Day At The Track

Preview for All Ireland Road Racing Championship

05:44 AM 24 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Harness racing Saunders Paris, harness racing Fair Enough, harness racing
Rhyds Ponder left against Maitha Buachaill in prior racing action
Clodagh Hellen photo
Saunders Paris and jockey Deirdre Goggin
Clodagh Hellen photo
Fair Enough with jockey Matthew O'Reilly
Clodagh Hellen photo

WEST CORK, IR - Road trotting fans from all over Ireland and The UK are set to flock to The famous "Marsh Road" on the outskirts of Skibbereen for the 2018 renewal of The All Ireland Road Trotting Championships this Sunday, January 28.

The local committee are pushing the boat out this year with the annual "Memorial Day" hosting road trottings biggest prize The "All Ireland".

Along with the purse of €1800, the winning connections will carry away The Tim "Cooper" Kelleher Memorial Trophy in memory of the founder of the Kelleher Racing Stables and "Cooper" was one of the leading bookmakers in harness racing before his untimely death in 1995 .

This years renewal has attracted entries and below is a guide to their form

MAITHA BUACHAILL

Is the oldest horse in the race .A former multiple winner on turf and track has taken to the tarmac code and last year won five of his six starts .

A winner in Drimoleague he finished second In Durrus before returning to winning ways in Ballygurteen . He is jointly owned by Ger Hegarty (Owner of the splendid Lyre Raceway home of the Red John Memorial ) and James Hurley who also trains him . Jamie Hurley is his tried and trusted Jockey and will start as favorite.

RHYDS PONDER

Is the arch rival of Maitha Buachaill and their battles both this season and in 2017 will go down in the folklore of this sport which is unique to West Cork.He finished second in Drimoleague and came out on top in Durrus and finished third in Ballygurteen . With usual jockey Deirdre Goggin riding Saunders Paris no confirmation of who will take the ride for owner /Trainer Ned Forbes. Loves to be in front and the Marsh Road holds no prisoners with a slight uphill pull to the finish can he last out .

TACTICIAN DU LYS

This French Bred trotter has been a consistent type last year but seemed to loose his way at the start of this year but put that behind him last time in Ballygurteen only finishing two lengths behind Maitha Buachaill. The tough two mile trip in Skibb will suit this imposing type who is owned by Ger Kane from County Meath and is trained by Jeremiah O Mahony in Dunmanway."Cool Hands" Timmy O Leary gets the ride and if any of the leading lights were to falter he could be there to pick up the pieces

SAUNDERS PARIS

This regally bred filly has worked her way up the ranks and will take her chances against the "big guns" for the first time .Deidre Goggin had the most difficult decision to come off Rhyds Ponder in favor of "Paris" but this filly is the apple in the eye of the Goggin family from Goleen with her brother Micheal the owner and trainer. She loves the front and distance should not be an issue as she won in Ballygurteen over the maximum trip. Would be a popular winner

FAIR ENOUGH

Has been a revelation since joining Chris O Reillys yard from the Newtown Stud in October Second on his debut in Drimoleague he has recorded wins in Durrus and Ballygurteen albeit in lower grades .Will be having his first run over two miles but seems to have the staying power and may be the one to upset the big names .Matthew O reilly will take the ride

Cups to honor Jack Pat Collins , Pat Hurley, Martin and Joe Bennett, Gerald Collins and Paddy & Jason Kane will be on offer for winners of the other four races on the day.

First race takes place at 2:30 pm.

Details on www.harnessracingcork.com

by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

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