Ballyhimikin Rex produced a brilliant display to win the €7,500 Shelbourne Champion 550 race

Ballyhimikin Rex produced a brilliant display to win the €7,500 Shelbourne Champion 550 race

Richie O'Regan (GRI Board), Michael Dempsey (Shelbourne Park Racing Manager), Billy Dunne (Winning owner of Ballyhimikin Rex- winner of the Shelbourne Champion 550), and Maria Kennedy.

Ballyhimikin Rex produced a brilliant display of front running to win the €7,500 Shelbourne Champion 550 for Billy and John Dunne, Garryvoe, at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.

A 16-1 outsider in the betting ring, Ballyhimikin Rex looked drawn for a big run despite the big odds and he did everything right to land the feature. 

Winning the all-important early lead, the pacey performer was in the prime position heading down the back straight and he was always going to take the world of catching. Bends Teddy was showing massive pace in the second half of the race and he closed the winner down to the line, however, it was Ballyhimikin Rex who crossed the winning line with half a length to spare over the favourite Bends Teddy, in a time of 29.61.

It was a real special success for the Dunne family. Owned and trained by Billy and John, they will no doubt have got a massive kick out of training him to big race success. 

They also own the sire, Ballyhimikin Jet, who has got his stud career off to a flying start and he is proving very popular.

This was undoubtedly a career-best effort from Ballyhimikin Rex but there is no reason he won’t be able to repeat it. A much-improved sort in recent times, he has always shown massive pace.

Billy is well known within GAA circles, having enjoyed plenty of success with Fr O'Neill's and no doubt the Dunne family will be dreaming of Irish Greyhound Derby success with the very talented Ballyhimikin Rex.

Ballyhimikin Farm in Garryroe has produced a number of promising dogs and Ballyhimikin Rex is another to add to that list.

In recent years, Ballyhimikin Jet was a star performer for the Dunne family. He was in trained in Golden, by Champion trainer Graham Holland. A 14-time winner, he delivered some amazing performances at the very highest level. 

An opening round winner in the 2020 Irish Greyhound Derby, he clocked a really impressive 29.58 when beating another talented tracker in the shape of Wolfe, also owned in Garryvoe by Pat Moloney. 

Out of luck in the next round, he went on to clock 29.35 in the Michael Fortune Memorial Plate before picking up a career ending injury next time out. At the back end of 2019, Ballyhimikin Jet beat a strong field of runners to win the John Slyne Memorial 575 at Curraheen Park.

In recent weeks, the Dunne's also produced another high-class greyhound, Ballyhimikinluck her name and she won the final of the Brownstango & NTSC Open Unraced as he clocked a wonderful 28.49 in the €6,500 to the winner event. Expect more big race success in the world of Greyhound Racing for the impressive Dunne operation going forward.

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