Ian Fortune

While many tracks around the country felt the bite of the cold on Saturday night, Shelbourne Park was positively balmy compared to the previous evening and Graham Holland took the opportunity to record a wonderful treble, while Paul Hennessy posted an impressive double.

The racing throughout was competitive and, Graham Holland and Paul Hennessy aside, there were some fine displays on the card.


Helen and Michael O’Dwyer’s Rural Reward provided Graham Holland with the first leg of his hat trick in the A1 fifth race.

Prominent from the outset, the daughter of Laughil Blake and Rural Romance had a great tussle with Lord Precious before finally getting the better of that rival on the final turn. Staying on well, Rural Reward emerged a three parts of a length winner over her long-time rival in 30.41.

The second leg of the Holland treble came in the eighth race over 575yds as Marion Maloney’s Sizzler lived up to his name. The son of Laughil Blake and Illusion Dream certainly appreciated the long run to the turn as he opened up a clear lead. Cushie Sprit drew closer around the opening two bends as Sizzler steered a wide path but he could never get close enough. Sizzler maintained a powerful gallop all the way to the finish to score by a length and a half in 31.44.

Romeo On Fire handed Graham Holland his that trick in the penultimate race. This was all about early dash with David Firmager’s son of Droopys Jet and Rushmoorbeatrice shooting clear into the opening bend. The March ’19 whelp seemed set to run out a facile winner but, after a slow start, Duke De Janerio flew home to get within two lengths of the winner. It was an eye-catching run from the runner-up but there was no stopping Romeo On Fire who posted 28.79.


Paul Hennessy’s double was initiated a fine style by Boylesportsbingo.

After winning two of his previous three starts, Boylesportsbingo came into the race in fine form and he produced one of the best displays of his career to claim an eighth career victory.

John and Liam Boyle’s son of Superior Product and Glenlee broke smartly and was prominent to the turn. With the inside line in his favour, he took over from Cushie Wayne as they entered the back straight and continued to make all thereafter for a superb five and a half length victory over Cushie Wayne in 29.83. Given the conditions this was a superb time.

Cornerhouse Lady was as impressive as she completed the Hennessy brace in the A1 seventh race. The former Lee Strand winner flashed from the inside trap and soon had matters well in hand. Owned by William Hennessy and Bethany Dunne, the daughter of Deanridge Viking and So Said Sarah was in a league of her own as she raced right away from the chasers to eventually cross the line six lengths clear of Razldazl John in 28.63. 


Leger runner-up Cash Ready claimed a first win in Dublin when coming home in front in the finale. Trained by Denis Fitzgerald for the Cash Ready Syndicate, the talented son of Crash and Billis Weasel broke smartly and held a narrow lead into the turn.

There were plenty in a challenging position at the bend but Cash Ready displayed real determination to drive around in front. He made full use of his advantage, driving clear before holding the fast finishing Airlie Noel by two length in 28.90. 


Murt Leahy had a memorable 2020, sending out over 40 winners around Shelbourne Park and he seems set to better that total in the coming months.

Another Dream provided Murt with a fine winner when coming in as a reserve into the ninth race.

A trap to line winner a week earlier, Pat Scully’s son of Ballymac Eske and Cat Girl made it two on the bounce when winning in similar fashion. Me Batman went up fast on the fence but Another Dream had too much dash for that rival, leading on the bend before going on to record a superb three length victory over Coolavanny Class in 28.76.


After recording a wonderful double twenty four hours earlier, Ollie Bray continued his fine form with Hold Fire Now running out a good winner of the AO tenth race.

Patricks Machine broke fastest and set a strong gallop but Hold Fire Now came with a rush into the third turn to challenge.

Going to the front as they turned for home, the son of Kisses For Clodagh and Royal Diva stayed on well to run out a two length winner over Patricks Machine in 30.13.


Crokers Sambo produced a fine trap to line victory in the sixth race for John Croker and Maureen Finnegan.

The son of Droopys Jet and Killeen Princess was too sharp for his rivals, breaking fastest to lead from the opening stride. Ardilaun Jo did good work to close on the leader from the third turn but Crokers Sambo was too good on this occasion, racing to a comfortable three length victory in 28.81.


Ashwood Soul emerged a good winner of the A1 third race for John and Patrick Doyle.

Second to the fast-starting Winetavern Larry for much of the way, the Declan Byrne trained daughter of Soul and Except Change charged to the front at the third turn and eased on to hold the late charge of Storys Carmel by two lengths in 29.08.    


Youhavenoidea provided Richard Flanagan and Marie Gilbert with a winner in the A2 second race. Montauk led the field into the turn but eased off the fence, leaving a gap for Youhavenoidea to shoot through. Once doing so the daughter of Taylors Sky and Sidarian Pearl shot clear and proceeded to emerge a comfortable four length winner over Montauk in 29.00.


Racing opened with Stephen Gough’s Kelzomic Satnav (Holdem Spy/ Ballintee Annie) storming home to record a fine victory over the long-time leader Dunham Lors in an A2 550.

The latter displayed fine early dash to shoot clear but Kelzomic Satnav is a stout stayer and, once turning second into the back straight, always had the leader in her sights. Taking charge on the run in, Kelzomic Satnav raced to a length and a half verdict in 30.54.