Day At The Track

West Cork harness racing season set to open

12:32 AM 10 May 2017 NZST
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The 2017 West Cork harness racing season starts Sunday at Inchydoney beach
Michael Mac Sweeney photo
The ocean makes an intense background during Inchydoney beach harness racing
Photo courtesy of the ITHRF
Pacing action at Inchydooney Beach
Photo courtesy of the ITHRF

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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