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Harness racing

The "Cornfield Oval" in Manch takes place July 22

West Cork, IE - The West Cork Harness Racing season is in full flight and another one of the highlights takes place on Sunday 22nd July at Manch Raceway. Ballineen Race Committee have down through the years been one of the strongest groups on the circuit and once again hold their annual raceday at "The Cornfield Oval" in Manch which is located a few miles on the western side of Ballineen Village . "We are indebted to the Duggan family for the use of their land in Manch" says Martin Hurley of the Ballineen Committee . Martin along with wife Angela and Richard "Barney" Bradfield are the backbone of the committee . Last year they ran heats and final and the format will be the same this time round and this year it will be The Tommy O Brien Memorial Handicap. The late Tommy O Brien passed away 25 years ago and was a brother of Angela Hurley. " Tommy was involved in harness racing in West Cork all his life until he passed away in 1993 both as a member of Ballineen Race Committee and he also held the positions on the executive on the ITHRF and The Old Cork County Trotting Association and the Big Heats and Final of the handicap will honor him " said Angela Hurley "We are extremely lucky with our loyal sponsors from both Ballineen and its sister village Enniskeane and from others from both near and far"added Hurley. The qualifing heats will have purses of €600 with the Grand final for a purse of €1200 . There will be a full supporting program including The Le Trot for Trotters ,a saddle race and maiden paces . The action gets under way at 2 30 PM and the venue is located west of Ballineen just off the R586 and will be sign posted on the day Details of entries can be found on by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

Harness racing

£50,000+ up for grabs at Aberystwyth meet

West Wales, UK - The preparations are almost complete, the sun is shining and the excitement is building, yes it's that time of year again when harness racing fans flock to the seaside town of Aberystwyth, in West Wales. The weekend is set to be a scorcher and we're not just talking about the weather! Over 200 horses will take to the stage, all bidding to get their hands on a share of the £50,000+ prize money. The two day meeting kicks off with 16 race card on the Saturday containing four heats to determine the runners for the Group 2 Travis Perkins final, four Le Trot races split into Gold and Silver divisions for the four year old and aged trotters, two divisions of the Group 2 Ceredigion three year old and a leg of the BHRC Kids Club Pony race thrown in for good measure. That's just the first day and Sunday's card boasts a further 13 races including four heats to determine the 8 runners for the Group 1 Park Lodge Final with a £6,000 first prize as well as two division of the Group 2 Ceredigion two year olds. As always the event has attracted support from far and wide. Alexis Laidler brings a strong team of 15 to the event including impressive three year old Merrington Movingup, recent Appleby heat and final winner Springhill Ruby and many people's one to follow for the season Easy Company. They also bring the unbeaten in 2018 Valseur Dy Cygne however Billy Roach makes the long trip from Dublin with top trotter Ultimo D'ouville to try to put an end to that unbeaten record. A number of the top stables makes the journey with some quality juvenile contenders. Oakwood Enchanted looks the favourite to take the spoils in division 1 of the two year olds after her win in Portmarnock for the Gill camp. The second division of the two year olds sees the Mocking Jay take on Christy Camden, both being the runner up in their last two starts. With fillies getting preferential draws the Mocking Jay may have the upper hand. In the three year old fillies division recent BHRC Oaks winner Greenhill Hanover flys the flag for team Lord and will be well fancied. Amongst the local hopes will be My Buddy for Alan Jones, having recently made the long trip to Lyre, West Cork for the Red John Memorial where he finished an honourable third in his heat and fourth in the Consolation final. Another on the list is French trotting mare Vincita for trainer Mike Evans and owner Emyr Edwards, coming into the race off an impressive victory at Pikehall last week. The Haythornthwaite team also bring locally owned Rhyds Nightlife who was just beaten in the STAGBI mares race at Tir Prince last weekend in a time of 1.59.7. The beer tent will be well stocked, the ice cream van will be waiting and the bookmakers will be ready and eager to take your bets. Pack the sun screen and bring the family along to an action packed weekend at the races. First race 1pm both days, see you there. by Kayleigh Evans

Harness racing

Kieran Sheehy has big week at Tipperary/Lissangle

WEST CORK, IR - Its being quite a week for Kieran Sheehy who is Stud Farm Manager at Moran Stud Farm who enjoyed success at Tipperary race course during the week and on Saturday evening Sheehy took the High grade Trot at Lissangle with Vivo De Bassiere .   Sheehy sent the nine year old to the front after half a lap and was never in danger easing to a 10 length victory.   Reclamation a three year old daughter of A Rock N Roll Dance showed she can handle all surfaces when landing the Grade F E & D Pace .A winner on the hard track in Portmarnock last week she followed up with a facile win on grass this week .Jointly owned by Bill Donovan from Florida and IB Stables in Baltimore she will be aimed at The M50 Skip Hire three year classic in mid July.   Tadhg Murphy who holds the trainers licence at IB stables had a smile as broad as the harbour in his native Baltimore when his son Eoin took the saddle race with Hail Spartucus.   Eoin a 14 year student has definitely inherited the family genes giving a polished performance on the winner who is owned by the Hill family owners of Hillside Farms.   John O Mahony and Luke Kelleher two of our up and coming drivers both got on the score sheet . O Mahony got Moorside Captain through "the eye of a Needle" up the inside of Panarc in the final eighth of a mile to take the G & G1 Pace.   The runner up driven by novice driver Kevin Myles will win soon but today was another learning curve . Meadowbrach Demon and Luke Kelleher are a formidable pairing and took the High Grade Pace. Rhyds Dilemma and then Supreme Sunshine both led but with 3 furlongs remaining Kelleher sent "The Iron Horse " alight and ran out a three length winner .   Heather Breeze and IB A Magican served up a titanic battle in the opener and the former was not to be denied winning by a head .   Dream De Broeuts has showed promise in his three previous runs and got the better of Un Boss in another photo finish.Once again a winning distance of a head for owner driver Patrick Hill .   Sunday 8th July is the next West Cork meeting in Drimoleague.   by Tim Kellerher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS Race One 1. Heather Breeze S Jennings 2. IB A Magician D Murphy 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST Hd 4 TIME 2.39.8 Race Two 1. Dream De Broeuts P Hill 2. Un Boss J O Mahony 3. Banialouka K Sheehy DIST Hd Dist TIME 2.55.9 Race Three 1. Moorside Captain J O Mahony 2. Panarc K Myles 3. Splash The Cash DIST 4 9 TIME 2.46.9 Race Four 1. Reclamation D Murphy 2. Brywins Starship R Kingston 3. Brywins Picasso L Kelleher DIST 1 1/4 6 1/4 TIME 2.38.9 Race Five 1. Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher 2. Supreme Sunshine J Boyle 3. Wellfield Ghost J Manning Jnr DIST 3 1 1/2 TIME 2.42.2 Race Six 1. Hail Spartacus E Murphy 2. Fairdays Bret C O Driscoll 3. Coalford Commander S Twomey DIST Dist 5 TIME 2.38.6 Race Seven 1. Vigo De Bassiere K Sheehy 2. Alineka Darche T Murphy 3. Bolero De La Fye D Murphy DIST 10 5 TIME 2.43.4

