Day At The Track

Haythornthwaites dominate Derby divisions

07:08 PM 19 Jun 2018 NZST
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Crack A Smile, harness racing Saunders Hoochie, harness racing Casimir Royalflush, harness racing
Crack A Smile & James Haythornthwaite winning the SHRC 3YO Derby Colts & Geldings Pace
Bill Cardno photo
Saunders Hoochie & William Drysdale winning the first leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series.
Bill Cardno photo
Casimir Royalflush & James Haythornthwaite winning the SHRC 3YO Derby Filly Pace
Bill Cardno photo

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

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