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Santo Domingo

World record under saddle attempt in York, UK

YORK, UK - Come this Saturday afternoon there will be an attempt to break the all-age world record for harness racing Under Saddle on a half mile track at York Harness Raceway in England. The current world record holder is Santo Domingo, who at age 8 in 2015, set the mark for jockey Marita Volstad with a 1:59.3 clocking at Flamboro Downs in Canada. The early favorite is Teresa Haythornwaite's Rhyds Design, who has already won at York with a sulky in 1:57. Rhyds Design will be ridden by Lauren Moran. Another major contender who could set the record is Rocker Laidler's Evenwood Sonofagun, who will be ridden by the Rocker's wife, Alexis Laidler. Rocker said he feels that the record can be broken on Saturday. There are six horses entered in the race. Post positions are drawn the day of the event. Also entered from the Nicholson Stable are Burning Dust and Afan Romeo and the Laidler Stable is also entering JMs Hallstar and Rhyds Solution. The race will be featured live on Facebook from Craig Stevenson. By Craig Stevenson, for York Harness Raceway  

And they're off!

Kentucky Roam enhances growing reputation

Evenjobb, UK - With summer in full flow the Old Radnor trotting races at Evenjobb provided a wonderful afternoon of harness racing entertainment. The public with racecard in one hand and icecream in the other witnessed superb racing, as the speedy horses responded to top of the ground conditions. Three nursery races preceded the serious races, in the first Kentucky Roam belonging to the Perks family from Presteigne enhanced his growing reputation with another win. In the second race it was Bets All Off (Sargeant Llandrindod) on his first time on the track who claimed first place, while in the third nursery another one with a few runs on the books Immortal Storm (Meaney Merthyr) was first passed the post. The Novice section is very competitive at the moment and this week was no exception as the backmarker Lakeview Meg (Atherton Rees, Narberth) with Debbie Hitchcock on board stormed to victory in the first heat in front of Fronfelen Duchess (Preece Llanbister) with Tyssul Pennylane (Broome, Bromfield) in third. In the second Novice heat Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre) romped away to victory with Mel Langford at the controls in front of the fast finishing Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) while the ever reliable Lanehouse Patch (Thomas, Merthyr) was third. In the first Grade B the in-form George Gentle despite his ten yard handicap claimed an heroic victory for his young owner, trainer, driver Zak Lewis from Welshpool, in second was Arctic Prince (Gwatkin Evenjobb) with Tyssul Pearl (Thomas, Llanbister) in third. Meadowland Maverick with owner, trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones from Evenjobb on board produced a classy run to take the second Grade B heat from the handsome Ayr Ontario (Weigle Llanddewi Velfrey) while Tillies Larg (Evans, Brecon) ran on well to be third. In the first Baby Novice the newly promoted Cool Ice (Gething, Ewyas Harold) partnered by her trainer Derek Pritchard ran a mature race to win from the well respected Talavary Zara (Jones, Evenjobb) with newcomer The Chancer on his first time with Mid Wales racing (Knox, Pandy) was third. Universal Soldier belonging to long time trotting enthusiasts David & Marion Powell from Merthyr Cynog and driven by his trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones won the second Baby Novice race ahead of Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) while Ook Whos Coming (Evans, Brecon) was third. After the break the racing continued with a saddle race where five jockeys battled it out, the spoils going to the experienced Jayne Bevan on No Mercy (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) with Habberley Haste (Lloyd, New Radnor) in second and Nia Patrol (Williams, Ludlow) in third. Four juniors lined up in the next race with experience counting as Ellie Tromans driving Makemeamilliaonayr (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) was first passed the post in front of the hard pulling Wellfield Wally (Bevan, Builth Wells) driven by Rachel Bevan-Thomas while the striking Camden Lock (Lloyd & Samuel, Painscastle) ridden by Jess Samuel was third. The Novice final saw another display of speed from Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre) as Mel Langford urged him to the front where he remained, despite the efforts of his pursuers, again Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) finished strongly in second while Fronfelen Duchess (Preece, Llanbister) was third. The Grade B Final produced another fine run by the much respected George Gentle with his nineteen year old, owner Zak Lewis at the controls beating Ayr Ontario (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) into second while Fold the Notes (Perks, Presteigne) ran on well to be third. The final race of the day was the Grade A, with nine horses lined up, it was Best of the Fleet with owner Matt Lewis from Welshpool claiming a thrilling victory from Chinatown Kolt (Jones, Llanllwni) with Ithon Inmate (Price, Brecon) finishing in third. The Lewis family from Welshpool registering a significant double by winning both the Grade A with Matt Lewis driving and the Grade B with son Zak driving. Next week is the prestigious Presteigne races held on Broadheath common on Saturday, June 24 starting at 1.30 pm. By Brecon and Radnor Reporter in Equine Reprinted with permission of The Brecon And Radnor Express