Harness racing

Get ready for the Vincent Delaney Memorial in Ireland

While the first Saturday in August is usually Hambletonian Week at the Meadowlands, perhaps the second biggest harness racing event of the month happens the following weekend, and it's only 3,200 miles away in Dublin, Ireland. It's the Vincent Delaney Memorial (VDM) weekend of racing at Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin. It's the biggest harness racing weekend of the year in both Ireland and the UK and will take place Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12. The race itself was developed by the Delaney brothers, James and Derek, who first came up with the special race for two-year-old pacers after their younger brother, Vincent, tragically died from a massive heart attack in 2011 at age 27. "Our brother Vincent loved working with the horse," explained Derek, who with brother James have Oakwood Stud, one of the bigger Standardbred breeding facilities in all of Ireland. "We only saw it fitting to have a special race in his memory. Little did we know back then that this race weekend would become a world-wide event." The Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend has been hailed as a miniature Little Brown Jug and Gold Cup and Saucer all rolled into one. People from all over the world now travel annually to Dublin to attend the weekend festival and the races. "It is just amazing how this race has grown in popularity over the last few years," Derek Delaney said. "Now we have world class sponsors from the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand involved in the races and they all come over after the Hambletonian for our big weekend." And the race itself has grown by leaps and bounds. The VDM is perhaps the most grueling test for two-year-old pacers in harness racing. It requires these young horses to first race in elimination heats on Saturday with the top finishers returning the very next day (Sunday) to compete in the finals. And every year there are so many young horses entered that most of the race card on Saturday are elimination heats. There are also special stakes for three-year-old's, Le Trot events, and stakes for older horses too over the weekend. Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA is the main sponsor of the colt division of the VDM and the filly division is sponsored by the USA's Diamond Creek Farm. A new sponsor for 2018 is Tara Hills Stud (David Heffering) in Canada. What is also impressive is the "guest list" of who is coming to Dublin for the VDM. "I know I will forget someone," laughed Derek Delaney. "This year we have some well-known people in the harness racing industry coming over for the Vincent Delaney. The list includes Jim Simpson from Hanover Shoe Farm along with Murray Brown and his wife Carol, Heather and Mike Wilder, and Mike will also be driving that weekend. "Also coming are Tom Charters and his wife Sue, Dr. Courtney Pink from Diamond Creek Farm, Australia's and UK's Bill Hutchison, Sweden and Germany's Klaus Koch,," Derek went on. "Our regulars Roger Huston, Heather Vitale (wouldn't the VDM without her running about), Dale Welk, John McDermott, Jeff Kuhen and more. I am getting emails, texts and calls almost daily." The VDM weekend kicks off on Friday night with a dinner and in the special VIP Tent at the races there will be a great auction for charity. Already donated are a helmet, gloves and colors from Yannick Gingras and a set of Doug McNair's colors. If you ever really want to renew your passion for harness racing, then contact Derek or James Delaney at Oakwood Stud and they will send you all the details. It's a guaranteed must on everyone's bucket list. Check out or for more information and to contact Derek and James Delaney. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial    

