Ian Fortune

Liam O’Rourke floated out of Shelbourne Park on Tuesday evening as he posted a wonderful hat trick capped by the wonderful performances of his promising youngster Columbia.

O’Rourke flew out of traps, winning both the opener with Southside Panda and the second race with Chitty Bang Bang.

Southside Panda had to do it the hard way, reeling in long time leader Da Vinci Kane for a narrow victory in the A5 opener. Getting up on the line, Southside Panda, owned by the Southside-Six-Syndicate, took the verdict by neck in 29.30.

Some fifteen minutes later, Chitty Bang Bang went even faster. The young daughter of Ballymac Matt had shown enough promise in previous starts to suggest there was a big run in her and once getting loose at the bend she was never going to be stopped. Easing clear, Debbie O’Rourke’s charge went on to beat Starshinemarvel by almost ten lengths in 29.16.  

Columbia was the star for O’Rourke, however. He displayed fine early dash to dominate in the fifth race. Alfie Herbert’s son of Tarsna Havana and Deanmill Annie eased into a decisive lead and eventually cruised home four lengths clear of Brownshill Shep in 28.76. The October ’18 whelp has clearly strengthened over the Covid-19 break and continues to improve. With three wins from five outings, he is one to keep an eye on in the future.       

Fastest run of the night actually came in the finale with Move Over Mabel making every inch for Damian McCann and Michael Taggart. The daughter of Boherna House and Palace Queen was a maiden after four starts but she opened her account in some style. Superior Fury kept the leader honest but never looked like getting to her. At the finish Move Over Mabel had two and a half length in hand in a quick 28.65.