Ian Fortune

One of the great names in greyhound racing, and particularly Wexford greyhound racing, is to be recognized with the Future Champion Plate to be named after Michael Donohoe.

The Future Champion and Michael Donohoe Memorial Plate will begin on March 22nd, a week after the start of the Future Champion and Michael Fortune Memorial Stake.

Michael passed away in 2017 and left a legacy that will last the test of time. A publican for much of his life, Michael was also heavily involved in greyhound racing for many decades and tasted plenty of success as well as handling some of the best dogs in the history of the sport. 

The one that immediately comes to mind was Yellow Band. A star in the late seventies, he was involved in one of the most notable match races in the history of the sport. In more recent times, Michael and his son Johnny established the Heavenly Stud.

Indeed, through the 2000s, Johnny and Michael had many dogs run under the ‘Heavenly’ prefix of Tony Head and their alliance was certainly a successful one. The very best was Heavenly Hero who finished third to Bypass Byway in the 2002 Derby and was a real star over 600yds.

Michael was of course a proud Wexford man and it’s fitting that his name will be attached to the competition at his home track, Enniscorthy.