Corbiewood, UK - Thursday 21st June saw Corbiewood play host to the second leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares' Pacing Series and it was the winner of the first leg, Saunders Hoochie, who ran out a convincing winner in the six horse race. The mare, who ended a losing streak of 30 runs when winning on her first start for new trainer Cathy Shields on 8th June is now three from three in Scotland and leading not only the table in the mares' series on monies won but also the Equine Products UK Ltd-sponsored leading horse table on points at the track. It was a case of the winner leading out and making all for driver William Drysdale, with the youngest mare in the series Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen) threatening the leader down the back straight but ultimately not finding enough to pass and finishing second. Reigning champion Dontstoptheparty (Brian Gilvear) was the finishing horse in the race but perhaps lacked racing room in the stretch to finish third. Another notable winner on the night was the 11-year-old Killarney Howard who scored in the Grade 1 & 2 event for Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr who was celebrating his 25th birthday. Having led out and dictated the fractions, the duo were strongly pressed and headed down the back straight for the final time by Imogen Camden (Grant Cullen). That's Life Again (Ryan Inglis) joined the leading pair as they turned for home for a three horse battle in the stretch which looked to favour the two outside horses, however Killarney Howard dug deep on the rail to get back up and win by a neck from Imogen Camden, with That's Life Again in third half a length behind. It was a night for old family favourites as Miami Seelster returned to the winner's circle for the first time this year for the Paterson stable in the Grades 2 to 4 pace. William Greenhorn gave one of the best drives from the front ever witnessed at the track, when leading out from pole position with the betting favourite Tyler Camden (Grant Cullen) behind him throughout. Greenhorn was conscious of this throughout the race and seemingly endeavoured to keep his main rival in the pocket by setting a pace which ensured that there was a constant challenge to his outside, firstly in the form of Camden Candyman (James Morton) and secondly San Diego (John Allan). Only when Tyler Camden saw daylight in the final 100 yards of the race did Greenhorn ask his charge for maximum effort and it was sufficient to hold on from the fast finishing runner up. San Diego stayed on for third. The opening race for maidens and novices combined saw Shake It Up (William Drysdale) put in a much improved performance, leading out and making all until the closing stages of the race. The runner up in the SHRC 3YO Fillies from the week before, Shebesporty (Gordon Gilvear) came with a late challenge down the home straight and ultimately proved to be too strong for the long-time leader, recording her first win on her third lifetime start. Jennifer Camden (William Greenhorn) had played catch up to a strong pace throughout but ran well to finish third and looks to be a winner waiting to happen in coming weeks. Lady Mary was an impressive and comfortable winner in the Grades 4 to 11 event when leading out for driver William Drysdale. The mare dictated from on top and eventually won by open lengths from the highest handicapped horse in the race, Robhall (Hugh Menzies). She has improved her placings with every start this season and now heads to the third leg of the Mares' Pacing Series hoping to give trainer Cathy Shields three from three in the event. Four horses faced the starter in the final leg of the BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Company Star Makers Series to be staged at Corbiewood. Hawthorns Melinda (Stuart Mackenzie) led out and was strongly pressed throughout by stablemate Ladyford Warrior (William Greenhorn); narrowly headed approaching the final bend with Country Major (William Drysdale) switching three wide to challenge and Dynaramic (Hugh Menzies) diving for an inside path. There were four horses across the track as they passed the stands but ultimately Hawthorns Melinda held on by a nose to secure her spot in the grand final to be staged on 14th July at Tir Prince. The next meeting at Corbiewood is Thursday 28th June featuring the third leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares' Pacing Series. First race 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Corbiewood, UK - On Friday 15th June, Corbiewood played host to the SHRC 3YO Derby divisions for colts & geldings and fillies, and it was the visiting Haythornthwaite Stable which dominated in both harness racing divisions. In the fillies race, Casimir Royalflush led out from pole position with James Haythornthwaite at the reins. Betting favourite Rhyds Sapphire (William Laidler) faltered as the duo battled for the early lead, leaving Casimir Royalflush clear to dictate from on top. The leader was then strongly pressed by Ayr Majorette (Brian Gilvear); then after seeing off that challenge was faced with a further challenge from Ayr Empress (Hugh O'Neil Jr Jr). Ultimately she had enough in reserve to draw away to a two length victory, with Shebesport (Gordon Gilvear) running on for a second by a nose from Ayr Empress. In the colts & geldings division which immediately followed, Oakwood Spur (William Drysdale) led out, with betting favourite DKs Happy Forever (Andrew Cairns) going off stride in the early stages. Oakwood Spur remained free to dictate the pace until challenged by both Crack A Smile (James Haythornthwaite) and DKs Happy Forever, who raced three wide as they crossed the line with a lap to go. Under a strong drive, Oakwood Spur held the inside line and shot three lengths clear, looking in command as he did so. However, turning for home, Crack A Smile began to chip away at the leader's advantage, eventually wearing him down in the stretch to take victory by a length. DKs Happy Forever finished third. Congratulations to owners Claire and Shane Fletcher who have won this race multiple times in previous years, including with Long Slow Kisses (2012) and Porcelain Seelster (2016). The other feature race on the card was the first leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series, which saw 8 of the 11 entrants face the starter. Saunders Hoochie (William Drysdale), fresh from her impressive win the week before, made full use of post position 1 to lead out. Millie May West (John Allan) faltered at the start and became detached, however as the field went through the half, they were tightly bunched. Another winner from the week before, Dynamic Ace (William Greenhorn) mounted the sole challenge to the leader as the field turned for home, however on this occasion it was not enough and Saunders Hoochie ran out a 1 1/2 length winner from Dynamic Ace. The youngest mare in the series, the 4 year old Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen), ran on well in the stretch to finish third. Earlier in the evening Starsintheireyes gave Grant Cullen the first of his driving double on the night, winning the maiden & novice combined event by 4 1/2 lengths from Ladyford Warrior (William Greenhorn). Grant's second win came from Tyler Camden in the Grade 2-4 event, with the visiting English horses All Good Hanover (Brian Gilvear) and Rhyds Hokey Cokey (Mick Lord) taking the minor honours. Justanotherday (William Greenhorn) was impressive on her seasonal debut when taking out the Grade 1 race with an all-the-way victory, showing a great turn of foot to lead out from the widest gate position. That's Life Again was an eye-catching second with Ryan Inglis at the reins, making his career driving debut. Richard Haythornthwaite added another win to his leading tally at the track with the fastest time of the night to boot when guiding Carol McPhail's Vyrnwy Smoke to an impressive victory in the re-run of the Grade 4 & 5 pace. Having been in the lead with a lap to go in the first running, an accident in the back field resulted in the race being stopped as driver Stuart Mackenzie hit the deck for the second time on the night. On the second go, Richard drove a replica race to win by half a length from Lady Mary (William Drysdale) in 2.02.36. Lady Mary is entered in the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series and will be a live chance in future legs based on that performance. The next meeting at Corbiewood will be Thursday 21st June featuring the second leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series. First race 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