No Brakes, harness racing

Victoria Camden & No Brakes crowned SHRC Champs

BANNOCK, Scotland - On Friday 16th June, Corbiewood played host to the prestigious SHRC 3YO Derby, with Grant Cullen partnering the winners of both the fillies division and the colts and geldings division on a night that saw him record a hat trick of driving wins. Victoria Camden put in an impressive performance to reverse last year's SHRC 2YO Futurity placings when beating old rival Crosshill Ace (Andrew Cairns). She overcame a bad draw to take up the running just after the 3/4 marker, with long-time leader Crosshill Ace staying on for second and another Scottish-owned filly, She Be Rockin (Gordon Gilvear) taking the minor honours. Betting favourite Greenhilldebateable did not figure from the worst barrier draw. No Brakes led out and made all, although was tracked throughout by English raider All Good Hanover (Lee Fletcher). The latter could never get within striking distance of the all-the-way winner, who recorded an eye-catching personal best of 2.03.45 in victory. GDs Hazzard (Andrew Cairns) put in a good run to finish third. Betting favourite Tyrion Hanover finished fourth. Cullen's third win on the night came on board a non-winner in three seasons, Wellfield Alfie. Having not won since July 2014, the 8-year-old son of Village Connection debuted this year with a return to winning ways. He took up the running in the final quarter of the race and stayed on to win convincingly from the fast-finishing Camden Rocco (William Drysdale) and San Diego (John Allan). The high grade handicap attracted top quality competitors and what looked like a fantastic race on paper turned out to be even better in reality. Stoneriggs Banner (Ian Hay) led the field through the half in 59 seconds, the fastest this year, and then was forced to fend off several challenges. First challenge came from Camden Casper (Grant Cullen), then Ayr Majesty (Hugh Menzies) as the field stacked up behind them. Approaching the final bend with an eighth of a mile to go, a blanket covered the field and it was Robhall (Stuart Mackenzie) with a four-wide challenge who emerged from the pack to win impressively, with the grey Coalford Chief (Mick Lord) who had faltered early to find himself detached from the field, finishing second. The mare, Sureamsomething (William Greenhorn) found a gap on the rail in the stretch to snatch third. The beginning of the evening saw the first winner of the year for the O'Neil stables from Ayr, with their debutante Ayr Bird (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr) who took up the running at the quarter marker and never looked back. Springhill Catch (William Greenhorn) wore down the long-time leader Tarawood Kiki (Andrew Cairns) in the stretch to win the Maiden & Novice event. Vyrnwy Smoke returned to winning ways when partnered by SHRC Young Driver of the Year 2016, Lauren Moran, for the first time this year at Corbiewood, coming with a well-timed but bold challenge off the final turn to win from Ontop Accountable (Grant Cullen). The next meeting at Corbiewood is Thursday 22nd June featuring the first leg of the Oakwood Stud Mares Pacing Series. First race at 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink Race 1 1st Ayr Bird (Dreamfair Vogel-Grinfromayrtoayr) - H O'Neil Jnr Jnr 2nd Red Romeo (Daylon Alert-Red Sarah) - W Drysdale 3rd Beach Blizzard (Radiant King-Jennas Desire) - S Murray Time: 2.06.45 Dist: 4L & 2L  5 Ran Race 2 1st Springhill Catch (Best Sunshine-Springhill Kate) - W Greenhorn 2nd Tarawood Kiki (Kikikolt-One Mile Meg) - A Cairns 3rd Cardigan Flashman (Doonbeg-Ayr Flight) - R Haythornthwaite Time: 2.06.05 Dist: 1L & Neck  5 Ran   Race 3 1st Wellfield Alfie (Village Connection-Garys Advice) - G Cullen 2nd Camden Rocco (Arts Conquest-Magical Sign) - W Drysdale 3rd San Diego (Pro Bono Best-San Carra) - J Allan Time: 2.05.28 Dist: 5L & 1/2L  7 Ran Race 4 1st Vyrnwy Smoke (Backnthesaddleapan-Vyrnwy Victory) - L Moran 2nd Ontop Accountable (The Preacher Pan-Accountable Joe) - G Cullen 3rd K And M Redpandana (The Firepan-Rosy Red) - H Menzies Time: 2.06.79 Dist: 1 1/2L & 1L   7 Ran Race 5 1st Robhall (Dreamfair Vogel-Yoko Hall) - S MacKenzie 2nd Coalford Chief (Coalford Laag-Life Signs Image) - M Lord 3rd Sureamsomething (Wolfdancer Mindale-Sureamsmart) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.03.95 Dist: 2L & 2L   8 Ran Race 6 1st Victoria Camden (Mypanmar-Penn Kinki Touch) - G Cullen 2nd Crosshill Ace (Cams Card Shark-Vain In Spain) - A Cairns 3rd She Be Rockin (Rocknroll Hanover-Utopia Hanover) - G Gilvear Time: 2.06.10 Dist: 2L & 1 3/4L  8 Ran Race 7 1st No Brakes (Hasty Hall-Panama Canal) - G Cullen 2nd All Good Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-All Tucked Up) - L Fletcher 3rd GDs Hazzard (Mypanmar-Jambo Cam) - A Cairns Time: 2.03.45 Dist: 2 1/2L & 4L  6 Ran  

Harness racing

IB Stable takes both Le Trot events at Dunmnaway

WEST CORK, Ireland - The wealth of talent in the French Trotters division held by the IB Stables was clearly on display at Dunmanway on Sunday where the Baltimore based yard took both divisions of the Le Trot. Bolero De La Fye the newest recruit to IB looked head and shoulders above his four rivals in the Grade F & E Un Boss and Blanpain De Fol both shared the lead for the first six furlongs but Donal Murphy was oozing with confidence on the winner taking it up and the winning margin of two lengths flattered his rivals . The winner is owned by Aidan Hayes who organises the transport logistics for IB. For good measure the second Murphy runner Silvano Bello finished second. The second win came in the high grade trot. Tarnao Josselyn was sent off favourite in the betting bureau but found Alinka Darche a winner in Portmarnock last week was again waiting in the wings striking a blow with two furlongs to trot and again had two lengths in hand. Chelsie O Driscoll rode her first winner under rules in the saddle race. King Wills Arrival tried to make all here but was reeled in by Fairdays Bret who was having his first run for new owner Derry McCarthy in the final 100 yards to give 16 year old Chelsie her first winner . It was a good day for Derry McCarthy who turned out Rhyds Dilemma to land the Grade D & C Pace. Llywns Allstar set a blistering pace and looked to have shaken off all comers but Mc Carthy produced Rhyds Dilemma in the final furlong to win by a head in a blanket finish. Cruise Howard returned to winning ways in the top Grade pace .IB Mohican led early doors . Hail Spartacus had edged closer and led heading out for the final circuit .All the while Timmy O Leary was waiting for the moment to mount his challenge and done so in the final eighth to win by two lengts. Brywins Starship with Mike Healy in the bike made his seasonal debut a winning one . Healy who trains adjacent to the track led from the start and the winner looks like a very decent type. Alert Code took the opening Grade G & G1Pace . Meadowbranch Matt led for most of the race but surrendered that lead to the winner with Heather Breeze running on to finish second . Next week the action moves to Drimoleague one of the best run meetings on the circuit. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE G & G1 PACE 1st - R Joyce ALERT CODE M O'Reilly 2nd - S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE Owner 3rd - P Hill HILLSIDE AURAILEUS Owner DIST 1/2L 1/2L TIME 2.38.8 5 Ran GRADE F & E TROT 1st - A Hayes BOLERO DE LA FYE D Murphy 2nd - Innishford Syn SILVANO BELLO T Murphy 3rd - J O'Mahony UN BOSS Owner DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.38.6 5 Ran GRADE F & E PACE 1st - M Healu BRYWINS STARSHIP Owner 2nd - M O'Brien HELLBOY Owner 3rd - T O'Reilly RINGO LADY Owner DIST 1/2L HD TIME 2.37.8 7 Ran UNDER SADDLE 1st - D McCarthy FAIRDAYS BRET C O'Driscoll 2nd - F Quill KING WILLS ARRIVAL O'Quill 3rd - S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE E Murphy DIST 1/2L 1L TIME 2.26.8 5 Ran GRADE D & C PACE 1st - D McCarthy RHYDS DILEMMA Owner 2nd - M O Brien LLYWNS ALLSTAR Owner 3rd - J Hill THE HITMAN M Goggin Jnr DIST HD 1L TIME 2.36.2 6 Ran GRADE D C & A TROT 1st - D Finn ALINKA DARCHE D Murphy 2nd - F Quill TARNAO JOSSELYN S Quill 3rd - IB Stables TENOR MESLOIS T Murphy DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.36.1 5 Ran GRADE C B & APACE 1st - C O'Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O'Leary 2nd - P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS L Kelleher 3rd - F Quill IB MOHICAN S Quill DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.32.0 6 Ran          

