Ian Fortune

Tuono Charlie and Droopys Comrade secured their place in the final of the Corn Cuchulainn at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night, coming home clear in their respective semi-finals. Of course, it came as no surprise with both sent off a warm favourite for their respective heats.


Tuono Charlie was no bigger than 1-3 and it was soon evident he was going to bring his record over six bends to ten wins from ten starts. Running with real purpose from the outset, he flew into the turn to take charge.

Hanover Phantom was soon second and kept the pace-setter honest but he couldn’t maintain the gallop. Instead, Ballyhooly Tejay ran on very strongly to take second spot but Tuono Charlie was never going to be denied.

Trained by Sharon Hunt for Paul Dyer, the brilliant son of Good News and Farronrory Bonny may have tied up a little on the run in but still emerged a superb three length scorer in a superb 41.22. Ballyholy Tejay ran the race of his career in second with Hanover Phantom another four and a half lengths adrift.


Fifteen minutes later it was the turn of Droopys Comrade to impress, although he had to work a little harder after failing to match Velvet Jenny in the early speed department. The latter set a searching gallop but was under pressure from Neon Lights from the early yards.

Just behind the pair, Droops Comrade was stuck in a pocket but close enough to challenge when the gap finally arrived. The order remained unchanged into the back straight but Droopys Comrade saw his opportunity down the back straight.

Moving off the fence to challenge on the outside of Neon Lights into the penultimate corner, he was moving like the likely winner. Velvet Jenny continued to dictate but Droopys Comrade was now advancing fast. Trained by Fraser Black for Liudmila Ioannou, the son of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Sweet flew up the straight to better his rivals. He would eventually hit the line three lengths clear of Neon Lights in 41.54. Velvet Jenny was just a head away in third.



No greyhound went faster over four bends than Da Bold Falcon. The much-spoken of son of Droopys Sydney and Hail Cleopatra, who is now under the care of John McGee, was securing just his second career victory but couldn’t have been much more impressive.

Going up faster than in previous outings, he led on the corner from Now Were Talkin before really turning the screw from halfway. Pulling further and further clear from the third turn, Pat McDonagh’s powerful tracker went on to beat Now Were Talkin by six lengths in a stunning 28.04.


Predictably, the wonderfully bred Neko Harbour handled the step up to 550yds with relish in the ninth race, showing all his pace and power to lead home Prince Naseem. The duo battled for the early advantage with Neko Harbour outpacing his rival into the bend to move on.

Once going to the front, defeat never seemed likely for the son of Droopys Sydney and Susie Sapphire, although Prince Naseem certainly ran well in defeat, staying on powerfully to close on his talented rival on the run in. Trained by Owen McKenna for Peter Comerford, Neko Harbour hit the line a length to the good in a very useful 29.69.


Carrick Keano took a tumble when last seen but made a successful return to action in the finale over 550yds when looking as good as ever. The Robert Gleeson trained star broke smartly from the inside box and was soon in control.

Thomas Glynn’s son of Dromana Bucko and Droopys Zero was always in charge once turn in front and he proceeded to dominate to beat Poets Dawn by five and a half lengths in 29.72.


There was a really taking display in the second race with Mustang Sam posting a rapid 28.18 for Fraser Black and John Gerrard. Early speed was the key to success for the son of Droopys Jet and Mustang Kay Cee.

Charging up the outside of the track into the bend, he just cleared Rapido Bob on the corner but it was to prove decisive. Maintaining a strong gallop throughout, Mustang Sam went on to see off Rapido Bob by three lengths.


Liam Kirley and Thomas Garry’s Glenlara Blue has long been suited by the 575yd trip at Shelbourne Park and he looked very content with himself in the A1 third race as he won a protracted battle with Brunswick Bullet. The latter displayed the better early speed to power past the fast starting Glenlara Blue into the turn but proceeded to steer a middle-to-wide path.

Glenlara Blue was almost back on terms into the back straight, only for Brunswick Bullet to ease on again to halfway. Once again, Brunswick Bullet left room up his inner around the last two bends and this time Glenlara Blue took full advantage. Going to the front, the strapping son of Droopys Sydney and Glenlara Rosa stayed on powerfully to emerge a good winner by two lengths in a fast 30.99.


Esmonde Swift was one of the more straightforward winners on the card, leading on the opening turn to put daylight between himself and his rivals. The strong running son of Ballymac Bolger and Liberty Marie, who is owned by the Back In The Game Syndicate, pulled away to eventually hit the line six lengths clear of Rallying Girl in a very useful 28.49.


La Gitana displayed a clean pair of heels to her rivals in the fifth race, an Open Bitch 525. Flying up the fence, the Michael Corr trained daughter of Good News and Coolavanny Chick was soon in control and she proceeded to make every inch.

Ravenswood Elsie did all she could to close in second but was never quite getting to the pace-setter. Roy Ball and Trevor Pearson’s La Gitana went on to score by a length in 28.55.


The tightest finish of the night came in the sixth race with Brayview Jet just containing the late charge of Fleadh Rileigh. Barntown Bond set the pace in the opening half of the contest but Brayview Jet was always close before moving on into the third turn.

Once going to the front, the son of Jaytee Jet and Highview Novel was always going to be difficult to reel in. Trained by Gerry Merriman for the Brayview Lads Syndicate, he was forced to pull out all the stops. Fleadh Rileigh flew home but Bratyview Jet held on by a short head in 28.74.


Cayan Lady took the opener for Tony Grassick. Sitting third for much of the way behind the pace-setting Lightfoot Kankin, she moved second as they hit the third turn before making a decisive move off the final turn.

The daughter of Broadstrand Bono and Cayan Tower was right on the heels of the leader into the straight but was given a boost when Lightfoot Kankin took a false step. Going to the front, Cayan lady eased on to win by a length in 28.90.