WALES, UK - It was a first class night of racing at Tir Prince Raceway, north Wales, on Saturday 9th June as the track played host to the NWHOA 2 and 3 year old divisions for colts and fillies, as well as the first heat of the Crock of Gold. The first race on the card was a maiden and novice event, which saw the heavily-backed Teatime Preacher (William Laidler) take up the running at the half and go further and further away from the field, with only Triplicity (Jonathan Dunne) putting up any sort of chase. This was the four-year-old mare's first start for the Laidler stable and she made it an impressive one, breaking the track record for her age category in 1.59.1. This half-sister of top racehorse Stamp Hill looks to be going places. The next race was the Le Trot/TrotBritain Silver Division trot over a mile and a half and in a repeat of the race at Appleby two weeks earlier, Bora Bora De Seg (Andrew Cairns) led the field into the final turn with Amazing (Jason Ali) hot on its heels. The leader put in a replica performance and broke stride when being strongly pressed, leaving Amazing a clear run home to notch up its second consecutive win since being imported to the UK. The Brightwells-sponsored 2YO Fillies pace was dominated by two fillies, eventually being won by the sales-topping filly from last October, Oakwood Starcam (John Richardson), who led out and made all. The Mockingjay (Marc Jones) put in a strong show to finish second and clear of the field. The winner set a new track record for her age division in 2.01.1. The 3YO fillies followed, and it was another Irish-trained filly which dominated. Last year's record-breaking 2YO filly and BHRC Overseas Horse of the Year, Robyn Camden (Clive Kavanagh), led out and was never to be headed, setting a new track record for her age division in 1.57.3. Rhyds Sapphire (William Laidler) and Ayr Empress (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr) were the best of the rest, finishing some 16L behind in second and third respectively, with only a nose splitting them. After the VDM Fillies Final winner had notched up her first victory of the 3YO season the VDM Colts Final winner Matticulous (William Laidler) was set to do the same. The BHRC 2YO Colt of the Year settled mid-pack in the early part of the race, and then tipped three wide in the last quarter to take up the running, closely pursued by Monsieur Bibeau (John Richardson) who could never match the leader in the stretch. The winner pulled up in 1.58.6. The first Crock of Gold heat for Free For All pacers looked set to be dominated by last year's joint winners Evenwood Sonofagun and Miraculous, and the four-year-old track record holder Rhyds Rock Star who was drawn in pole position. As expected, Rhyds Rock Star (James Haythornthwaite) led out and set good fractions. At the three quarters, Rockin Mambo (Marc Jones) tipped out to challenge and cleared the leader with ease. He was followed by Coalford Tetrick (Alan Wallace Snr) but was never to be challenged and came home in an overall track-record equalling time of 1.56.1 much to the delight of owner/trainer/driver Marc Jones and his wife Jenny. The five-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover was purchased by Marc and Jenny at Harrisburg as a weanling, as was his mother Mambo Western at the same sale. The fifth leg of the BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Co. Star Makers series went to Borntorun (James Haythornthwaite), who had previously put in a good performance in the first leg at Tregaron before going on to win at Appleby two weeks ago. Borntorun joins the other leg winners in the grand final at Tir Prince on Saturday 14th July. The penultimate race of the night was the Le Trot/TrotBritain Gold Division trot over a mile and a half and the unbeaten this season Valseur Du Cygne (William Laidler) dominated throughout to take victory. The Irish visitor, Ultimo D'ouville (Billy Roche), the winner of the FFA Trot at Portmarnock at the VDM weekend last year, put in a good show to finish second over the extended distance, with the 2 mile World Record Holder Vichy De Moem (Jonathan Dunne) finishing third on his debut for new connections in the UK. The last race on the card was the Brightwells-sponsored 2YO Colts & Geldings division for pacers. Takemetothelimit (Alan Haythornthwaite), the half-brother to earlier winner Borntorun, won on his career debut in an eventful race which saw multiple horses make mistakes. The winner was flawless and did not appear fazed by the magnitude of the occasion to land the spoils. Christy Camden (William Laidler) put in an eye-catching performance to finish strongly in the stretch to take second. Long-time leader Anglesey Fallguy (Patrick Kane Jnr) faltered on the last bend when in front, losing his position, before recovering and running on for third, however broke stride again on the line and was demoted to fourth position behind betting favourite Rhyds Seeandbeseen (James Haythornthwaite). Racing returns to Tir Prince on Saturday 30th June featuring five Group 1 races, a STAGBI Future Broodmares Race and heats of the 3YO and 4YO Le Trot/TrotBritain Series Finals. If last night is anything to go by, then we are in for another treat in three weeks' time! by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