BANNOCK, Scotland - The season started with a bang at Corbiewood on Friday 9th June, with an eight race card which saw eight different winning drivers. The feature races were the STAGBI Future Broodmares Pace and the Open Preferred Handicap Final which both went the way of Corbiewood stalwarts. Loriznitestar picked up her first victory in the highly competitive STAGBI Future Broodmares Pace which guarantees connections a spot at the national harness racing and breeding awards next spring. The eight-year-old daughter of Dreamfair Vogel was the first to break the 7-horse Indian file when driver Grant Cullen committed her approaching the half. From this point, her and long-time leader Sureamhasty (William Greenhorn) matched strides until the former proved the strongest down the stretch, winning by a length. Caraghs Comet (Thomas MacKenzie Jnr) finished half a length off Sureamhasty in third. The other feature race was the Grades 1-6 OPH Final, with three heats run earlier on the night providing the runners. The first heat went the way of Willie Kyle's Millie May West (John Allan), who toughed a two wide trip for most of the race to give new connections a win by a neck from the three-year-old Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen) who in turn got up in the shadow of the post to steal second from long-time leader Killarney Howard (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr). The second heat saw another long-time leader headed in deep stretch, when the eleven-year-old Jasper Hill (Thomas MacKenzie Jnr) snatched victory from betting favourite Valentine Camden (William Drysdale). Camden Rocco (William Greenhorn) stayed on for third. The third of the three heats bucked the trend, as long-time leader Indie Hanover (Richard Haythornthwaite) shot clear coming home after seeing off the sole challenge of Ayr Pandemic (William Greenhorn) who faded after tough fractions. Stoneriggs Banner (Hugh Menzies) was the best of the rest, finishing five lengths behind the winner, with Bayrigg Millionayr (Richard Thomson) half a length behind in third. Seven horses faced the starter in the final, as Stoneriggs Banner withdrew. Valentine Camden (William Drysdale) showed a good turn of foot from the gate to take the early lead. Indie Hanover (Richard Haythornthwaite) was a persistent challenger throughout as they went through the half in a minute. Coming to the three quarter marker, Indie Hanover slipped the field, however Bayrigg Millionayr (Richard Thomson) emerged from the pack with a determined challenge and despite hooking wheels on the final turn, dug deep to record his 19th lifetime win. Indie Hanover stayed on for second with Jasper Hill (Thomas MacKenzie Jnr) finishing third. The first of the two maiden races was won impressively by the Rocknroll Hanover filly She Be Rockin (Gordon Gilvear) who made all the running to win in comfortable fashion. Her next assignment will be the SHRC 3YO Derby Fillies Division at the next meeting. The second maiden pace was won by Royal Mint Howard (William Drysdale) who went one better than his impressive debut at Appleby by leading from start to finish. The Corbiewood-trained Billy Wilk (William Greenhorn) won the novice pace in decisive fashion. The next meeting at Corbiewood is Friday 16th June, featuring the SHRC 3YO Derby Colts and Fillies divisions. First race is 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink Race 1 1st She Be Rockin (Rocknroll Hanover-Utopia Hanover) - G Gilvear 2nd Ayr Caledonia (Hasty Hall-Ayr Wing) - G Keith 3rd Hawthorns Melinda (Pierce Seelster-Dot Comm) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.07.48 Dist: 7L & 1/2L Race 2 1st Millie May West (Hasty Hall-Aprilmaywest) - J Allan 2nd Victoria Camden (Mypanmar-Penn Kinki Touch) - G Cullen 3rd Killarney Howard (Todays Man-Cams Legend) - H O'Neil Jnr Jnr Time: 2.07.56 Dist: Neck & Head Race 3 1st Jasper Hill (Village Jasper-Eyes Wide Open) - T MacKenzie Jnr 2nd Valentine Camden (Pro Bono Best-Lets All Boogie) - W Drysdale 3rd Camden Rocco (Arts Conquest-Magical Sign) Time: 2.09.2 Dist: Head & 2L Race 4 1st Indie Hanover (Well Said-Incredible Margie) - R Haythornthwaite 2nd Stoneriggs Banner (Banner Yankee-Thepansquickrnthei) - H Menzies 3rd Bayrigg Millionayr (Genghis Pan-Ayr Millenium) - R Thomson Time: 2.04.18 Dist: 5L & 1/2L Race 5 1st Royal Mint Howard (Village Marquis-Gold Sovereign) - W Drysdale 2nd Ayr Superior (Daylon Alert-Whos Laughing) - H O'Neil Jnr Jnr 3rd Daylon Vacation (Daylon Alert-Coalford Quest) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.09.98 Dist: 1L & 3/4L Race 6 1st Billy Wilk (Backnthesaddleapan-Southlands Lady) - W Greenhorn 2nd New London Hanover (Dragon Again-Natural Paradise) - G Gilvear 3rd Fools Delight (Mypanmar-Bettorbynine) - H Menzies Time: 2.06.46 Dist: 6L & 3 1/2L Race 7 1st Loriznitestar (Dreamfair Vogel-Starry Nite) - G Cullen 2nd Sureamhasty (Hasty Hall-Sureamsmart) - W Greenhorn 3rd Caraghs Comet (Soulofthematter-Flyers Comet) - T MacKenzie Jnr Time: 2.06.38 Dist: 1L & 1/2L Race 8 1st Bayrigg Millionayr (Genghis Pan-Ayr Millenium) - R Thomson 2nd Indie Hanover (Well Said-Incredible Margie) - R Haythornthwaite 3rd Jasper Hill (Village Jasper-Eyes Wide Open) - T MacKenzie Jnr Time: 2.04.61 Dist: 1L & 1L        

