Ballyhooly Henry reigns supreme: Pictured at the presentation ceremony following Ballyhooly Henry winning the 2016 GAIN Dog Food Open 600 final at Shelbourne Park were, back l-r: William Rigney (GAIN Foods), Rose Dowling, Christy Kiely, Breda O’Neill and Jim Dowling. Front l-r: Maria Kiely, John Fox (GAIN Dog Food - sponsor), Tom O’Neill (trainer) and Joe Dowling. (Picture: Imelda Grauer)

Local greyhound Ballyhooly Henry lit up Shelbourne Park, Dublin earlier this month with an emphatic victory in the €15,000 GAIN 600 final.

Henry, who celebrates his third birthday on May 16th, is trained locally by Castletownroche’s Tom O’Neill, a brother to well-known horse trainer Jonjo, and owned by the Ashville Syndicate, including Jim and Rose Dowling and the late Finbarr Grindel of Ballyhooly.

A strong favourite heading into the race at 4/7, Henry justified his odds with a comfortable victory.

Speaking to The Avondhu this week, Jim Dowling said: “He was the strong favourite going into the race because he had a pretty good split, was well drawn and he was the fastest on the clock going into the final, but that doesn’t ensure that you’re going to win in dog racing.

“He was led to the bend by a dog who did really keep out and he got room on the inside of him. Between the first and second bend he went ahead and there was no real danger to him after that.”

He acquired the name Henry in honour of Henry Shefflin as he was born in Kilkenny and arrived in Ballyhooly around the time the hurling great won his 10th and final All-Ireland medal.

He’s certainly lived up to the name so far!