Ian Fortune

There was a bit of everything at Shelbourne Park on Saturday including drama, brilliant performances, a couple of shocks and a career best effort from Carmac King as he landed the Shelbourne Champion 550 in the style of a greyhound that could create more waves at the highest level in the future.

The Opening round of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks provided the drama as the opening heat was declared void after the hare stopped to a halt just yards from the winning line, although the remaining nine heats were nothing short of enthralling. 


The headlines simply had to go to Timmy Carmody’s Carmac King. The Owen McKenna trained star was seeking a sixth win on the spin in the final of the Shelbourne Champion 550 and his professionalism was again very evident.

Conor Matthews Racing Support Officer Shelbourne Park Presents the trophy To Timmy Carmody after " Carmac King " won The Shelbourne Champion 550 Final , also inc are Phil Carmody ,Owen Mc Kenna (Trainer) Linda Lenihan Tote Controller and Dean Barantez-Cross tote 

Conor Matthews Racing Support Officer Shelbourne Park Presents the trophy To Timmy Carmody after "Carmac King" won The Shelbourne Champion 550 Final, also pictured are Phil Carmody, Owen Mc Kenna (Trainer), Linda Lenihan Tote Controller and Dean Barantez-Cross tote.

Drawn in five, the hugely talented son of Droopys Sydney and Peters Queen was sent of the even money favourite and it was soon evident he was a worthy market leader. Flashing from boxes, he immediately found himself in front.

Swords Hero was his nearest rival into the turn, some two lengths back but he was joined and headed by Maireads Prince between the opening two bends. Carmac King remained in the driving seat, however.

Two and a half lengths to the good as they straightened up into the back straight, the March ’22 whelp continued to pile on the pressure.

Maireads Prince did all he could to bridge the gap but Carmac King meant business. Maintaining a relentless gallop, Carmac King actually increased his advantage from the final turn to eventually emerged a brilliant and thoroughly deserving three length winner in a magnificent fastest of the year 29.34. Maireads Prince ran a fine race in second with Swords Hero holding Syd Zafiro by a short head to finish a further four lengths adrift in third.

It was a special run from Carmac King and one that confirms his standing amongst the very fastest in training. 


This year’s Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks has the potential to turn into an incredible competition. There was a stuttered start to the classic with the opening heat sadly declared void after the hare broke down in the final yards. When it finally did get underway, there were some exceptional performances but none could match Droopys Mandolin on the clock.


Sawdust Storm made her own luck to win the second heat for Murt Leahy and the Chissel Syndicate. One of three bitches to challenge for the early lead into the turn, she shoved Glenbervie Pooka into

Kerogue Lady to take control.

Beretta Reba was left second as al this happened but she was never going to stop the leader.

Sawdust Storm entered the back straight with over three lengths in hand and she ran right to the line to beat a strong finishing Beretta Reba by a length in a quick 28.33. Scooby Countess was third, a further six lengths adrift, while Kerogue Lady was the fourth automatic qualifier.


Mustang Sally proved that early speed wins races in Heat 3 when making every inch after a flying start. Trained by Dolores Ruth for Sean Bourke and Paul Horig, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mustang Kay Cee, flashed from trap four to dictate from the outset.

She was under severe pressure around the last two bends with the favourite Deelish Nora on her heels. However, Mustang Sally had no intention of making life easy for her challenger. Staying tight to the fence, Mustang Sally was on the same racing line as her pursuer and that allowed her maintain her advantage.

Deelish Nora was forced to check her stride and switch out as they turned for home but Mustang Sally stayed on to emerge a three-length winner in 28.60. Velvet Duchess four lengths away in third, while Ballymac Pete was the fourth qualifier.


A Lucky Julie was too strong for long-time pace-setter Fleadh Saraide in Heat 4, while also exacting some revenge on Droopys Fidget. The latter captured the Select Stakes in her last outing with A Lucky Julie second.

Fleadh Saraide went up fastest from three to lead into the back straight but Droopys Fidget and A Lucky Julie were quickly on the case. Droopys Fidget displayed the best pace into the third turn to challenge on the inside of the pace-setter, only to have the door closed on her.

This left A Lucky Julie to emerge as the main threat on the outside of the trio. She joined Fleadh Saraide between the last two bends and had gone to the front by the time they entered the home straight. Gerry Melia’s powerful daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Julies Paradise eased on for a two and a half length victory over a rallying Droopys Fidget in 28.42. Fleadh Saraide played her part in making this a memorable contest, finishing another two lengths back in third. Newport Pier was the fourth qualifier.