After a couple of summer showers at the beginning of the Kington and Vale of Arrow meeting held at Evenjobb, the rest of the afternoon was fine and sunny with some exceptionally good harness racing. The long home straight gave plenty of opportunity for horses to time their run to the winning post which meant the camera was called on to confirm the results of many of the races. The two Nursery races were won by the Perks family from Presteigne’s stylish youngster Kentucky Roam with stable driver Becky Williams in the seat and the impressive Garth Vader belonging to the Williams-Pugh family from Brecon driven by trainer Andrew Hardwick. The first race for the punters was the Novice heats, in the first Immortal Breeze and Janet Thomas claiming an expected win for owner/trainer Helen Williams from Llanafan My Amazing Grace (Evans Red Roses) ran a good race in second while new recruit Hurricane Howard (Duggan Llangunllo) was third. In the second Novice heat new Mid Wales member Fantasizing belonging to Stella Havard from Dinmore with her quiet accomplice Martin Roberts at the controls showed a wonderful burst of speed to claim the spoils ahead of the impressive Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis Llanyre) while Lanehouse Patch (Thomas Merthyr) on his first outing this season was third. In the first Grade B heat the well mannered Habberley Haste owned by the Lloyd family from New Radnor driven by trainer Andrew Hardwick was first past the post, in front of the inspiring lady combinations of Mel driving Rhyds Backchat (Elder Blaencelyn) and Becky with Ithon Hannah (Perks Presteigne). Becky Williams partnering the variable Fold the Notes (Perks Presteigne) took the second B heat ahead of the in form George Gentle (Lewis Welshpool) with Meadowland Maverick (Jones Evenjobb) in third. Best of the Fleet with owner Matt Lewis from Welshpool on board is enjoying a winning streak adding another to the season’s tally while the independent Scoobies Dream claimed second with the excitable Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) in third. In the second Grade A heat the back horses soon made up their trail to present a speeding challenge up the home straight with the judges calling for the cameraman who declared the talented Ithon Inmate driven by Derek Pritchard for the Price family from Brecon winning just ahead of the swift Lakeside Pan (Elder New Quay) while Infinatey (Gwatkin Evenjobb) was third. In the first Baby Novice Talavary Zara with owner, trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones on board claimed first prize from a revitalised Immortal Ellie (Hughes Cwmbach) returning after a year off in second while Cool Ice (Gething Ewyas Harold) on his first taste of punter pressure was third. Bad Romance with owner Shane Eggerton at the controls took the second Baby Novice race ahead of C U Maggie (Bevan Llanddewi) running a good race while the backmarker Ayr Fella (Lloyd & Samuel Painscastle) was third. Meadowland Olympic with her young owner, driver Cellan Evans from Newcastle Emlyn took the third Baby Novice so moving up to the Novice division while Greenhill Lillian (Thomas Rhymney) ran on well to be second with Universal Soldier (Powell Merthyr Cynog) in third. In the saddle specialist jockey Jayne Bevan guided her mount Brywins Jo Jo (Jones Ammanford) to a well deserved win from Nia Patrol (Williams, Ludlow) with Tantalizing (Havard, Dinmore) in third. Five junior lined up in the next race with the experienced Ellie Tromans on Habberly Playboy (Johns/Gittins, Shrewsbury) swept all before them while the hard riding Jess Samuel on her mother’s Camden Lock (Lloyd & Samuel, Painscastle) gained a worthy second with the baby novice Posezest (Bevan Builth) and Rachel Bevan-Thomas was third Ceri Bevan on the idiosyncratic Beacon Sorcerer (Bevan Llanddewi) and Izzy John on Forest Gump (Duggan Llangunllo) completed the field. In the Novice final the camera was again called to separate the victors, with the impressive Immortal Breeze (Helen Williams of Llanafan) driven by Janet Thomas given the verdict from the speedster, Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) while third place went to another talented horse, Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre). Picking the winner in the Grade B final was no easy task as nine horses lined up but the individualist Fold the Notes owned and trained by the Perks family from Presteigne and driven by the enthusiastic Becky Williams was first passed the post ahead of Habberley Haste (Lloyd New Radnor) while Arctic Prince (Gwatkin Evenjobb) was third. The Grade A final was the conclusion of the day’s racing where the talented Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) claimed another victory with trainer Debbie Hitchcock in the seat, in second was the speedy backmarker Infinatey (Gwatkin Evenjobb) while Lakeside Pan (Elder New Quay) had to be content with third. That completed a good afternoon of racing, next weekend is one of the rare occasions when Mid Wales racing is on a Sunday as the go-ahead Talgarreg committee host their fixture on Sunday June 11 starting at 1.30pm By Brecon and Radnor Reporter in Equine Reprinted with permission of The Brecon & Radnor Express

The first visit to Ceredigion this season produced a good afternoon of harness racing without sunshine but with no rain to spoil the show. The big open track as always provided classic racing with some close finishes to test the cameraman. Derek Pritchard drove both winners of the two Nurseries at the beginning of the day with Ithon JR owned by the Thomas family from Llanbister winning the first and Cool Ice (Gething Ewyas Harold) victorious in the second. The Novice race was a straight race this week with the well regarded Immortal Breeze (Williams Llanafan) and partnered by Mel Langford coming home in front of The Wow Factor (Lewis Welshpool) on his season’s debut in second and My Amazing Grace (Evans Red Roses) in third. In the first grade B heat Hyar Temptation with her owner Janet Thomas from Tregroes at the controls swept up the home straight to snatch victory ahead of fast finishing Meadowland Maverick (Jones Evenjobb) with long-time leader Tyssul Pearl (Thomas Llanbister) holding on gallantly to third. In the second grade B George Gentle with owner Zak Lewis from Welshpool on board enjoyed their first taste of open racing by making the most of their guaranteed pole position to win comfortably from the well named Fold the Notes (Perks Presteigne) while Ayr Ontario (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) was third. Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) and trainer Debbie Hitchcock claimed the first heat of the Grade A from Habberley Playboy (Jones/Gittins, Shrewsbury) with No Mercy (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) third. In the second heat Best of the Fleet repeated last week’s heat win with owner Matt Lewis from Welshpool on board coming home just in front of Ithon Inmate (Price Brecon) while local horse Lakeside Pan (Elder New Quay) was third. In the Baby Novice race the impressive youngster Ithon Nitro with owner Andrew Bevan from Builth in charge swept to the front to win decisively from Meadowland Olympic (Evans Newcastle Emlyn) and deputy driver Celyn Evans in the seat in second with the speedy Talavary Zara (Jones Evenjobb) in third. The next race was the Junior this always a favourite as the younger members of the family get their chance to have a go. Ellie Tromans from Newcastle Emlyn is a very experienced jockey but this week was her first effort at driving, but her partner Immortal Breeze (Williams Llanafan) was a willing collaborator and they were first over the line in front of Rachel Bevan-Thomas from Builth on her own Posezest. The next race on the card was the ladies race, and Rebecca Williams who loves leading the field, found a willing partner in the Baby Novice Ithon Nitro (Bevan Builth Wells) as they scorched around the track not allowing anyone to challenge their position. Brywins Jo Jo (Jones Ammanford) and Makemeamillionayr (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) had to be content with the minor places. The Consolation followed and again it was a Baby Novice, Ceiron Blue Boy (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) who claimed the race with his young driver Louisa Barton in the seat ahead of Tyssul Opal (Meaney, Merthyr) while Nia Patrol and dedicated owner Paul Miles was third. The afternoon ended with the two open finals, in the Grade B George Gentle with owner Zak Lewis from Welshpool won convincingly from the striking Meadowland Maverick (Jones Evenjobb) while talented Fold the Notes (Perks Presteigne) was third. In the Grade A Final four horses swept across the line to produce a blanket finish, the verdict went to Ithon Inmate (Price Brecon) and Derek Pritchard while Best of the Fleet (Lewis Welshpool) for the second week in a row finished in second place this week beating Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) into third. At the end of the week we return to Powys when the old committee of Kington and the Vale of Arrow host a meeting at the Evenjobb track, on Saturday June 3 starting at 1.30pm. Nursery race 1 1 Ithon JR (Derek Pritchard) owned Thomas Llanbister trained Pritchard Rhosgoch 2 Hilltop Recon 3 Brywins Awesome Time: 2:18.03 Nursery – race 2 1 Cool Ice (Derek Pritchard) owned & trained Gething Ewyas Harold 2 Ithon Overdrive 3 Hobgoblin Time: 2:14.81 Novice 1 Immortal Breeze (Melanie Langford) owned & trained Williams Llanafan 2 The Wow Factor 3 My Amazing Grace Time: 2:10.07 Grade B – heat 1 Hyar Temptation (Janet Thomas) owned & trained Thomas Tregroes 2 Meadowland Maverick 3 Tyssul Pearl Time: 2:10.72 Grade B – heat 2 1 George Gentle (Zak Lewis) owned & trained Lewis Welshpool 2 Fold the Notes 3 Ayr Ontario Time: 2:08.59 Grade A – heat 1 1 Chinatown Kolt (Debbie Hitchcock) owned Jones Llanllwni trained Hitchcock Haverfordwest 2 Habberley Playboy 3 No Mercy Time: 2:10.25 Grade A – heat 2 1 Best of the Fleet (Matt Lewis) owned & trained Lewis Welshpool 2 Ithon Inmate 3 Laleside Pan Time: 2:10.94 Baby Novice 1 Ithon Nitro (Andrew Bevan) owned & trained Bevan Builth Wells 2 Meadowland Olympic 3 Talavary Zara Time: 2:10.56 Junior 1 Immortal Breeze (Ellie Tromans) owned & trained Williams Llanafan 2 Posezest (Rachel Bevan-Thomas Time: 2:14.69 Ladies 1 Ithon Nitro (Rebecca Williams) owned & trained Bevan Builth Wells 2 Brywins Jo Jo 3 Makemeamillionayr Time: 2:04.94 Consolation 1 Ceirion Blue Boy (Louisa Barton) owned & trained Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey 2 Tyssul Opal 3 Nia Patrol Time: 2:14.97 Grade B Final 1 George Gentle (Zak Lewis) owned & trained Lewis Welshpool 2 Meadowland Maverick 3 Fold the Notes Time: 2:05.93 Grade A Final 1 Ithon Inmate (Derek Pritchard) owned Price Brecon trained Pritchard Rhosgoch 2 Best of the Fleet 3 Chinatown Kolt Time: 2:07.78 By Brecon and Radnor Reporter in Equine  

