Ian Fortune

The ladies provided some exceptional racing at a busy Shelbourne Park on Saturday night with the second round of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks the feature. The standard was remarkable with each of the eight heat winners breaking 28.60, while Droopys Edel set the standard with a stunning 28.21 return in the opening heat.



Droopys Edel was perfectly housed on the fence in the first of the eight heats and she made full use of her draw. Challenged early by Epic Chick, Droopys Edel stayed tight to the fence to move to the front on her own at the corner.

Sawdust Storm emerged as a danger into the back straight, slipping inside Epic Chick but Droops Edel was not going to surrender her lead. Trained by Ian Reilly for Sean Dunphy, the daughter of King Sheeran and Droopys Hunch stayed on well to repel the renewed challenge of Epic Chick on the run in before going on to cross the line two lengths clear in 28.21. Sawdust Storm was the same distance away in third.



Graham Kelly had a night to remember, sending out a superb double in the heat which commenced with Beretta Melba in Heat 2. Beretta Melba shot from traps to put herself in a great position to win. Kerogue Lady flew up the outside of the track to join and head the early pace-setter down the back straight but Beretta Melba was not going to be denied.

In a tremendous finish, Graham Kelly’s daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Greenwell Mo stayed on to secure a neck verdict over Kerogue Lady in 28.50. Tell On Bella got up on the line to take third, a further three lengths adrift.



Graham Kelly’s double came in the final heat with Beretta Reba lashing from traps to dominate. This was nothing short of a procession for the in-form daughter of Broadstrand Bono and Boulevard Mist. Chelsea Pat and Kyanite Kate gave chase but neither could land a telling blow on the leader.

Maintaining a relentless gallop to the finish, Beretta Reba completed the Graham Kelly double by four lengths in a rapid 28.41. Chelsea Pat was second with Kyanite Kate a length and a half further back in third.



Deelish Nora was too strong for her rivals in Heat 3, forcing her way past the fast starting Fleadh Saraide into the third turn before easing clear. The Ginger McGee trained daughter of Droopys Sydney and Ballymac Orna was unlucky in the opening round but atoned for that defeat in some style.

Turning second from an ideal draw on the fence, she edged up the inside of the leader at the third turn, forcing herself through on the fence. Once going to the front, it was a case of by how far she would win.

Highview Treat stayed on well to grab second but JS Porter’s Deelish Nora emerged a ready three length winner in 28.42. Fleadh Saraide held on by a short head to take third, just a length behind the runner-up.



Peter Comerford’s Lets Go Bubbles produced a massive run in defeat a week earlier but there was no stopping her in Heat 4 once she turned close to the pace being set by Lincoln Legacy. The later flew up the fence to dictate into the back straight but was never far enough clear for comfort.

The pack began to close on Lincoln Legacy as she hit the third turn with the Owen McKenna trained Lets Go Bubbles staying wide to launch her challenge. Making her move turning for home, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Jetstream Lynx went on to emerge a two length winner in 28.59, Ballymac Run also stayed on well for second with Lincoln Legacy taking third, another two lengths back.



A Lucky Julie maintained her unbeaten record in the stake, lowering the colours of Short Grip in the process. A Lucky Julie held a narrow lead into the turn but was under pressure from Short Grip and Annie On Faya.

With little between the trio, A Lucky Julie took advantage on the outside, slipping around in front. Short Grip would move second but A Lucky Julie is very strong. Despite swinging very wide off the final turn, Jerry Melia’s daughter of Ballymac Bolger and Julies Paradise stayed on well to secure a three length victory over Short Grip in 28.28. Annie On Faya was six and a half lengths away in third.   



Early speed was the key to success for Rathdown Molly in Heat 6 as she repelled the persistent challenge of Droopys Fidget with a typically gutsy display from the front. Trained by Marie Gilbert or Bill Mulholland, Rathdown Molly broke on terms but displayed immediate acceleration to lead the favourite Droopys Fidget around the turn.

The latter challenged into the third turn but Rathdown Molly closed the door. Droopys Fidget looked certain to renew her challenge off the final turn but Rathdown Molly and herself were in the same racing line.

Rathdown Molly (Droopys Sydney/ Some Ginger) seems to be getting stronger with each run through the Oaks and she went on to secure a well-deserved length victory over Droopys Fidget in 28.45. Born To Perform stepped up on her opening round effort to finish just two lengths further back in third. 



Mustang Sally made light work of a trap five draw to win the penultimate heat of the round for Dolores Ruth, Paul Horig and Sean Bourke. She may be a middle seed but the fast starting daughter of Droopys Sydney and Mustang Kay Cee invariably cuts for the fence and that’s exactly what she did after another fast start.

Getting across with little fuss, she was always in charge. Droopys Mandolin was the hot the favourite in this contest after a stunning opening round effort but she looked a little flat on this occasion. After a moderate start and early crowding, she was only fifth into the back straight before powering her way into the qualifying positions around the last two bends.

There was no stopping Mustang Sally, however. She made every inch to eventually see off the always second Piccadilly Attic by four lengths in 28.42. Droopys Mandolin was a further seven lengths adrift.




Racing opened with the four opening round heats of the hugely valuable RCETS Open 525. All four heat winners won well but honour of going fastest went to Niosfearrnabolt as he contained the late challenge of Barefoot On Fire in Heat 3.

The race to the corner was very competitive and something had to give. Niosfearrnabolt was staying tight to the fence and he took advantage of some crowding on his outer to lead the pack into the back straight.

Trained by Liam Dowling for the Kingdoms Palace Syndicate, the son of Ballymac Kingdom and Ballymac Scala wouldn’t be headed. Barefoot On Fire did finish well to almost join the leader on the run in but the line came in time for Niosfearrnabolt who held on to score by a neck in 28.63.



Miami King also scored from the inside draw when coming home best to win Heat 2 or his handler Garry Dempsey and owners Dave Lawrence and Tony Howard. Predictably, Abbeyside Spice set a strong pace but she isn’t the stoutest of stayers and Miami King was always too close for comfort. Making his move around the last two bends, he struck the front as they turned for home to contain Dark Dilemma by a length in 28.74. 



Mustang Sam had his first start on Irish soil in almost two years when landing the opening heat for Fraser Black and John Gerrard. The son of Droopys Jet and Mustang Kay Cee, who had some tremendous UK form on his card, flashed into the turn to set a strong gallop.

Clear to halfway, he seemed certain to score only for Calaway Annika to close all the way to the line. Mustang Sam held on, however, hitting the line a head to the good in 28.79. 



Farney Chime got loose early in Heat 4 but needed every inch of his advantage as things got pretty tight at the finish. Laurence Jones’ son of Our Surprise and Speed Chime has been on some run of form and he made it four wins on the spin when containing the late charge of both Glitzy Magic and Neko Harbour by a half length and a head in 28.96.