CAB target convicted drug dealer after stunning Cheltenham win

John Boylan
John Boylan

THIS is the Cheltenham winning horse owner targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau in a series of raids last weekend.

Convicted drug dealer John Boylan (30), can be seen cheering in the winner’s enclosure last month at Cheltenham after his part-owned horse, Labaik, romped home unexpectedly.

Labaik’s victory sent shock waves across the racing festival as the horse had not been fancied in the run up to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle because of a series of poor starts in other races.

However, racing fans in parts of south Dublin had much more faith in Labaik, with some bookies literally running out of cash after the horse came in. 

Sources claim one man made €1 million after putting €20,000 on the horse to win at 50/1, while bookies paid out around €3.5m in winnings to punters who had backed him.

But this week, Boylan’s recent good fortune took a turn for the worst after CAB raided 12 locations in Dublin, Kildare and Meath last Sunday as part of ongoing investigations into a west Dublin criminal group.

It is believed that Boylan, originally from Lucan but living on the Kildare-Dublin border, is being looked into by the bureau.

Investigators seized financial documents, computers, a €40,000 Mercedes and a small quantity of drugs during the operation, which saw private residences and business premises raided. No arrests were made during the raids. 

Gardaí are investigating if Boylan, who owns a stake in Labaik, is linked to a west Dublin crime gang. 

Other innocent people have a share in the horse but have no involvement in criminality. 

Boylan has numerous convictions for offences including cocaine dealing, criminal damage, threatening and abusive behaviour and theft. 

He was previously arrested in connection with the attempted robbery of a cash-in-transit van in Lucan in 2009, during which a raider was shot dead by gardaí. 


Boylan (circled) celebrates Labaik's win with other syndicate members, none of whom have any involvement in criminality 

Garrett Molloy was shot dead after he fired a shot during the raid and held a gun to a security worker’s head. The raid was organised by Gerry Hutch’s nephew Derek ‘Del Boy’ Hutch, who was jailed in connection with the robbery. 

Another raider, Keith Murtagh, who has been targeted by the Kinahan Cartel in the last year, was shot and injured by gardaí during the raid. 

Boylan was arrested near the scene of the raid and charged in connection with the offence, with the DPP claiming he and another man were lookouts and getaway drivers.

Boylan denied all involvment and was later acquitted on the directions of a judge. 

Despite his acquittal for the armed robbery, he has been under investigation by gardaí probing his finances. 

Cash doesn’t seem to be an issue for Boylan in recent times, despite the fact he only opened a new business last August. 

In February he took his partner and son to Florida before embarking on a Caribbean cruise. Boylan was splashing more cash days after his return when he surprised his partner for her birthday with tickets for a return trip to Australia. 

The trip to Florida was the second time Boylan had taken his family there in just over 12 months. He also managed to squeeze in a family holiday in Portugal and took his partner on expensive trips to Las Vegas and Thailand. 

Boylan’s journey to Cheltenham in March must have seemed like a short hop by comparison. However, it proved to be fortuitous when 17-year-old jockey Jack Kennedy rode Labaik to a shock victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at odds of 25/1.


The Gordon Elliot-trained horse was priced at odds of 50/1, mainly due to the fact he had refused to start a number of previous races, but due to heavy backing his odds halved by the time the race went off. It is understood Boylan and pals backed him at the longer odds. 

Just days before the race, one punter placed a bet of €20,000 on the horse to win at 50/1, netting a cool €1 million.

Labaik had sold for €130,000 as a yearling, but Boylan and others paid just £25,000 for him last August.  

They were hoping to cash in on his Cheltenham success and sell him at Goffs UK Aintree sale last Thursday.  However, he was withdrawn from the sale after the CAB raids and will now race at Punchestown later this month. 

While Boylan is under investigation by CAB, other people linked to the horse are not suspected of wrongdoing and there is no suggestion there was anything untoward about the Cheltenham victory. 

The British Horse Racing Authority declined to comment on the matter.  

Boylan recently opened up an animal feed business which is being probed by Gardaí. Company records show the listed director of the firm is someone with a different surname, but same date of birth as Boylan. 

Boylan’s partner Leonie Kinsella is listed as the company secretary, but she has publicly stated that her husband is running it. 

The business opened last August. Kinsella, who is a former model, is also listed as the director of a hair salon.