"We thought we would get a good entry, but over 120 was beyond our target" said Caroline Collins of the Red John Memorial Committee when the final entry lists for The Red John Memorial Pace , The Maven Trotters Derby and The Oakwood Stud Three Year old grass pacing championships were published this week. "Since Bill Donovan one of the leading owners on the USA harness racing scene came to us with a major sponsorship deal early in the year we have worked hard to make this happen"added Collins. "At first people we a bit sceptical about the format of the three classics which sees a nomination fee plus two sustaining payments but with support from the ITHRF and the IHRA, but owners have grasped with the idea and we look forward to a weekend of top class racing at a new grass venue in Lyre Clonakilty. " " To be fair, Ger Hegarty, who owns the venue, is a horse owner and he is making improvements to the field. People must understand that unlike Portmarnock we are starting with a green field and must turn this into a harness racing amphitheatre .There is a natural grandstand in the field which provides a panoramic view of the beautiful local country side" "The IHRA have looked after the clerical side of things which have given us more time to plan the day to day organising of the weekend. Booking of hotels in the area has been brisk but with the help of Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce we have a full list of all types of accomadation to ensure those travelling will be able to taste the local hospitality" said Collins. The next sustaining payment comes on June 20th. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink    

WEST CORK, Ireland - Hail Spartacus gave 15-year-old Luke Kelleher his first classic success when landing the George Deane Memorial at Dunmanway West Cork on Sunday writes Tim Kelleher. Three elimination heats were held with two horses going forward to the final. In the opening heat County Limerick raider Saunders Jubilee was "on the busses" in the betting ring and this son of Play With A Full Deck landed the odds but only just .He led from the start but just held on from Lyons Stallone who only saw daylight in the final 100 yards but the post came in time for Jubilee. Heat two went to Llywns Allstar who loves the front and driver Mike O Brien kept this son of Hasty Hall about his business. Favourite Camden Corleone looked a winner with two furlongs to pace but "Allstar" pulled out a little bit extra two win by two lengths. Cruise Howard second last week was the punters choice in the third heat and was put to sleep for most of the ten furlong contest by Timmy O'Leary and oozed to a comprehensive 3 length winning margin . In the final Cruise Howard was again the punters fancy despite a 50 yard handicap . Saunders Jubilee and Lyons Stallone led for the first mile of the contest. Cruise Howard and Hail Spartacus a 30 yard trailer soon joined issue and turning for home Hail Spartacus wore down his rival to give Luke Kelleher his first major success on the circuit . The winner who won the Grand Prix at this venue last year a son of Swingman and Meadoebranch Katie was bred by his owners the Hill Family who run Hillside Farms one of the top breeding nurseries in Cork. "He's as tough as nails and runs with his heart on his sleeve, " A delighted Pete Hill told the post race press briefing. The Trotteur Francais race produced another epic battle. Tarnao Josselyn second on the beach had everything bar the kitchen thrown at him by his six rivals but saw off all the challengers to win from lVaillant Forgion. Blanpain Le Fol led from the start but the winner took it up after two furlongs and was neverheaded. King Wills Arrival made it a double for the Quill family when taking the low grade under saddle race .Sunnyside Kildare tried to take on king Wills Arrival after a lap, but Oisin Quill was not giving away the top spot and as Brywins Picasso also loomed large but the US import held on by a neck. Meadowbranch Demon took the high grade under saddle race. Wellfield Ghost and Rhyds Destiny played battle up front but "The Iron Horse" showed why he earbned that name grinding down the pace setters to ease to a 3 length win. Coalford Bruce took the Grade G & G1 Pace for catch driver Patrick Hill . This son of Rogue Hall has been "tough"to keep right but showed his true colours despite an early break All roads lead to Dundalk Stadium next week for the big PMU meeting, by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS (ALL RACES 1 Mile 300 yards GEORGE DEANE MEMORIAL HEAT ONE GRADE F & E 1st M Shanahan SAUNDERS JUBILEE J Manning Jnr 2nd O'Driscoll / O'Reilly LYONS STALLONE C O'Reilly 3rd J Shanahan FAIRDAYS BRET M Kelleher DIST 1/2l 3l TIME 2.38.5 6 Ran HEAT TWO 1st M O'Brien LLYWNS ALLSTAR Owner  2nd  O'Reilly/Hurley CAMDEN CORLEONE M O'Reilly 3rd F Quill IB MOHICAN F Quill Jnr DIST 2l NK TIME 2.37.8 5 Ran HEAT THREE 1st C O Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O'Leary 2nd P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS L Kelleher 3rd C O'Reilly RHYDS PANACHE Owner DIST 3l 2l TIME 2.39.8 5 Ran FINAL FINAL 1st P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS L Kelleher 2nd C O Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O'Leary O'Reilly /Hurley CAMDEN CORLEONE M O'Reilly DIST 3/4l 5l TIME 2.36.6 6 Ran LOW GRADE UNDER SADDLE 1st F Quill KING WILLS ARRIVAL O Quill 2nd O Farrell /Kelleher BRYWINS PICASSO L Kelleher 3rd S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE E Murphy DIST 1/2l 3l TIME 2.37.0 4 Ran HIGH GRADE UNDER SADDLE 1st Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH DEMON L Kelleher 2nd J Shanahan RHYDS DESTINY M R Shanahan 3rd J Manning WELLFIELD GHOST R Manning DIST 3l 1/2l TIME 2.32.6 4 Ran GRADE G & G1 1st J Shanahan COALFORD BRUCE P Hill 2nd J Payne GET ROCKIN J Manning Jnr 3rd S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE Owner DIST 3l 3l TIME 2.39.8 8 Ran TROTTEUR FRANCAIS 1st F Quill TARNAO JOSSELYN F Quill Jnr 2nd O'Sullivan / Goggin VAILLANT FORGION M Goggin Jnr 3nd F Quill VA REINE DU PONT S Quill DIST 2l 1/2l TIME 2.53.7 7 Ran                      

