Since we won the Gain Christmas Oaks at Shelbourne everybody has been brilliant. Twice a day I walk the two dogs on the Embankment in Belfast and I've been something of a local celebrity.
The celebrations were great here in the Markets. I am a bread man and deliver to the shops, and they were all delighted for me.
I was never involved with the dogs at all. An uncle, Sean Curley, goes to Shelbourne every Saturday and when doing my rounds I would get brown bread for the dogs for Scotty Adair and we became friendly. He introduced me to Harry Sharp and I learned from Harry how to go about it.
Anyway, we bought two bitches from Erwin Birkmyre and named them Cromac Belle and Cromac Katie. Harry had them first but then I decided to do them myself and, along with a few mates, built a kennel behind the house. I also use Seamus McGarry's pool and gallop, he has been a great help.
That first year I ran Cromac Belle in the Puppy Derby and she beat Champagne Jackie in the first round. It was a good run and she went on to reach the semi-final. It was the first competition in which we had ever entered a greyhound and it was fantastic experience.
We do the best we can with the dogs but I am so grateful to Scotty and Harry and, of course Seamus McGarry.
My wife Mary does a lot of the work and she does all the grub. The bitches are fed better than I am! I go to work at 4am and our wee lad Niall feeds them and lets them out. Then I get back at 12.0 and I give them the dinner and let them out late at night.
I nearly had to give it all up last year because of an accident with a spanner. I badly dislocated a shoulder and woke up in hospital to learn I had severed an artery. I was in absolute agony.
I nearly lost the arm and almost got rid of the dogs. But the brothers and brothers-in-law all rallied around me and in time I was able to resume.
We have a young bitch, a half-sister by Wise Thought to Cromac Belle called Cromac Enako. She won a couple of races at Drumbo but came in season. She looks fairly useful and hopefully we'll get an excuse to go to Shelbourne with her.
But we've had a great time with Cromac Belle and the whole family got involved with the weekly trips to Shelbourne.
The brothers had a few quid on her each time. It really was a dream winning the stake with her.
Belle came in season last summer but I would hope to get the Irish Oaks out of her this year. It would be great to contest that classic with a genuine prospect.
The whole family has embraced greyhound racing and we love it. What's better, we've met so many lovely people.
Jim O'Kane is a bread man from Belfast who got involved with greyhounds only two years ago and recently won the Christmas Oaks at Shelbourne with Cromac Belle.