WEST CORK, IE - Rhyds Panache took out the first big handicap of the season The George Deane Memorial at a sunny Dunmanway on Saturday evening. Three heats saw two qualifiers going forward to the grand final HEAT ONE Rhyds Heartbeat set all the fractions in the opening heat .Donal Murphy sent the veteran to the front and led until the final corner.Here the chasing pack closed in and Western Dreamer got up on the line to beat Heather Breeze and Springhill Doyle in a blanket finish HEAT TWO Earnies Umpire was all the rage in the betting ring .Hurry Up Abi off the plum one draw went to the front early and was not for catching with Earnies Umpire running on to claim the second qualifing slot with The Hitman third HEAT THREE Rhyds Panache was quick at the start to lead from Hail Spartacus.Heading out on the final circuit the field had closed in on the leader but Chris O Reilly let out an inch of rein and eased to a 7 length winning margin from Hail Spartacus with Supreme Sunshine third FINAL Hurry Up Abi was again quick from the start and was follwed by Earnies Umpire and Heather Breeze . The order remined much the same until the final quarter where Rhyds Panache was st alight and won going away from Hurry Up Abi. 6 lengths the distance . "I think he needed the run on the beach and ran well in Dundalk so I was confident of a big performance today" said winning owner /trainer and driver Chris O Reilly about the nine year old son of The One Night Pan "He take a hit in the handicap for today but we tak our chances in The Red John Memorial next weekend" O Reilly added and himself and Red John were workmates and life long friends . Waxies Dargle broke his Maiden tag for Mike Shanahan in the G & G1 Pace . The pair led after the firts circuit and were not for catching Cupidon De Breteil took the le Trot race. Himself and Avetot traded blows for most of the contest but the latter went off stride in the final 100 yards to hand the race to the winner. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS George Deane Memorial Heat One 1. Western Dreamer PJ Cleary 2. Heather Breeze S Jennings 3. Sprighill Doyle M O Reilly DIST 1 1/2 TIME 2.12.2 Heat Two 1. Hurry Up Abi J Manning 2. Earnies Umpire M O Reilly 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST 3 1 TIME 2.08.1 Heat Three 1. Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. Hail Spartacus P Hill 3. Supreme Sunshine J Boyle DIST 8 1/4 TIME 2.05.6 Final ! Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. Hurry Up Abi J Manning 3 Earnies Umpire M O Reilly DIST 6 11/2 TIME 2.04.3 Race 5 1. Waxies Dargle M Shanahan 2.Moorside Captain J O Mahony 3. Shanes Income D McCarthy DIST 6 3 TIME 2.14.8 Race 6 1. Cupidon De Breteil F Quill Jnr 2. Avetot D Murphy 3. Un Boss J O Mahony DIST 8 20 TIME 2.19.7 Next weekend the Red John Memorial Festival weekend takes place in Lyre Clonakilty with racing on Sat and Sun First Race both days 2 PM start .

