Ian Fortune

Just one hundredth of a second separated Bens Teddy and Sober Glory on the clock as both impressed in the semi-finals of the Champion 550 at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.

Ultimately, both came home clear but they had to work for victory with neither setting the pace in their respective heats.


Bens Teddy was installed a 4-6 chance for the opening heat and duly obliged in style, storming through the pack in the second half of the contest to win for Kim Prichard and trainer Pat Buckley.

Last of the five into the turn, the son of Droopys Sydney and Beechgrove Bell improved steadily throughout to be in a position to launch a decisive move from the third turn.

Storys Law took the field along but had no answer to Bens Teddy. Taking charge around the final turn, Bens Teddy eased on to eventually score by three lengths in a fastest of the competition 29.63. Storys Law was second with Run Faster another four lengths adrift in third.


Just one spot slower was Sober Glory but, he too, was most impressive.

The many supporters of the son of Droopys Sydney and Calzaghe Jan would have been a little concerned when he made a moderate start to sit only third into the turn.

More concerning was the fact that the talented duo of Belindas Finn and Papa Di Oro were at the head of affairs. Sober Glory drew closer to the front two to enter the back straight on their heels but he still had plenty of work to do.

Things really started to develop into the third turn. Belindas Finn held a narrow advantage but Sober Glory was now advancing. Coming between the front two, the Karol Ramsbottom trained star between the pair to take charge at the third turn. From there he eased on to record a statement type victory in 29.64, some two lengths clear of Belindas Finn with Ballyhimikin Rex coming through for third, a further two lengths back.   


After a couple of unlucky defeats on the big stage, Scaglietti justified odds-on favouritism in the fourth race to post a rapid 29.42 for the 550yd Derby trip.

Representing the potent team of Cheryl Sutcliffe and trainer Pat Guilfoyle, the talented son of Magical Bale and Outdoor Roller was soon in charge after a slick exit from the inside box.   

As I Say gave chase from the outset but was never going to pick yup the leader. Instead, Scaglietti eased away from his rivals to eventually cross the line four lengths to the good. 


Burgess Rapid is in the form of her career at present and she added another superb victory to her tally in the fifth race, her last start before an Oaks challenge.

Shooting from trap three, posting a rapid 2.03 sectional in the process, she was always at the head of affairs.

Faithful Paddy again displayed plenty of pace in defeat but had no answer to Burgess Rapid, who claimed an eighth career victory for owners JJ Fennelly and recent Hall of Fame recipient Sheila Spillane. The daughter of Burgess Bucks and Burgess Helena made every inch to score by two and a half lengths in 28.36.    


It wasn’t the only winner or JJ Fennelly and Sheila Spillane on the card as they also sent out Burgess Cutey to claim a fine victory in the penultimate race.

Global Glengar flew from traps to lead into the bend but he was clipped on the heels by Stefans Socks on the bend.  

At this point, Burgess Cutey was a close third and on the fence. Shooting up the fence, he took over at the head of affairs. Global Glengar recovered well to sit second but could never get to the new leader. Burgess Cutey went on to score by a length in 28.60.   


Boylesports Coco also sent out a warning to her potential rivals in the upcoming Oaks with a superb display in the ninth race for Dolores Ruth and owner John Boyle.

A razor-sharp daughter of Droopys Sydney and Barn Swallow, Boylepsorts Coco went up fast from trap three to dictate the pace from the outset.

Highview Mags did come though with a strong challenge in the second half of the contest but Boylesports Coco is strengthening up all the time and she ran right to the line to score by a length in 28.33.


There was a tremendous end to proceedings with Well Met holding off all-comers to emerge a narrow winner for Laurence Jones.

The speedy son of Ballymac Best and Corduff Flame was headed into the turn by Good Zeus but joined and headed that rival early in the back straight.

Good Zeus challenged into the third turn but was forced to check, holding up a couple of those in behind. Now Clona Blu was in full stride and he came at Well Met on the run in, as did the rallying Good Zeus. In a desperate finish, Well Met held Clona Blu by a neck in 30.06 with Good Zeus just a half length further adrift. 


Deadly Showtime hadn’t tasted success since last September when coming home clear in the final of the JAG Building Services & KGOBA Derby at Kilkenny but he put that right in the sixth race, showing his rivals a clean pair of heels throughout.

Trained by Karol Ramsbottom for the Blue Light Syndicate, the son of Droopys Sydney and Ruby Valley too charge into the turn and proceeded to make every yard thereafter for a five and a half length verdict over Midfield Deano in 28.53.


Laughil Rocky came home strongly to win the second race over 550yds Paul and Mary Jennings.

In doing so, he initiated a quick double for David Murray, which was completed by Endova Finale some fifteen minutes later.

Cornetto set a strong pace but ran out of steam in the latter stages, drifting off the final turn to allow Laughil Rocky make his move. The son of Out Of Range and Laughil Irene led late to win by a length from Urban View in 29.83.


Endova Finale won the third race in similar fashion to his kennel companion to complete the Murray double.

Great Dale led for much of the way but, as she steered a wide path, she left the door open for Endova Finale.

The daughter of Droopys Sydney and Endova Monroe came through to win by a length and a half in 28.81.


Mr Big John made the perfect start to proceedings, leading early to dominate over the standard trip for Reggie Roberts.

The massive son of Droopys Sydney and Urban Time was never headed as he came home two lengths to the good over Cill Dubh Adrian in 28.50.