County Armagh, Ireland - The curtain rose on Annaghmore's 2017 season with an ultra competitive 5 race programme on Wednesday evening where a bumper crowd seen some of Irelands harness racing stars come out to play for the first time this campaign.   All races were covered on Facebook live for those who could not be present, a pioneering move in keeping with the worldwide trend of broadcasting harness racing events live as they happen so all credit to Annaghmore for leading the charge in Ireland in this regard.   The opening race on the card for Grade G & G1 pacers was won by Triplicate driven by Jonathan Dunne in 2:02.6. By the mighty Doonbeg whose progeny are experiencing a purple patch in the UK at present out of US import Tripleplay Hanover.   The four year old bay gelding came with a storming late challenge to defeat Alicolt which looked to have the race in the bag turning for home. Early leader Pandercrombie held on for third sport ahead of Meadow Camden with the winning margins 1 1/2 lengths and 4 lengths respectively. Best Of Lou Lou looked to have the race at her mercy last Sunday at Portmarnock, but popped off-stride in the shadows of the post. The Noel Ryan driven french trotter made no such mistakes on Wednesday in the Grade D, E & F cruising to a bloodless victory over Tamalou Perrine and Bavoure De Mai in 2:05 .2 to the delight and relief of owner-trainer John Morgan from Omeath. Newtown Rock was a notable non-runner from the next event the C,D,E,& F pacing handicap which went the way of Rhyds Cobbler in a thrilling finish. Springhill KG had led them a merry dance in this and it looked as if Jonathan Dunnes charge had enough left in the tank to repel all challengers.   Simon Duggan had other ideas however and sent Rhyds Cobbler into overdrive at the 3/4 pole and the Hasty Hall bred sprinted from last to first to land the spoils by a length in 2:00.1. The luckless Springhill KG hung on for second spot a further half length ahead of Meadowbranch Kiki. Six french trotters graded A, B & C faced the starter in the penultimate race with Une De Donzy first to show pursued by Solicitor and Urmine De Mai. Favourite Umbratica spent the first circuit gradually wearing down her initial 20 yard handicap and when asked to quicken by driver John Richardson on the back straight for the final time the response was immediate.   Moving alongside Une De Donzy rounding the final bend Umbratica battled her way to the front and past the post with a half length to spare in 2:05.3 with Solicitor another length back in third spot. There wasnt a dry eye in the house after the final race on the card, the A, B & C pacing handicap, when the locally trained Astounding held on to deny red-hot favourite Porterstown Road in an epic battle up the home straight.   Partnered by Martin McSparron, Astounding was driving all last season without winning by young Kyle McSparron who tragically passed away in the off-season so this first win for the McSparron family was all the more poignant.   A spontaneous round of applause on his post victory parade warmed the bumper crowds hearts on what was a chilly evening and its moments like these that make harness racing the best equine sport in the world.   Clocking an impressive 1:59 the combination had a length and a half to spare over Porterstown Road with another 5 lengths back to Rhyds Boots in third. Annaghmore run again on Saturday 5th June with a full card of PACING RACES ONLY scheduled so purists of this discipline will relish the first such card of this type in many years.   A guaranteed record crowd is expected and with prizemoney of £500 per race - paid in cash on the day, the card will fill up fast so please text all entries to Carmel Stewart on 0044 7891005707. All of Wednesdays races can be viewed on the NI Standardbred Association Facebook page. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

Senior harness racing driver in the United Kingdom, Ian Pimlott, should have teeth that are as excellent as his driving skills. Born and raised in Manchester, near the popular Droylsden harness raceway, he became fascinated by horses from a very early age. Every Monday afternoon through the harness racing season, he informed his teachers that he had a vital dentist’s appointment, and skipped off to watch the trotters and pacers flying around the hard circuit with their canny drivers perched on their fragile-looking sulkies. At the tender age of 8, Ian was helping George Dodd, one of the leading trainers at Droylsden, mucking out, riding, learning his chosen art of driving and horse-care, spending every spare minute at the stables. He soaked up every scrap of knowledge, loved the horses, and his natural quiet sympathy gave him that enviable rapport that marked him as a true horseman. At age 12, he rode Little Jim to victory at Penybont, the major meeting in Wales, but, due to the rules, he had to wait until he was 16 to race on the sulky seat. In 1964, Our Bill trotted to victory at Prestatyn to put the name Ian Pimlott in the official record books for the first time, and 53 years (and two new hips!) later, he is driving better than ever, piloting a three-year-old debutante trotter into the Tir Prince winner’s circle at the first meeting of the 2017 season. Has the maestro, who has won every race worth winning under the British Harness Racing Club rules, ever kept score of his winners over the past six decades? “No, sorry,” he said, “But I do know that I’ve won the Musselburgh Famous Pace seven and a half times!” He counts the dead-heat between Bye For Now, whom he was driving for George Carter, and the Irish raider, The Little One, (“Can’t remember what year though – a long time ago!”) as half a victory. He modestly agrees that Musselburgh has been his speciality. “I even won the £100 raffle there after I’d had 8 winners one year!” A talented footballer, Ian was offered a trial as a professional as he left grammar school, but he turned it down to go and work for George Dodd and his nephew Edmund, doing a few hours in the latter’s butchers shop, but mostly working with horses. “We all make mistakes!” he jested, but there is no doubt that Ian Pimlott would not have changed his destiny for any glamorous pay-packet in the world. He was 17 when he met his future wife, Kathleen Ashworth, daughter of Harvey, one of the owners George trained for. “I won with Harvey’s trotter, Staly Hal at Prestatyn, and told his daughter to go to his head for the photograph,” Pimlott explained, “She thought I was bossy!” They were married a year later, and were devoted for over 40 years, until Kath’s untimely death in 2013. A bitter blow for Ian, his two daughters, and brace of granddaughters. Ian began training Standardbreds in his own right at 18 years old. “I was very late for work one morning after a Presentation Evening in North Wales, and George (Dodd) sacked me!” Pimlott remembered. “So, I began driving Harvey (Ashworth) about, and started to train a couple of Harvey’s horses from Staly Hall, Stalybridge in Cheshire.  “And then a few folks wanted me to train their horses, though I never took on more than 10 at one time.” Fittingly, Staly Hal gave him his very first success as a trainer, at Prestatyn.  And the rest really is history, written in the Night Racing Co and BHRC record books. Ian fondly remembers his first Musselburgh Pace winner, Blue Streak, but one of his most satisfying memories of the horses he has handled over the years is of Pendle Bret. “No-one knew how good he was,” Pimlott smiled, “In those days, you had to win a race to be able to enter for Musselburgh, and he qualified at St Asaph in a fairly slow time. But at Musselburgh, it nearly all fell apart! “In those days, it was a tape start, each handicap ‘box’ was 12 yards apart,” Pimlott explained. “and the starter counted down, the knack was not to be facing the wrong way as you were turning when the tapes sprung back! Pendle Bret, a great big chestnut, was facing the right way alright, but he had his nose on the tape so it caught him when it was released. He went straight up on his back legs as the others went away, and I swear it felt like ten minutes before he came down!” But victory was all the sweeter for giving everyone an early scare, with Pimlott getting Pendle Bret back into the race, then sweeping round the field to victory lane. Eventually, the prolific winner Pendle Bret was sold to race in Canada, and Ian accompanied him. Local newsmen were present when he worked him out on his new home track in Alberta, so that a photo of him with a banner headline ‘The Big Red Pacing Machine Has Arrived!’ blazed across the front of the local Canadian newspaper. Over the years, Ian has driven winners in many countries all around the world, both trotters and pacers. “I missed going to Russia because I broke my wrist after I’d been invited,” Pimlott recalled. “It was a shame but I’ve been lucky enough to drive in plenty of other countries though.” Ian’s career has been liberally laced with falls and fractures of all descriptions, the most serious being a broken neck sustained in a (televised) multiple pile up at Tir Prince, but nothing has ever deflected him from the sulky seat for long, or even slightly dented his superior skill. There have been great many changes in the course of Ian’s career. “There had to be a minimum of 10 stone 7lbs on the sulky seat, so I had to carry a lot of lead under my seat when I started!” But he has adapted to every change that came along, and admits that the start car was a welcome innovation, saving hours of schooling horses for the tape start. “You weren’t going to win if you were facing the wrong way when the tapes pinged!” Nowadays, Ian is busy combining family duties (Grandaughter Olivia is a class swimmer, and Annie Lux is the equestrian) with farming and training at Lymm in Cheshire. He is heavily involved with the Le Trot sponsorship initiative through TROTBritain, whereby the French sponsor races for the trotters purchased from them. “It’s really going forward – we have a 3-year-old Series worth £60,000 at Tir Prince on September 9th, as well as races for Trotteur Francais Aged Horses,” he explained. It was fitting indeed that having invested so much energy into the initiative, he should have partnered the very first Series winner, Enez Leman, trained by Mike Evans. And Ian Pimlott is very good at Firsts. Among all his other great achievements, he drove Rag Trade to victory for the first harness race on Doncaster Racecourse (‘must be nearly 30 years ago!’), Cerion Eagle to the first official harness race at Hereford Racecourse in 2008, Crown Manhattan to win the William Hill Championship Series Final at Wolverhampton, and last November he won one of the very first trotting races to be staged at Chelmsford City racecourse with George Button’s Thunder Jiel. Such was the success of that evening’s venture that three further dates have been agreed with Chelmsford City in 2017. Rest assured that Ian Pimlott will be behind the starting gate for each of the fixtures (August 15th, September 30th and October 12th). In answer to the obvious, but superfluous question, he grinned. “Of course, I’m not thinking of retiring……I’d have to get a proper job then!” Watch out for those familiar yellow and black colours in the winner’s enclosure for a long time to come. By Stella Havard 

