Horse In Focus - Realt Dubh



  • Realt Dubh put in a great performance to win the Grade 1 Irish Arkle at Leopardstown on Sunday. He put in a brilliant display of jumping and held on to beat Noble Prince by a shd.  


  • He was bred by R Hartigan in Ireland and is owned by D J Sharkey. This 7yo son of Beneficial (who also sired RSA Chase winner Cooldine and stands at Knockhouse Stud, Co Kilkenny) is out of the mare Suez Canal, a half-sister to the Grade 1 Flat placed, Guiza.
  • Suez Canal also has a 5yo gelding Beneficial called Realt Mor and a 4yo Son Of Sharp Shot gelding called Gizzit.


  • Like so many great horses he started out his trade in Irish point-to-points. He ran in three of them as a 4yo under his then trainer V.T. Keane and then owner David Phelan. In Feburary 2008 he made his public debut at Tallow point to point in Co.Waterford where he finished 2nd, beaten only a neck to IDE NO IDEA (who was trained by WJ Burke for the BarberBrowneBurke Partnership) on yielding ground. 
  • He then ran at Lismore, also in Co.Waterford, on the same ground where he finished 5th to MICHEAL FLIPS after making a bad mistake 5 out. He went on to win his last point-to-point at Dromoland in Co Clare on yielding to soft ground in March 2008, beating THELOBSTERCATCHER by a head, with M J O'Connor on board.
  • After that win he went to Brightwells Sales at Cheltenham in April 2008 and was sold to agent Mags O'Toole for £90,000. 


  • Noel Meade became his new trainer and ran him in three bumpers, finishing placed in two and winning the other at Thurles. He showed he was improving with every run and was then sent hurdling where he was 2nd, beaten by the top clas Mikael D'Haguenet. He won his next start in a 2m maiden hurdle at Leopardstown.
  • He started off the current season over fences, winning a novice chase at Navan, in September. He then ran in Galway where he fell when travelling well in a 2m 1f Grade 3 Novice Chase on good ground. His jockey Paul Carberry said after that the horse had spotted a shadow approaching the fence. That fall didn't dent his confidence as he took the step up to Grade 2 company in his stride by beating Gates of Rome by 6L's in a Novice Chase at Punchestown.
  • In December he stepped up to Grade 1 chasing in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse over 2m4f and was left 2nd to Jessies Dream after the fall of old rival Mikael D'Haguenet at the last. He didn't have to wait long however to gain his first top flight success when he went to Leopardstown and won the Grade 1 novice chase, before going on to follow up his win over the same course and distance in the Irish Arkle. 


  • His trainer Noel Meade has always thought a lot of him and that strongly run 2 miles suits him well. He's as tough as nails and had to fight to beat off Noble Prince.
  • His next target will be the Arkle at Cheltenham with the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse another probable target. Wherever he goes he will be a force to be recond with.