Day At The Track

Corbiewood kicks off May with two strong meetings

09:08 AM 27 May 2018 NZST
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Live In Star, harness racing Soul Searcher, harness racing Oaks Telstar, harness racing
Live In Star is flying with all four feet off the ground for driver Grant Cullen at Corbiewood
Bill Cardno photo
Soul Searcher and drier Richard Thomas were the heat and final winner at Corbiewood May 24
Bill Cardno photo
Oaks Telstar & Richard Haythornthwaite in action at Corbiewood
Bill Cardno photo

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 - http://www.bhrc.org.uk/racing/results-2018/?meet=1628&date=18-May&track=Corbiewood#

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 - http://www.bhrc.org.uk/racing/results-2018/?meet=1629&date=24-May&track=Corbiewood

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

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