Olwinn Me (Droopys Sydney/ Endova Monroe) may have been a 6-1 chance in Heat 5 but she was at her very sharpest to dictate from the opening yards for Oliver Canavan. Beepers Mary turned second and did close into the third turn only to be clipped from behind by the advancing Fleadh Rileigh.

This left Olwinn Me clear and she eventually coasted home four and a half lengths clear of Beepers Mary in 28.65. Priceless On Ice flew home to take third, some two lengths back. Headinthewindow was fourth.


Droopys Mandolin is a supremely talented bitch. Most were more aware of that fact before she returned from a long layoff to win Heat 6. The Robert Gleeson trained daughter of Laughil Blake and Droopys Curio was sent to traps the red-hot favourite at 1-2, although those that took the odds about the brilliant bitch did have a couple of moments of concern.

Droopys Edel broke well from the inside draw but Droopy Madolin was soon in the groove. Showing superb early dash up the middle of the track, she was soon in charge, hitting the corner a length and a half to the good.

It wasn’t all straightforward, however. Drifting off the opening bend, she left a gap for Droopy Edel to slip through. From leading by a length and a half at the opening bend, Droopy Mandolin entered the back straight a half-length behind the talented Droopys Edel.

Droopys Mandolin now faced a real test on her return. On a day when her joint owner Pat Dobbs rode a wonderful treble at Newmarket, Droopys Mandolin had the bit between her teeth. Showing her trademark power down the back straight, she was back in front by the third turn.

Clocking a hugely impressive 15.92 to the third turn, Droopys Mandolin maintained her strong gallop to the line to emerge a three and a half length winner over Droopys Edel in a fastest of the round 28.12.

Kyanite Kate flew home after a tardy start to grab third, a further three lengths back, while Ballymac Wendy was the fourth qualifier. Pat and Alan Dobbs can start dreaming of further glory with Droopys Mandolin. As comebacks go, they don’t come much better.


Annie On Faya has been in superb form of late and she produced a professional display to win Heat 7 for Murt Leahy and Cian Mulrooney. The daughter of Superior Panama an Cabra Skylar was soon in front after a fast start from trap four and she proceeded to make every yard.

Tell On Bella made a moderate start but flew into the turn and down the back straight to move second soon after halfway. She continued to close into the home straight but Annie On Faya was too good, emerging a three length winner in 28.36. Tell On Bella was a big eye-catcher in second with Russmur Stacey best of the remainder in third, a further four and a half lengths away. Chelsea Pat was the fourth qualifier.


Rathdown Molly is getting better and better with each run since her return from seasonal rest. She was at her professional best in Heat 8 as she charged up the fence to take over from Droopys Kamari on the corner.

Lets Go Bubbles was also prominent at this point but found traffic problems. Rathdown Molly entered the back straight in a commanding advantage and was clearly going to win again. Trained by Marie Gilbert for Bill Mulholland, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Some Ginger did tire a little on the run in but hit the line three lengths to the good in 28.36. Lets Go Bubbles flew home to recover from early traffic to take second with Droopys Kamari just a half length back in third. Make Me Queen was fourth.


Sunshine Zoe was a good winner of Heat 9 for Ollie Bray. Fastest into stride, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Silver Penny led the field into the turn and remained at the head of affairs throughout.

Piccadilly Attic was soon second and pressed the leader throughout but could never get back on terms. Sunshine Zoe dug deep off the final turn to come out a length and a half on top in 28.76. Piccadilly Attic was second with Born To Perform third, another three lengths adrift. Highview Treat was best of the remainder in fourth.


There were some big hitters on show in the final heat of the round with Short Grip starting the even money favourite but she found traffic on more than one occasion and eventually finished fourth. In contrast, Lincoln Legacy displayed her tremendous early speed to fly up the fence to lead the field around the corner.

Patrick McGhee’s razor-sharp daughter of Droopys Sydney and Nemesis flew down the back straight to open a commanding advantage, although he did run out of steam as they turned for home. Poets Dawn and Arent We All both finished well but the line came in time for Lincoln Legacy to hold on for a half length and length verdict over Poets Dawn and Arent We All in 28.77.


Farney Chime got proceedings of to a good start, taking charge at the third turn from Barntown

Bond before easing on to stop the clock in 28.75. Laurence Jones' son of Our Surprise and Speed Chime was always prominent before asserting and he went on to beat Tommys Hewick by two and a half lengths.