Ian Fortune

It wasn’t difficult to predict there were would be some superb displays in the opening round of the RCETS Open Unraced at Shelbourne Park on Friday night given the pedigrees, connections involved and the qualifying form on show but all three heats were packed with potential future stars.

Honour of going fastest went to Garryvoe Joe but the three heat winners deserved to share the headlines with each showing tremendous ability.


Garryvoe Joe became the latest star to emerge for Pat Moloney as he displayed superb pace to run out a wide margin winner of the second heat in a rapid 28.47.

A half-brother to the sensational Wolfe, the Graham Holland trained son of Dorotas Wildcat and Jalingo wasn’t the fastest into stride but he displayed immediate acceleration to shoot to the front in the opening yards.

Once going to the front, he put his rivals to the sword with ruthless efficiency. Crossfield Linda took a false stride at the second turn to lose ground on the leader but it scarcely mattered. Garryvoe Joe was clear and he ran right to the line to emerge a seven-length scorer. Crossfield Linda was second with Droopys Annalise running on to finish a further five lengths adrift in third.


Trinity junior was just one hundredth of a second slower as he emerged a brilliant winner of the opening heat for Tim Selvin and Peter Cronin.

He to was racing in the red jacket and made full use of the draw, showing fine early dash to lead Here Comes Syd and Bens Teddy into the bend.

Here Comes Syd lost his chance on the turn as he briefly became unbalanced after a bump. Bens Teddy moved second and pressed the lead throughout but there was no stopping Trinity Junior. The well-bred son of Laughil Blake and the hugely talented Oi Oi Upenalty, maintained a strong gallop throughout to stop the clock in 28.48. Bens Teddy stayed on well in defeat a length and a half adrift with Here Comes Syd also catching the eye in third, a half length further back.


Not to be outdone by the first two heat winners, Sporty Sydney delivered an impressive performance in the final heat for the legendary Joe Hurley. Again, early speed was the key to success.

The son of Droopys Sydney and Caragh Kayla flashed from trap two and quickly gained control of the rails pitch.

Ballymac Bronze chased hard throughout but Sporty Sydney always seemed to have enough in hand. The June ’20 whelp held on to see off the chasing Ballymac Bronze by a half length in 28.53. Johnnys Gem finished a further five lengths adrift in third.