CORBIEWOOD, UK - On Friday 8th June, Corbiewood Stadium played host to the first of two STAGBI Future Broodmares races for pacing mares aged 4 and older. Seven mares faced the starter in the Open Preferred Handicap, all seven of which are entered for the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series which begins next week. Seasonal debutante Tarawood Joy (Hugh Menzies) led out from the gate from post position three, passing Dynamic Ace (William Greenhorn) and Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen) who were drawn inside her. The former settled in second on the rail with the latter finding herself parked two wide. The leader set good fractions with the field remaining largely unaltered in formation until Porcelain Seelster (James Haythornthwaite) tipped out down the back straight on the final lap to go three wide, looking a danger to the leader. Victoria Camden began to tire heading into the straight which allowed Dynamic Ace the room to deliver her challenge having enjoyed the pocket trip. Lady Mary (William Drysdale) followed Dynamic Ace through but found herself with little racing room in the closing stages, and Dynamic Ace went on to head long-time leader Tarawood Joy for a length victory in 2.05.9. Lady Mary was beaten a neck back in third. The track also played host to the fourth BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Co. Star Makers heat, with five horses lining up. Al Jolson (John Smart), who was returning to the racetrack following three seasons away from racing, led out from post position three and dictated the race from on top. Brywins Mayhem (William Greenhorn) challenged the leader in the first half; Ceiron JD (Richard Haythornthwaite) then tipped three wide to mount his challenge, a challenge which proved to be short lived. It was then Dynaramic (Hugh Menzies) which popped out of the pack to become the danger to the leader however a mistake around the stable bend left the leader clear to record a five length victory on his seasonal debut. Al Jolson now progresses to the grand final at Tir Prince on Saturday 14th July where he will join Laneside Layla (Leg 1), Soul Search (Leg 2), Father Ted (Leg 3), Borntorun (Leg 5) and Ithon Orbit (Leg 6). Three legs of the series remain, with the third and final Scottish leg due to be staged on Thursday 21st June at Corbiewood. The evening featured two open preferred heats and a handicap final, with the first heat going the way of Saunders Hoochie (William Drysdale), a victory which ended a 30-run losing streak. The second heat was won by Stoneriggs Banner (Hugh Menzies) making this his 24th career victory; both winners led out and made all in their respective races. Claire & Shane Fletcher's three-year-old filly Ella Mana Mou (James Haythornthwaite) broke her duck when she led out and made all in the maiden and novice combined event. The final race of the night was the Grades 1-10 handicap final which provided the finish of the night. Killarney Howard (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr), who scraped into the final with a fourth-place finish in heat one, managed to hold his position in the final to lead out. Stoneriggs Banner (Hugh Menzies) briefly headed the leader coming into the stretch however Killarney Howard found extra to gain the upper hand; Robhall (Gregor Menzies) came with a four-wide power-packed finish to get up in the shadow of the post. Stoneriggs Banner stayed on to finish third. This was Robhall's 20th lifetime win with it being catch driver Gregor Menzies' first time behind the horse. Racing returns to Corbiewood on Friday 15th June featuring the first leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series and the SHRC 3YO Derby divisions for fillies and colts & geldings. First race 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Harness racing fans could not have asked for better weather as they descended on Holme Farm, Appleby-in-Westmorland in the heart of Cumbria for two days of quality racing, featuring three Group events on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th May. And last season's champion trainer and driver duo Alexis and William 'Rocker' Laidler couldn't have asked for much more either as their stable notched up 9 wins from the 21 races across the festival, along with a bit of help from Scotland's leading driver, William Greenhorn. Blackwell Tiana, a winner two weeks earlier at Tregaron, dug deep in the stretch to hold off Royal Mint Howard (Grant Cullen) to record their first win of the meeting in the third of the four heats for the Group 2 Appleby Spring Sunday Final. More success followed immediately in the fourth heat, when Springhill Ruby made easy work of her competitors to finish up a 5 length winner in the top heat. It was to be three on the bounce as Rocker guided the impressive French trotter, Valseur Du Cygne, to an effortless win in the Gold Aged Le Trot. Afterwards during the interview, trainer Alexis strongly suggested that this horse could be exported to Canada to race before the season is out. The stable then recorded a training 1-2 in the maiden and novice event as William Greenhorn and Bobby Camden pipped Rocker and Laneside Layla on the line. The three-year-old son of Art Professor looks to be improving with every start having notched up his first career win on his third attempt. With three runners in the final, Rocker opted for betting favourite Springhill Ruby with William Greenhorn partnering Springhill Calaburn (runner up in heat 2) and co-owner Jonjo McMeekin taking the reins behind Blackwell Tiana. Springhill Ruby gave connections a scare when faltering on the first lap and losing ground after breaking, however in similar style to her win at Tregaron earlier in the month, she overtook the field to battle it out in the stretch with Springhill Catch (Grant Cullen), Blackwell Tiana (Jonjo McMeekin) and Royal Mint Howard (James Haythornthwaite), eventually getting up to record victory by half a length for the Stewart family. On day two, the stable's first win on the card came again in the third of the four heats, this time for the Group 1 Appleby Whit Monday Spring Races Final. And it was William Greenhorn who landed the win with Jack Swagger, a horse he and his wife Joyce bred but later sold to 2017 Leading Owners Raymond & Frank Huschka. Not content on finishing in the placings, Rocker made his debut in the winner's circle a couple of races later with their homebred Merrington Movinup, an impressive winner of heat and final at Tregaron in aged company who returned to the 3YO ranks and dominated the colts and fillies mixed event. The wins came in quick succession for Rocker as he partnered another homebred Merrington Doublel for owner/trainer Brian Liddle in the first of the maiden and novice combined races, before having to do it the hard way with Rhyds Sapphire in the second division when the pair battled it out in the stretch with long-time leader Hawthorns Henry (Leo Arnett) to get up by three parts of a length. Once again, Alexis Laidler fielded multiple runners in the final, with Rocker partnering Frankie Camden (runner up in heat 2) and William Greenhorn retaining the drive on Jack Swagger. When the latter sprinted clear for an impressive victory in his heat, Greenhorn had been clearly delighted to see the horse back to, if not surpassing, his best, although by his own admission if defeat came in the final then connections would happily accept the sole victory on the day from a horse who has suffered many issues in his career. It was not to be the case however, as Jack Swagger kicked clear down the back straight on the last lap and was clearly not for catching as his driver roared him home to a comfortable and emotional victory for everyone concerned. Afterwards, Alexis [Laidler] was overcome with emotion during her interview as it has been an established fact that not that long ago it seemed as though Jack Swagger, or 'Maxi' as he is affectionately known, might never race again. However, perseverance, dedication and ultimately faith in the horse brought him back to the track and on this day, he repaid all of those associated with him. With 9 training wins for Alexis, including all three Group races, and 7 driving wins for Rocker, it seems they are once again leading the way in British harness racing. That said, there were 12 other winners across the weekend outwith the stable. Richard Haythornthwaite opened proceedings on Sunday when guiding the Swinbank's Ceiron JD to victory in the novice pace. He returned to the winner's circle later in the day with the 4YO French Trotter Emirat Du Levant, a horse he described as 'the further he goes, the better he goes', when winning the Le Trot 4YO Gold Division. The following day he took out the second heat of the major handicap aboard Ghengis Pride who was a impressive 3 length winner. Brother James added further wins to trainer (and mother) Teresa's tally on Monday, taking the first race on the card with maiden winner Borntorun who showed potential at Tregaron, and then bringing Teresa and owners Claire & Shane Fletcher to tears when winning the top heat with Sports Trick, another horse who has overcome adversity to return to racing. A catch drive for trainer John Gill on board Imperial Deal gave James his driving treble on the day when leading from start to finish in the first two-year-old event of the racing season, a race in which Gill fielded four of the six starters and landed a training 1-2-3-4. The Scottish travelled south for the meeting with high hopes and were pleased to land the spoils in a few of the races, with the first Scottish victory coming by way of the Hamish Muirhead-trained Dynaramic, driven by Hugh Menzies in a photo finish with Western Lover (Peter Jackson) in the first heat on Sunday. Menzies was confident he had gotten up in the shadow of the line during his post-race interview, despite the lengthy wait for the official result. The second heat also went to Scotland, as Grant Cullen steered Springhill Catch to victory. The duo later took the runner up spot in the final. Cullen returned to the winner's circle on Monday when partnering ante-post favourite Live In Star to a popular victory. The 5-year-old son of Doonbeg was a heat and final winner at Corbiewood a week earlier and came to the meeting in good form, however ultimately could not hold off Jack Swagger in the final later that day. The Silver Aged Le Trot race was won by a newly-imported French trotter, Amazing, owned and trained by the Ali family and driven by Jason Ali. Jason later admitted they didn't know how good the horse was prior to his debut on British soil having previously raced at Wolvega (Holland) but he may prove an interesting addition to this division as the season progresses. The Le Trot 4YO Silver Division was won by Mike Evans with Etoile De Villodon, making this the horse's second win from nine starts since arriving in the UK last summer. Racing returns to Appleby for the New Fair meeting on Sunday 3rd June. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink


