Ian Fortune

It was a wonderful summer’s evening at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night and the action on the track matched the glory of the weather with so many superb performances.

Of course, the semi-finals of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks were two hugely significant races on the card but in terms of monetary value, the final of the RCETS Open 525 was the feature with Miami King unleashing a career best display to land the €10,000 prize


Miami King had to show great determination to overcome bad traffic to qualify in third seven days earlier but his reward was an ideal draw on the fence and the son of Ballymac Vic and Newline Mo made full use of his advantage.

In a contest where the early lead was going to be of real importance, Miami King was at his very sharpest. The Garry Dempsey trained star broke fastest in the red and then held his position into the turn.

Sizzling semi-final scorer Abbeyside Spice charged into the bend to press the leader but once failing to get to the front, her chances of victory were effectively over. Likewise, Miami King was never going to hand back his advantage once slipping around in the driving seat.

Turning into the back straight with a length and a half in hand, Miami King really did put his rivals to the sword with a terrific display of pace and power. Pulling further and further clear, the talented black, who is owned by Tony Howard and Dave Lawrence, went on to land the valuable prize by an ever-increasing ten lengths in a brilliant 28.23. Abbeyside Spice was second with Niosfearrnabolt another length back in third.

Conor Matthews Racing Support Officer Presents the trophy to Loraine Howard after " Miami King

Pictured: Conor Matthews, Racing Support Officer presents the trophy to Lorraine Howard after Miami King wins the RCETS AO 525 Final at Shelbourne Park. Also pictured are Tony Howard, Garry Dempsey (Trainer), Tommy Woods, John Donoghue, Georgia Gallagher, Layla Shume, Eric Rafferty and Sean Murphy. Photo by Imelda Grauer.


Droopys Mandolin and A Lucky Lady took the headlines in the semi-finals of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks. Both were nothing short of sensational and we can now look forward to a truly wonderful Oaks decider featuring six of the very fastest in training.

Droopys Mandolin was favourably drawn on the fence in the opening heat and she did little wrong as she saw off Droopys Edel and Droopys Fidget. Droopys Mandolin shot from trap one and quickly edged out to trap two.

It failed to halt her progress, however. Showing a clean pair of heels into the turn, she contained a line of three challengers that consisted of Droopys Edel, Droopys Fidget and Epic Chick. Again edging off the fence, she briefly allowed room on her inner but quickly closed the door again as they hit the back straight.

Trained by Robert Gleeson for Alan and Pat Dobbs, Droopys Mandolin was ruthless down the back straight, maintaining a two-length lead over Droopys Edel into the third turn. By this time, Droopys Fidget was a clear third with Epic Chick fourth.

Droopys Mandolin again swung wide off the final turn but it failed to halt her momentum and the brilliant daughter of Laughil Blake and Droopys Curio emerged a length and a half scorer over Droopys Edel in 28.05. Droopys Fidget was just a head further back in third.


The second heat was all a little more straightforward for A Lucky Julie as she emerged an eleven-length scorer after getting loose on the turn. Jerry Melia’s A Lucky Julie broke fast from the outside box, while Beretta Melba flew from the inside box before edging off the rail.

That left things a little tight in the middle and A Lucky Julie took full advantage. Just containing the advancing Short Grip into the turn, she rode a bump on the corner to turn in front. It was all very easy thereafter.

The daughter of Burgess Bolger and Julies Paradise ran right away form her rivals to put the result beyond doubt to halfway. Short Grip moved upsides Fleadh Saraide into the back straight to challenge for second but A Lucky Julie was gone.

Short Grip got the better of Fleadh Saraide into the third turn but seemed to take a false stride right between the last two bends, losing all momentum. Fleadh Saraide was soon back in second and held off Short Grip to the line. A Lucky Julie went on top to stop the clock in 28.20 with Fleadh Saraide in second and Short Grip another half length adrift in third.

Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks

Final draw

1 Fleadh Saraide

2 Droopys Fidget

3 Droopys Mandolin

4 Droopys Edel

5 Short Grip (m)

6 A Lucky Julie (w)


Rory McConnell’s Snowy April continued his superb run of form with a massive run over the 575yd trip in the ninth race. Knockeen Dawn flew into the turn and set a strong gallop but the writing was on the wall when Snowy April turned second.

