Ian Fortune

Saturday’s action at Shelbourne Park offered a wonderful distraction to what is happening in the world at present.

Social distancing was very much in place and the action went on behind closed doors, but those watching on-line would have witnessed another tremendous display from the Graham Holland trained Ballydoyle Valor as he saw off his kennel companion Slippy Cian in a thrilling finale over 550yds.

After making a winning return a fortnight earlier, Slippy Cian seemed likely to continue his winning ways when hitting the front in the early yards. Ballydoyle Valor ran well to turn second but he seemed to be chasing shadows as he sat three lengths behind his kennel companion at the second bend.

His supporters were given some hope approaching the third turn. Ballydoyle Valor (Kinloch Brae/ Fear Emoski) ran a tremendous back straight to get within two lengths at this point and when Slippy Cian drifted off the final turn, Ballydoyle Valor was perfectly positioned to strike.

Staying on strongly, Ballydoyle Valor, owned by Justin and Pat Muldoon, joined and headed Slippy Cian on the run in to run out an impressive half length winner in 29.91.


Just minutes earlier Graham Holland had initiated a wonderful double with Black Parachute making a winning return in the ninth race over 550yds.

Owned by the Howson-Holder-McMunn-Sherratt Syndicate, the son of Top Honcho and Ballydoyle Honey hit the ground running to lead before the turn.

Once going to the front, the powerful black was never going to be tested. Instead, Black Parachute drew further and further clear to eventually see off Highview Country by eleven lengths in 29.63.


Mark Lowther’s Boynepark King was too sharp for his rivals in the eighth race.

The Pat Norris trained son of Candlelight King and Boynepark Mile broke smartly from, trap two and proceeded to make every inch for a comfortable two and a half length verdict over Young Tom in 28.73.

A rails pitch worked in favour of All About Taylor as he set the pace in the opening heat of the Bet On the Tote A2 525. Trained by Peter Cronin for Willie Rigney, the son of Taylors Sky and Yahoo Perlena led throughout to beat Super Vic by three lengths in 28.98.

There was a taking display from Smooth Warrior in the second heat as he saw off some useful rivals with minimum fuss. John Kennedy’s son of Good News and Clever Lass came away running from trap two, displayed superior early speed to those in opposition and went on to make all for a four length victory over Pats Advice in 28.63.

An early advantage was enough for John Quinn’s Fast Fit Ash in Heat 3. The Declan McDonagh trained son of Laughil Blake and Fast Fit Misty was sharpest in the early yards and he hit the turn in front. Uncle Wexford gave chase throughout but could never get back on terms. Fast Fit Ash held on to score by a length in 29.08.   

A week after stumbling from traps, John Turner’s Jaytee Storm did the exact opposite in the sole contest over the 557yd trip. Flashing from trap three, the Paul Hennessy trained son of Pat C Sabbath and Jaytee Jules never saw a rival as he raced clear of the field to eventually come home with four lengths in hand on Collarhouse Buzz in 31.44.

Patricks Machine went fastest in the semi finals of the Barking Buzz App A1 525. Normally an early pacer, the Neilus O’Connell trained son of Kinloch Brae and Newinn Tesse was headed early by Howth Head but displayed finer pace to join and head that rival into the third turn. From there Patricks Machine stayed on well to beat Howth Head by five lengths in 28.91.

The second heat saw Clifford Reid’s Barbican Stag make the most of a rails pitch. Bumping his rivals out of his way at the bend, the son of Good News and Ballymac Abigal was left clear. Coolavanny About came at him in the closing yards but Barbican Stag took the verdict by two lengths in 29.21, in turn completing a double for his handler Michael Taggart. 

A messy opening race saw Richard Flanagan’s Beaming Raccoon arrive late to initiate the Michael Taggart double. The son of Droopys Roddick hit the line a length and a half to the good over Razldazl Lulu in 29.75.