Corbiewood, UK - After a couple of years of racing failing to get started in May in Scotland, the Scottish Harness Racing Club was pleased to stage two meetings during the penalty free period. The gates opened on Friday 18th May for an 8 race card, with the feature races being the second leg of the national BHRC and Standardbred Horse Sales Co Star Maker Series (the first of three to be staged in Scotland) and the open handicap final for grades 1 to 10. The first of the four heats saw David 'Buster' Moncrieff's three-year-old DKs Happy Forever (Richard Thomson) lead from start to finish, with GDs Hazzard (Andrew Cairns) finishing a clear second. The second heat went the way of Bono (William Greenhorn), another all the way winner, with Royal Mint Howard taking the runner up spot under a catch drive from the Tim Tetrick-sponsored BHRC Drive of the Year winner James Haythornthwaite. Heat three was re-run after a lengthy delay following an accident in the first running which resulted in driver John Allan being taken to hospital by ambulance. Fortunately John was not seriously injured and made a speedy recovery to return for the following week's meeting. In the re-run, it was Live In Star (Grant Cullen) who showed a good turn of foot to deliver a three-wide challenge and assume control in the stretch. The long-time leader Whosurbaby (Scott Murray) was a gallant second. The last of the four heats saw stable companions Indie Hanover and Porcelain Seelster land the 1-2 for brothers Richard and James Haythornthwaite to complete the line-up for the final. The maiden and novice divisions were run as two races of 4 horses following a late withdrawal of the ninth runner which had forced the split. In the first division it was a popular victory for Mahogany Martini, owned by the Castalongshadow syndicate under the guidance of Gregor Menzies as the mare wore down her earlier foe, Hawthorns Dream (William Greenhorn). In the second division, Talavaryterminator made all to give Richard Haythornthwaite his second win of the night from from I Live To Party (William Greenhorn) and the strong-finishing Busking Boy (Lee Fletcher). The second leg of the Star Maker Series saw five horses from the pool of 33 nominations face the start, and despite the small field it turned out to be a thrilling event. The betting favourite, Dynaramic (Hugh Menzies) was the early pace setter, closely followed by Ceiron JD (Richard Haythornthwaite), with Soul Search (William Drysdale) settling in third. The race developed in the same manner, but as the pace quickened, Soul Searcher tipped out to challenge around the last bend and came out on top down the stretch with a well-timed run from one of Corbiewood's most experienced drivers. The crowd gave trainer Charles Inglis Jr a hearty reception as he led the horse into the winner's circle, as not only does he train at the track but he is one of the sport's greatest characters. Soul Searcher, a 5-year-old gelded son of Soulofthematter out of the Todays Man mare Bigreddog, progresses to the grand final on July 14th at Tir Prince Raceway, where he will join the winner of the first leg, Laneside Layla. The next leg in the series will be staged at Corbiewood on June 1st. The last race on the card was the open handicap final run almost under the cover of darkness. The judge disqualified the back markers Indie Hanover and Porcelain Seelster at the start for being through their handicap trail, leaving six remaining to fight it out. DKs Happy Forever (Richard Thomson) led out and held his position for the first lap, however he was soon headed by Live In Star (Grant Cullen) who took up the running and just went further and further clear to record a very impressive victory for owner Robert Miller and first-season trainer Keir Cullen. Full results from the meeting can be found here - Racing returned to Corbiewood less than a week later, with the second meeting staged on Thursday 24th May. The first race, which was the first of three heats for the final, saw Oaks Telstar (Richard Haythornthwaite) lead out, and although briefly challenged at various stages by numerous rivals, he dominated the race throughout and was in complete control at the finish. Imogen Camden (Grant Cullen) and Carlo Camden (William Greenhorn) filled the minor placings. In the second heat, Lets Party (Hugh Menzies) led out from Miami Seelster (William Greenhorn). Young Stephen (John Smart) tipped out just before the half to go three wide and take up the running in a blistering first half. As the race progressed, Bowriver (Richard Haythornthwaite) took the shortest route up the rail to come with a late challenge in the stretch to get up close home. A lengthy stewards enquiry into a potential pylon violation by the winner delayed the result being given until after race three, however the result stood with Bowriver beating Young Stephen by a nose. In the third heat, James Brown (John Smart) led out from post position 2 and set level fractions throughout, with Dreamfair I Say (Brian Gilvear) always breathing down his neck. In the stretch, the long-time leader looked set to just hold on, however Dreamfair I Say got up in the shadow of the post. The fourth race was a maiden and novice combined event; I Live To Party was given a forceful drive from start to finish by new driver Grant Cullen, overcoming early leader Goodtime Hal (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr) and seeing off his main challenger, Ladyford Warrior (William Greenhorn). Despite being challenged at the three quarters he streaked clear in the closing stages to run out a convincing winner. The penultimate event was a consolation final for horses which did not qualify for the main final, and six horses faced the starter. Mooreside Watson (John Allan) was the early leader, however approaching the half, Indie Hanover assumed control and held off a late challenge from Lyons Nant Hall (Grant Cullen) to win by a neck and give Richard Haythornthwaite his driving treble on the night. The final, run in lines as opposed to yards, saw Oaks Telstar (Richard Haythornthwaite) win the early battle with Imogen Camden (Grant Cullen). Just before the half mile marker, James Brown (John Smart) rushed through the field from the rear to take up a prominent position on the outside of the leader. Swinging off the final turn the full field of seven were stacked up, but Oaks Telstar held them all at bay to win by a length from Imogen Camden and James Brown who dead heated for second in a thrilling blanket finish which saw the entire field cross the line within half a second from first to last. Congratulations to Richard Haythornthwaite on his four-timer! Full results can be found here - The next meeting at Corbiewood will be Friday 1st June featuring the third leg of the BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Co Star Maker Series. First race 7.30pm. By Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Shane Eggerton driving his own horse Ayr Major clinched the Novice final in the traditional Knighton harness racing meeting of the trotting racing calendar. With a good crowd, attracted by a bigger card, there were many new horses ready for the season ahead. The Novice section had two heats, with Ayr Major benefitting from his preparation run the previous week to take top honours driven by Andrew Hardwick. In the second heat Meadowland Olympic lived up to his name to win. The Novice final Ayr Major driven by owner and trainer Eggerton ran a class race to take the win from long time leader Lady Lisleen while Evenwood Thumps Up was third. In the nursery race the experience of Llwyns Mercy (Huntington) driven by Jonny James told off as they were first over the line. The grade B was a straight race again this week and recently promoted Second Affair again showed aspirations of climbing to the top of the racing ladder winning in fine style from Enter the Dragon (Harrison, Onibury) on their his first run in open company. In the Baby Novice race C U Maggie driven by Mel Langford came home in front from long time leader Morning Breeze. The finale of the day was the final of the Grade A which proved to be one of the best races of the day with Zestthewayilikeit surging over the line in front while Ayr Hero (Bevan, Llanddewi) with a late run was second. Next week’s racing is on Bank Holiday Monday, May 28, with the well established Synod Inn meeting starting at 1.30pm. Reprinted with permission of The Hereford Times

