Day At The Track

Red John Memorial Festival of Racing next week

08:58 PM 13 Aug 2016 NZST
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13923473_307361336273174_3651336586907040739_o.jpg Harness racing Harness racing Lakeview Panam, harness racing Sunnyside Kildare, harness racing
Rhyds Destiny (Yellow) who will line up in the PJI ENgineering Free For All
David Shine photo
Hillside Aurelious, one of the runners slated for the Oakwood Stud Three year old grass pacing Championship
David Shine photo
Lakeview Panam, another contender in the Oakwood Stud Championship
David Shine photo
Sunnyside Kildare and Donal Murphy area favorite for the Red John Memorial Pace
David Shine photo
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WEST CORK, Ireland - The harness racing community from all over Ireland will converge on the famous "Cornfield Oval" in Manch next weekend 20th & 21st August for the 2016 Red John Memorial Festival of Racing .

And to add an international flavor, visitors from the USA and Australia who have been attending the Vincent Delaney Memorial meeting in Portmarnock will see harness racing on the grass turf for the first time, taking in the festival as part of their tour of Ireland

"Red" John O'Donovan, who was an integral part of harness racing here in West Cork, died tragically in January 2015 and following a successful memorial day last year, the hard working committee have organised a two-day event which has attracted entries from Cork, Limerick, Clare, Dublin and as far away as Louth and Donegal.

The feature of the weekend will be The Red John Memorial Handicap. This will consist of five heats on Saturday with two horses set to qualify for the Grand final on Sunday.

Sunnyside Kildare, who won the Connolly Memorial at the Ballabuidhe will be out to complete a big Summer Handicap double, but he will have plenty of fancied runners including Coalford Hardy, Fairdays Bret, Brywins Starship, Armoured Bear, Springhill Doyle and many more to try and deny him the famous double.

A new addition to this years program is The Oakwood Stud three year old grass pacing championship. Meadowbrach Roman will start as favourite but there will be plenty of local runners including Hillside Aurelious, Lakeview Panam,IB A Magican and Coalford Bruce out to get the better of the Dublin based runner .

The PJI Engineering Free For All Pace will be another highlight on finals day on Sunday .

Eight of the best pacers are set to battle out this event with Rhyds Destiny, who seems to have come to form just at the right time starting as favourite .2015 horse of the year Cruise Howard lines up along with Grand Prix winner Hillside Spartacus. Ringo Kid has been lightly campaigned and must enter the calculations .

The Le Trot series which has seen imported French trotters race here has been a huge success and thbee "Frenchies" only races are on the card.

There is a full supporting program with in excess of 25,000 euro in prize money on offer .

A donation from proceeds of the weekend will go to Motor Neuron Ireland .

Off the track there will be plenty of entertainment for all the family. For the kids there will be free pony rides, bouncy castles, colouring competitions and face painting. The adults can relax in the marquee with bar and catering facilities on site and after racing live music at the track .

Saturday night in The Leap Inn the DVD of the days racing will be shown with music and dancing .

So all roads lead to Manch raceway for what promises to be a weekend to remember. Details of all entries can be got on

Racing has a 2.30 pm start time on both Saturday and Sunday.

by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink



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