Ian Fortune

Optic Chico stole the headlines at Enniscorthy on Monday evening, running out a facile winner of his opening round heat in the Future Champion and Michael Fortune Memorial Unraced 525.

Posting a sensational 28.50, he was easily the fastest of the eleven winners of the night although there were plenty of displays filled with promise throughout the night, both in victory and defeat.


Optic Chico was the undoubted standout, however.

The Robert Gleeson trained son of Droopys Sydney and Zola Princess broke smartly, posting a rapid 3.16 sectional to match Vivaro Billyboy into the turn where he took up the running to dominate for the remainder.

Vivaro Billyboy actually broke 29 seconds in second spot which goes to highlight how fast Optic Chico was going as he eventually crossed the line with six and a half lengths in hand.

His 28.50 return was just less than two lengths off the track record and easily in the top ten fastest times ever recorded for the trip at the south eastern venue. David Hanlon’s charge is obviously very talented and has the potential to be a superstar in the coming months. Watch this space!


Next fastest was Glengar Martha some fifteen minutes later as she won Heat 5 by a street.

Rebel went up strongly from trap five but was headed on the turn by Glengar Martha, who quickly put daylight between herself and her rivals.

William Wood’s Daughter of Droopys Sydney and Glengarbadminton eased further and further clear to win by an incredible fourteen length margin in a slick 28.79. Roanna Bonnie was second.


The only other winner to break the 29 second barrier was Niamh Murphy’s Ballinabola Bora as she took charge in the second half of the contest before staying on well to record a comfortable success in Heat 10.

The daughter of Pestana and Ballinabola Mia went on to score by four lengths from Droopys Foremost in 28.92.


There was much to like about the display of Haka Carlo in the opening heat as he flew home to emerge a comfortable five length scorer.

Representing Dave Bourke and Javier Jarne, the well bred son of Ballymac Anton and Ballymac Merkle stopped the clock in 29.03 with Neon Blue taking second spot.


JJ Fennelly and Sheila Spillane have plenty of talented sorts around them at present including Burgess Supreme, who came out on top in Heat 6.

The son of Burgess Bucks and Burgess Dancer took over on the turn and eased away to beat Glengar Aurora by four lengths in 29.06.


Laura Flynn had a nice winner in the form of Deelish Ranger in Heat 7.

The son of Confident Rankin and Vivaro Sansa was a little flat-footed at boxes but he motored into the turn along the fence to take up the running on the turn. He was never under threat thereafter and he stayed on to see off Monbeg by eight lengths in 29.14.

Robbie O’Neill and Adrian Maher had a nice winner in the form of Roanna Fiona as she made all to win Heat 3. The daughter of Good News was always at the head of affairs as she saw off Haribo Bull by six lengths in 29.20.

There was a remarkable finish to the final heat with Silver Man looking a certain winner for much of the way only to fade badly on the run in. He slipped around in front of Mulrankin Gem before powering clear into the third turn. He was still upwards of six lengths in front on the final turn but completely folded up on the run in.

Instead, Thomas Byrne’s Mulrankin Gem (Out Of Range/ At Sea) stayed on to get the better of another fast finisher Stripe Darkie by a head in 29.22. Silver Man was just a neck further back in third.

There was much to like about the manner of Telex Big Brian’s success in Heat 9. Although not the fastest into stride, he burst between rivals into the turn to lead on the corner. Anton Butler’s son of Pestana and Telex Brat went on to hit the line four lengths clear of Vivaro Dubh in 29.28.

Gymstar Geronimo may have been a big price in Heat 8 but Tommy Mahoney’s son of Pestana displayed fine early zip up the outside of the track to clear his rivals. He moved into a decisive lead by halfway before containing the staying on Roanna Amelia in 29.33.

John Kavanagh and John Simpson had a pleasing result in the second heat where their litter comrades Chief Singer and Askpash fnished first and second. Tip Top Aria took them along but Chief Singer was too strong at the business end, coming through to beat his litter sister by two lengths in 29.46.