WEST CORK, Ireland - Seamus Quill took the driving honours when recording two winners at the Corn Field Oval in Manch on Sunday. Va Reine Du Pont kicked off the brace for the Kenmare based reinsman. Blanpain Le Fol and last weeks winner Cupidon De Breteil made the running in the mile and a quarter trot. With four furlongs to trot Quill gave the winner the office and led the field.Turning for home the field began to close in but Va Reine Du Pont held on from Valiant Forgion in a blanket finish. Quill completed the double in the next a grade F E & D Pace. King Wills Arrival followed up on his win on the beach last week getting home a length in front of Fairdays Bret with Lyons Stallone a futher half back in third . Racing opened with a very smart performance from newcomer Earnies Umpire .Coalford Bruce made the running but Matt O Reilly took it up after the opening half mile and won in a manner that would suggest that a bright career is in front of him. This three year old son of Earned Income and Elizabeth Ann holds entries in both the Barney Joyce Memorial and the Oakwood Stud three year old grass pacing Championship and was bred by Tadhg O'Reilly. Meadowbranch Demon now an 11 year old recorded his 40th career win in the top grade pace. Cruise Howard led off the gate but was joined and passed by Rhyds Destiny in the opening half. Heading out on the final circuit Mike Kelleher edged Demon closer and on the back straight hit the front. Cruise Howard put in a late rally but "The iron Horse" was not for catching. "We normally wouldnt race him every week but he came out of his run in Inchydoney fine and we probably go for the free for all in Dundalk." commented winning driver Mike Kelleher. Rhyds Heartbeat owned by Angela and Martin Hurley was a trap to line winner in the Grade D & C Pace. On his home track, Donal Murphy set the winner alight early doors, and despite the best efforts of favourite Camden Corleone, this son of Hasty Hall was not going to be denied. Next week the action moves to Dunmanway for the first of the big Summer handicaps. The George Deane Memorial in memory of the former president of the ITHRF is the first leg in the handicap "triple crown" on the West Cork circuit and will probably have three heats and a grand final with a full supporting programme. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE G & G1 PACE 1st O'Reilly / Joyce EARNIES UMPIRE M O'Reilly 2nd J Shanahan COALFORD BRUCE M Kelleher 3rd S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE Owner DIST 2l 3l TIME 2.05.7 8 Ran LE TROT GRADE E D & C 1st F Quill Snr VA REINE DU PONT S Quill 2nd O Sullivan / Goggin VALIANT FORGION M Goggin Jnr 3rd J Shanahan CUPIDON DE BRETEIL M Kelleher DIST SH 1/2l TIME 2.50.4 6 Ran   GRADE F E & D PACE 1st F Quill Snr KING WILLS ARRIVAL S Quill 2bd J Shanahan FAIRDAYS BRET M Kelleher 3rd O'Reilly / O Driscoll LYONS STALLONE C O'Reilly DIST 1l 1/2l TIME 2.05.6 5 Ran   GRADE D & C PACE 1st 1A & M Hurley RHYDS HEARTBEAT D Murphy 2nd O Reilly / Hurley CAMDEN CORLEONE M O Reilly 3rd J Hill THE HITMAN M Goggin Jnr DIST 1/2L 1/2L TIME 2.07.8 5 Ran   GRADE B A & A1 Pace 1st - Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH DEMON M Kelleher 2nd - C O Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O Leary 3rd - J Shanahan RHYDS DESTINY L Kelleher DIST NK 2l 4 Ran        