WEST CORK, IE - Sean Kane drove two winners at Annaghmore on Saturday and repeated that feat with another brace at the opening meeting of the 2018 West Cork harness Racing season at Inchadoney Beach on Sunday.   Brasilia Match a winner in Portmarnock a few weeks ago followed up with another victory in the Grade F & E Trot. Kane sent the winner to the front from the off and despite a late challenge from Un Boss he was never in danger and stayed on to win by 1 3/4 lengths . His driving double came in the finale The High grade trot . This time Kane employed the same front running tactics aboard Uldiem Alfa and was never for catching holding off Tarnao Josselyn for a 5 3/4 length winning margin Kane who is retained driver for Moorside Stables is enjoying a rich vein of form in the early season and the four hour drive back to their Naul base in County Meath will be made shorter by their winners . Racing opened with a four year old trot and here Denis O Reilly got a well over due win on his Empereur Souverain . O Reilly led off the number on slot and was never in any sort of danger eventually winning by 6 3/4l lengths from Eve Du Parc "He was very unlucky not to win in Portmarnock a few weeks back and done everything right today.We head to Dundalk for the big PMU meeting on the June weekend" explained winning driver Denis O Reilly . Reclamation opened her three year old campaign with a facile victory in the Grade G & G1 pace . This daughter of A Rock N Roll Dancer led from the start and was not over extended by Donal Murphy .She is owned by the Florida based Bill Donovan and The Murphy Bros and the plan is to race her in all the big three year old races both in Ireland and The UK and will most likely be shipped back to the US at the fall of the year. Canadian visitors Carla Selig and Kathy Byrne were on hard to make the presentation . King Wills Arrival justiofied good market support in the saddle race . Coalford Bruce and Hail Spartacus battled it out early but at the 3/4 pole Oisin Quill went through the middle of the two pace setters and ran out an easy two length winner. Earnies Umpire (Earned Income / Elizabeth Ann) followed up on his win in Portmarnock last Sunday with a victory that would suggest that he could be a very smart type .His eight length win from Pan Cam Drift was most impressive " We think he could right to the top and we will aim him at The Red John Memorial Handicap and then The big Handicap at The Grendon Memorial weekend" were the thought of winning owner Tadhg O Reilly The Iron Horse Meadowbranch Demon showed scant regard for his three rivals in the High Grade Pace.Running off a thirty yard hard handicap driver Luke Kelleher made his move down the back straight and passed with ease and "sat back in the armchair " on the run to the line "Hes just simply the best we ever had and at 12 years of age he seems to be enjoying himself .We give him ma week or two off and plan after that" winning owner Mike Kelleher said of this son of The Commissioner . Next Sunday is George Deane Memorial Day in Dunmanway with heats and finals for pacers By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslinl RESULTS Race One 1 Emperaur Souverain D O Reilly 2 Eve Du Parc D Murphy 3 Extase Des Epines L Kelleher Distance 6 3/4 6 Time 3.21.6 Race Two 1 Reclamation D Murphy 2 Riverdance Hanover L Kelleher 3 Moorside Captain S Kane Distance 21 1/4 7 1/4 Time 2.10.1 Race Three 1 King Wills Arrival O Quill 2 Coalford Bruce M Shanahan 3 Hail Spartacus E Murphy Distance 5 2 Time 2.06.5 Race Four 1 Brasilia Match S Kane 2 Un Boss J O Mahony 3 Dream Des Broeuts Distance 1 3/4 1/4 Time 3.23.8 Race Five 1 Earnies Umpire M O Reilly 2 Pan cam Drift L Kelleher 3 Brywins Starship R Kingston Distance 8 2 Time 2.07.5 Race Six 1 Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher 2 Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 3 Kestrels Dot Sammy J O Mahony Distance 3 3/4 1/4 Time 2.08.1 Race Seven 1 Uldiem Alfa S Kane 2 Tarnao Josselyn 3 Aubade A Helene Distance 5 3/4 38 1/2 Time 3.17.3  

WEST CORK, IE - The 2018 West Cork Harness Racing season opens on Sunday next at the beautiful Inchadoney Beach at 3.30 PM Described by the purists of the sport as one of the best venues to be found anywhere in the world Around 1pm on Sunday The Great Atlantic Ocean tide will be begin to turn outwards and a hippodrome for harness racing will begin to uncover at this Blue Flag Beach (An award only given to the cleanest beaches in Ireland) . Committee members will then mark out the track ,a temporary judges box will be driven on to the beach and at 3.30 racing begins A seven race program is on offer with a mix of three pacing races ,three races for trotters and one saddle race . "Everyone helps setting up the track owners ,drivers and even the race day officials "added Donal Murphy " Its a race against time in every manner firstly setting up the track then getting through the card and finally taking down the track and of course timing all the races " according to Timmy O Donovan a member of the ITHRF (The Irish Trotting and Harness Racing Federation) one of the clubs which make up the Irish Harness Racing Club. " With South West winds due lunch time on Sunday the beach should be at its very best with a half mile oval "coming out of the sands" it is one of our show piece meetings and I have sun glasses ready for the good weather which is forecast" said O Donovan This scribe through the medium of social media had contact from Canada from people who "had it on their bucket list " to make it to the famous beach and will be guests on the day and will enjoy the famous West Cork hospitality . So 3.30 pm at Inhadoney Beach is the place to be and remember TIME NOT TIDE WAITS FOR NO MAN! By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

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