sixth race over the 557yd trip.

After racing prominently into the turn, the son of Candlelight King and Paradise Siesta was headed by Court Of Justice.

The latter moved clear down three back straight but Rockburst Mike wasn’t finished with. Displaying massive pace to the third turn, he flew through on the fence before quickly asserting. Powering clear, Rockburst Mike went on to cross the line with four length to spare over Barro Chief in a brilliant 30.91.


Racing had earlier commenced with Remain Green making every inch for Tony and Lorrain Howard.

The Sean Devlin trained son of Jaytee Dutch and Olympic Gorgeous broke smartly to dictate from the start and he proceeded to run out a comfortable four and a half length scorer over Droopys Emmy in a quick 28.44.


Ger Purcell’s Almighty Paddy is really living up to his name at present.

After finishing fast to win his previous start at HQ, he returned just over a week later to win the A1 second race over 600yds in convincing fashion.

Kilgraney Island set a strong pace from trap three, but Almighty Paddy was always perfectly positioned to strike in second. The powerful son of Skywalker Farloe and Pine Candy drove the third turn to go to the front and he then eased away to see off Ring Master by three and a half lengths in a quick 32.51.



While her brother Fiftycashback was setting track records at Mullingar, Ropewalk Pacer was claiming a sixth career victory in some style in the seventh race for Liam O’Rourke and the Christo Balbriggan Syndicate.

The daughter of Laughil Blake and Ravenswood Emily challenged for second spot into the back straight before taking over from the early pace-setter Clona Dream at the third turn. From there she eased clear to record a length and a half verdict over the staying on Highview Celt in 28.45.


Murt Leahy can do no wrong at present and he sent out another fine winner in the form of Sawdust Pleaser in the third race.

Owned by the Chissel Syndicate, the son of Romeo Recruit and Droopys Sarafina led from the second turn and then had enough in hand to contain the late charge of Russian Blake by a short head in 28.71. 


Snap Hook was a most gallant winner of the fourth race over 550yds with Brian Comerford’s daughter of Greenwell Hulk and Mylerstown Peg finding plenty out front to repel all challengers. Both Clona Hawk and Lord Boomerang looked likely winners at various points through the race but Snap Hook kept coming back for more and she stayed on strongly up the straight to run out a deserving short head winner over Clona Hawk in 29.93.


The ever-consistent Nametab Anubis added another wonderful success to his already impressive tally in the fifth race.

Geoff Bateman’s son of Laughil Blake and Nametab Gigi shot from the inside box and was never going to be denied once going to the front. Displaying his trademark enthusiasm, Nametab Anubis eventually ran out a good two length winner over Cornerhouse Lady in 28.58.