The massive son of Good News and Martinstown Diva used his massive stride to join and head the pace-setter at the third turn. From there he stayed on strongly to hold the eye-catching Deadly Choice by two lengths in 30.99.


Tribal Syd may have a bit of age on his side but just a couple of weeks shy of his third birthday, he continues to improve as proven by his run in the tenth race. Trained by Murt Leahy for Martin Costigan, the son of Droopys Sydney and Myahs Friend flew to emerge a tremendous winner.

The even money favourite Droopys Metaphor set a strong pace after a fast start but he had no answer to Tribal Syd down the back straight. Both Well Met and Tribal Syd advanced on the leader but it was the latter that got first crack at Droopys Metaphor.

Charging to the front on the third turn, Tribal Syd eased on to win by two lengths in a fast 28.39. 2023 Derby finalist Well Met ran a big race on his comeback in second.


Highview Splash justified favouritism in the final heat, showing a fine turn of early speed to make every inch. Representing Gerry and Dolores Merriman, the son of Pat C Sabbath and Highview Abbey slipped straight onto the fence from trap three to lead his rivals throughout.

Trinity Junior overcame a slightly tardy start to move second but he was headed in the latter stages by the eye-catching Syd Zafiro. Highview Splash went onto win by a length and a half in 30.01.


Poets Dawn and Rapido Bob had a great tussle in the fourth race with the verdict eventually going to the former. Rapido Bob set the pace but found himself under serious pressure into the back straight with Poets Dawn turning second.

The pair raced a mile clear of their rivals. Poets Dawn made her move around the last two bends. Sticking tight to the fence, Laurence Jones and Ray Byrne’s daughter of Droopys Sydney and Got The Charm edged her way to the front to lead as they turned for home. Staying on well, she hit the line with three parts of a length in hand on Rapido Bob in a fast 28.45.


Phoenix Memphis may have been having just his second career start but he displayed real promise in the A1 third race, forcing his way to the front before going on top open his account in style. Rallying Girl went up fastest but Phoenix Memphis was on her heels and he nudged his way through on the fence to lead into the back straight. It was to prove a decisive move.

Trained by Ian Reilly for the Keogh, Cunningham, Reilly Syndicate, the son of Droopys Sydney and Swift Jezebel eased on to win by four and a half lengths in 28.66. Bymystandard came through for second.


Urban Flight made a very sharp exit in the A1 second race on the card and it provided the perfect springboard for a good victory. Glitzy magic did emerge from the pack to press him hard from the third turn, but Reggie Roberts’ Urban Flight (Dorotas Wildcat/ Droopys Megan) kept on finding to eventually cross the line a half-length to the good over his rival in 28.66.


Only four went to traps in the seventh race, the Betdaq A0 525, and Blastoff Rex seemed to appreciate the extra room, making virtually all to contain a persistent challenge from Sunshine Zoe. Owned by the Racing Bucks Syndicate, the son of Grangeview Ten and Blastoff Fizz kept on finding out front to hold his rival by a half length in 28.73.

Barry Caul Representing Betdaq    Presents The trophy To Philip Buckley after " Blastoff Rex

Pictured: Barry Caul representing Betdaq presents the trophy to Philip Buckley after Blastoff Rex wins the Betdaq AO 525 at Shelbourne Park. Also pictured are Conor Matthews, Pat Meskell, Veterinary Director GRI, Tom O Connor, Linda Barry, Enda Hendrick, Hanna Brahan, Barry Coleman, Paul Smith and Brenda Powderley with their Retired Greyhounds Ben and Charlie. Photo by Imelda Grauer.


Tralee Warrior (Magical bale/ Greenisle Athena) made the most of a fast start to make virtually every inch in the A2 opener over 550yds for the Home For Half Past Syndicate and trainer John McGee. Templeville Meg did push her hard throughout and looked a serious threat off the final turn but Tralee Warrior held on by a neck in 29.90.