Ian Fortune

Sharon Hunt and Paul Dyer tasted classic glory at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night with Tuono Charlie confirming his standing as the best stayer in the land with a brilliant victory in the Corn Cuchulainn.

In what was his eleventh career start over six bends, he maintained his unbeaten record over the extended trip but was pushed hard in the closing yards by a gallant and rapidly improving Ballyhooly Tejay, who ran a remarkable race in defeat.


­Tuono Charlie was sent off the 4-5 favourite and those that took the odds about the brilliant son of Good News and Farranrory Bonny would have been feeling pretty confident as he passed the stands six lengths clear.

Velvet Jenny went up fast, as expected, but Tuono Charlie struck the front on the bend before quickly putting daylight between himself and his rivals. Despite being forced to check his stride on the opening bend, Ballyhooly Tejay improved his position into the home straight to go third before moving into second, past Velvet Jenny, at the third bend.

With each stride thereafter, Ballyhooly tejay closed the gap on Tuono Charlie but, ultimately, the gap was too great. Despite the best efforts of Ballyhooly Tejay, who really did run a remarkable race in defeat, Tuono Charlie hit the line with a neck to spare in 41.32. There was a ten and a half length gap to Droopys Comrade in third.

It was a deserved success for Tuono Charlie but there seems no doubt he is starting to show the effects of his recent exploits. In victory, he recorded a tenth win on the bounce and is now probably entitled to a rest. Have no doubt, we will be seeing more of this sensational stayer in the coming months.


Of course, Saturday’s card also featured the semi-finals of the Boylesports Champion Stakes and Lets Go Bubbles set the standard with a fine run in the final heat.

Trained by Owen McKenna, who is seeking a second Champion Stakes victory, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Jetstream Lynx was sent off a 6-1 chance but she soon had matters in hand. Charging up the outside of the track, she took charge well before the opening bend and never looked in danger thereafter.

Superfast Gorden slipped around in second but had no answer to Peter Comerford’s pace-setter. Lets Go Bubbles would go on to score by four lengths in 29.64. Superfast Gorden would chase her into the final with Highview Splash losing out in third, a further two and a half lengths adrift.


Daniel O’Rahilly’s Kirby Memorial champion Knockeen Dazzler opened his Dublin account in the opening semi-final, showing his brilliant early speed to lead from the opening corner from the fast-starting Whyaye Bonnylad.

It was a decisive moment in the contest with the son of Laughil Blake and Love Island going on to beat Whyaye Bonnylad by a length and a half in 29.78. Deadfly Choice flew home but failed by a head to get back on terms with the runner-up.


Fraser Black will be seeking a third Champion Stakes victory next week after winning the second heat with Maireads Prince.

A powerful son of Droopys Sydney and Clona Skye, Maireads Prince was off the pace into the turn but, as Carmac King edged inwards to the turn, finding a little traffic, Joe Horan’s charge shot around the outside to lead the field into the back straight.

Once going to the front, defeat was never an option. Maintaining a strong gallop to the line, Maireads Prince ran out a length winner over Carmac King in 29.80. In Good Time was another length and a half back in third.


Glengar Martha set the standard in the Boylesports Champion Plate, producing a typically professional display to come home clear in 29.77.

Bill Wood’s talented daughter of Droopys Sydney and Glengarbadminton was electric in the opening yards of the second heat, shooting to the front well before the turn. Once doing so, it was only a case of by how far she would win. Carrick Keano did chase her hard throughout but there was no stopping the Pat Buckley trained Glengar Martha. She went on to win by two lengths.


Scooby Countess was next fastest, making the most of an ideal draw on the fence to charge her way to the front on the opening bend. Da Bold Falcon came away racing from two but couldn’t maintain his lead.

Scooby Countess flew up the fence to challenge on the corner, forcing her way to the front. Esmonde Swift stayed wide of the field to move second but he was always going to struggle to worry the pace-setter.

Trained by Jennifer O’Donnell for Steve Noble, Scooby Princess increased her lead to the third turn. Maintaining a strong gallop, the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Scooby Princess went on to score by five and a half lengths in 29.87. Esmonde Swift was second.     


Brunswick Bullet came late and fast to win the opening heat of the Champion Plate for Adam Dunford. The son of Sonic and Ballymac Maxi did run very wide in parts, conceding ground to the early pace-setters Sogna In Grande and Miami King but when the front two bumped off the final turn, Brunswick Bullet was ready to pounce.

He had flown into the third turn before being forced to check his stride but it failed to halt his progress. Witching wide off the final turn, he flew up the straight to beat the advancing Hawkfield Abbie by a length and a half in 29.99.


Darbys Queen provided the Devaney Family Syndicate and Pat Devaney with a superb winner in the finale, posting the fastest time of the night for the 525yd trip.

The promising daughter of Burgess Bucks and Bower Deise was razor-sharp, shooting from trap two to dictate into the bend. Arent We Al did all she could to get back on terms but Darbys Queen wasn’t for catching and she proceeded to emerge a most impressive length winner in 28.52.


Farney Chime returned to winning ways in the penultimate race, showing fine early speed to lead before the turn.

Laurence Jones’ son of Our Surprise and Speed Chime was too hot for his rivals thereafter. Farney Chime went on to score by five lengths from Urban Flight in 28.66. 


Brendan Maunsell was on the mark in the second race as Jim By Two made the most of an ideal draw on the fence to emerge a comfortable winner.

After a slick exit, the son of Droopys Sydney and Livz Dream pulled away to win by five length from Speed Diamond in 28.66.


Racing commenced with Old Tricks coming out on top for Reggie Roberts.

Never far off the pace after going up fast, he was headed briefly early in the back straight but was back in front by the third turn. From there, the son of Droopys Sydney and Zola Princess edged on to win by two and a half lengths in 28.86.