Tregaron Trotting Club kicked off the 2017 grass season with an 11 race card on Sunday 14th May.   Amongst the programme was the Senior Welsh Dragon, the first group one race to be staged on the UK. The group race initiative was put forward by the master of the microphone Darren Owen to follow in the footsteps of our international counterparts. The race certainly did not disappoint. 2016 BHRC horse of the year Miraculous made his first ever trip to Tregaron and was sent off the market leader, but it was Party At The Spa in the hands of Alan Haythornthwaite who held off all the challengers to take the spoils.   The performance on Sunday sparked memories of Sportstrick who won the same race in a similar fashion for the same connections in 2016. Like so many races the draw played a vital part and it was from the first turn that Alan and the son of Dragon Again gained the advantage.   Both Lakeside Bono (drawn 2) and Party At The Spa (drawn 3) left hard out of the gate to gain advantageous positions on the rail leaving Miraculous (drawn 6) further back than he may have expected. Miraculous put in a gallant effort in defeat and the run provided him with some grass racing experience, having only raced on the surface twice before the event. The most thrilling finish of the day came in the Preferred Free For All. The small field of five started off at a blistering pace with Stamp Hill leading early. The only mare in the race, Shades Of Grey, bit the bullet with a lap to go and sat in the death seat on the outside of the leader. Fool Around tucked in behind the pair also looked in contention but it was the fast finishing Coalford Tetrick who swooped the field to grab victory.   This bargain purchase certainly has been a horse of a lifetime for connections and he will now go to Tir Prince next Saturday night to attempt to break the UK mile and a half record. The Spring Handicap final went the way of Llwyns Delight and Lee Price. The five year old son of Share The Delight seems to be improving with age and he now heads to Appleby to try and emulate the success of his half brother Bon Jasper in the handicap final.   Laneside Lotus put in two good performances for her new owners finishing a close second to Llwyns Delight in both the heat and final. Third went to the consistent Woodstone Jingo in the hands of Julie Phillips. Others winners on the day were Rhyds Passion (Patrick Kane Jnr), My Buddy (Alan Jones), No Joking (William Laidler), Im Immpartial Too (Joel Richards), Jack Swagger (William Laidler), Blytheview Peterpan (Jaimie Davies) and Lakeside Paddy (David Bevan).   by Kayleigh Evans  

WEST CORK, Ireland - It was a good day for father and son combination Mike and Luke Kelleher who both drove a winner on the opening day of the 2017 West Cork Harness racing season at Inchadoney Beach on Sunday.   Luke Kelleher, who drove his initial winner in Portmarnock a few weeks ago, steered his first winner in West Cork in the opening Grade G & G1 Pace on Panam Colt.   IB Coyote the 2016 VDM 2 year old fillies champion was all the rage to continue on her winning ways and was an early leader.   With two furlongs to pace Panam Colt began to close and hit the front in the last eighth of a mile to win by two lengths.   Meadowbranch Demon, so often the "cash cow" for the Kelleher Bros, delivered again in the top grade pace.   Cruise Howard and the winner set the pace and were joined by Wellfield Ghost at the two furlong pole.   The order remained the same entering the final quarter. Turning for home, Camden Corleone joined in, but Meadowbranch Demon was not for catching and held on from the fast finishing Rhyds Destiny with Wellfield Ghost staying on for third.   "He's just like Forrest Gump, just wants to run" said Kelleher about the winner.   The Le Trot for French bred trotters produced the best finish of the day.   Those in the know betting wise "lumped on" Tarnao Josselyn and looked to have got it right when he was produced in the final eighth of a mile to challenge newcomer Cupidon De Breteil, but Matt O'Reilly sat motionless on the John Shanahan trained bay and held on to win by a short head.   Only four went to post in the Grade D & C, but it was a real competitive affair where Western Dreamer held off challenges from all and sundry and the eleven-year-old enjoyed his day in the sun, holding off Rhyds Hearbeat.   Finbarr Quill Jnr , the "pin up driver" in West Cork, was seen at his best on King Wills Arrival in the grade F & E pace. Fairdays Bret set a quick pace but was reeled in by the inner with two furlongs to pace and won from the unlucky Lyons Stallone,   Next Sunday the action moves to the Cornfield Oval in Manch for the first grass meeting on the circuit.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS GRADE G & G1 PACE 1. Kelleher Bros PANAM COLT L Kelleher 2. Bill Donovan/IB Stables IB COYOTE D Murphy 3. J Payne GET ROCKIN M Payne DIST 2l 3l TIME 2.12.1 6 Ran   GRADE F & E PACE 1. F Quill Snr KING WILLS ARRIVAL F Quill Jnr 2. O Reilly/ O Driscoll LYONS STALLONE C O Reilly 3. J Shanahan FAIRDAYS BRET M Kelleher DIST 2l 3l TIME 2.12.4 5 Ran   GRADE D & C PACE 1. P J Cleary WESTERN DREAMER S Quill 2. A & M Hurley RHYDS HEARTBEAT D Murphy 3. O Farrell/Kelleher Bros BRYWINS PICASSO M Kelleher DIST 1/2l 1l TIME 2.13.4 4 Ran   Le Trot Grade F E D & C 1. J Shanahan CUPIDON DE BRETEIL M O Reilly 2. F Quill Snr TARNAO JOSSELYN S Quill 3. P Hill BRUTENOR Owner DIST SH 2l TIME 2.17.7 7 Ra   GRADE B & A Pace 1. Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH DEMON M Kelleher 2. J Shanahan/J Mycock RHYDS DESTINY L Kelleher 3. J Manning WELLFIELD GHOST Owner DIST C2l 1l TIME 2.09.3  

WEST CORK, Ireland - The 2017 Harness racing season opens this coming Sunday, May 14th at the beautiful Inchydooney Beach venue just a few miles outside Clonakilty. This unique venue sees the Blue Flag Beach transformed into an amphitheatre for standardbred pacers and trotters. Once the tide makes its way out towards the Atlantic the track will be put in place and provides one of the finest half mile circuits any where in the world . With tidal conditions racing gets under way at 12.45 PM. Following on from the annoucncement of the major sponsorship deal for The Red John Memorial in August and the success of the French Trotters program, there is a real "feel good" factor to the sport for the coming season. Now to the equine stars. In recent years the top grade pacers have been a scarce commodity and this season the likely stars include Meadowbranch Demon, Cruise Howard and Rhyds Destiny, who will be joined by Wellfield Ghost, a winner in Portmarnock last week, the versatile Maithi Buachill, Sunnyside Kildare and the recently imported Rhyds Panache. As mentioned earlier, the imported French trotters have become very popular and along with the aged horses Sivano Be llo, Rocky Atout, Adagio de Cebe, and Alienka Darche just a few of new addition with the three-year-old french trotters imported to race in their own age group. Seven of these three-year-olds have been bought by West Cork/ Kerry owners and they bring a new freshness to our proogrammes . A lot of interest will be on the younger pacers who raced in aged racing last season . Among these are IB A Magacian, Lakeview Panam and Hillside Aurelious, who no doubt will improve in their four-year-old season. The Hitman, who won the George Deane Memorial last year, still looks ahead of the handicap and could be one to watch in the final handicaps during the year. Following the Inchydoney meet, racing returns to Fishers Cross on Sunday the 21st followed by the First ITHRF Association Day on the 28th. So all roads lead to the beach at Inchydoney on Sunday with a 12.45 PM  start time and as they, "Time and tide wait for no man" Details of fixtures, entries and news can be found on the ITHRF website www.harnessracingcork.com. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

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