Day At The Track

WEST CORK, IR - Its being quite a week for Kieran Sheehy who is Stud Farm Manager at Moran Stud Farm who enjoyed success at Tipperary race course during the week and on Saturday evening Sheehy took the High grade Trot at Lissangle with Vivo De Bassiere .   Sheehy sent the nine year old to the front after half a lap and was never in danger easing to a 10 length victory.   Reclamation a three year old daughter of A Rock N Roll Dance showed she can handle all surfaces when landing the Grade F E & D Pace .A winner on the hard track in Portmarnock last week she followed up with a facile win on grass this week .Jointly owned by Bill Donovan from Florida and IB Stables in Baltimore she will be aimed at The M50 Skip Hire three year classic in mid July.   Tadhg Murphy who holds the trainers licence at IB stables had a smile as broad as the harbour in his native Baltimore when his son Eoin took the saddle race with Hail Spartucus.   Eoin a 14 year student has definitely inherited the family genes giving a polished performance on the winner who is owned by the Hill family owners of Hillside Farms.   John O Mahony and Luke Kelleher two of our up and coming drivers both got on the score sheet . O Mahony got Moorside Captain through "the eye of a Needle" up the inside of Panarc in the final eighth of a mile to take the G & G1 Pace.   The runner up driven by novice driver Kevin Myles will win soon but today was another learning curve . Meadowbrach Demon and Luke Kelleher are a formidable pairing and took the High Grade Pace. Rhyds Dilemma and then Supreme Sunshine both led but with 3 furlongs remaining Kelleher sent "The Iron Horse " alight and ran out a three length winner .   Heather Breeze and IB A Magican served up a titanic battle in the opener and the former was not to be denied winning by a head .   Dream De Broeuts has showed promise in his three previous runs and got the better of Un Boss in another photo finish.Once again a winning distance of a head for owner driver Patrick Hill .   Sunday 8th July is the next West Cork meeting in Drimoleague.   by Tim Kellerher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS Race One 1. Heather Breeze S Jennings 2. IB A Magician D Murphy 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST Hd 4 TIME 2.39.8 Race Two 1. Dream De Broeuts P Hill 2. Un Boss J O Mahony 3. Banialouka K Sheehy DIST Hd Dist TIME 2.55.9 Race Three 1. Moorside Captain J O Mahony 2. Panarc K Myles 3. Splash The Cash DIST 4 9 TIME 2.46.9 Race Four 1. Reclamation D Murphy 2. Brywins Starship R Kingston 3. Brywins Picasso L Kelleher DIST 1 1/4 6 1/4 TIME 2.38.9 Race Five 1. Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher 2. Supreme Sunshine J Boyle 3. Wellfield Ghost J Manning Jnr DIST 3 1 1/2 TIME 2.42.2 Race Six 1. Hail Spartacus E Murphy 2. Fairdays Bret C O Driscoll 3. Coalford Commander S Twomey DIST Dist 5 TIME 2.38.6 Race Seven 1. Vigo De Bassiere K Sheehy 2. Alineka Darche T Murphy 3. Bolero De La Fye D Murphy DIST 10 5 TIME 2.43.4

While the first Saturday in August is usually Hambletonian Week at the Meadowlands, perhaps the second biggest harness racing event of the month happens the following weekend, and it's only 3,200 miles away in Dublin, Ireland. It's the Vincent Delaney Memorial (VDM) weekend of racing at Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin. It's the biggest harness racing weekend of the year in both Ireland and the UK and will take place Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12. The race itself was developed by the Delaney brothers, James and Derek, who first came up with the special race for two-year-old pacers after their younger brother, Vincent, tragically died from a massive heart attack in 2011 at age 27. "Our brother Vincent loved working with the horse," explained Derek, who with brother James have Oakwood Stud, one of the bigger Standardbred breeding facilities in all of Ireland. "We only saw it fitting to have a special race in his memory. Little did we know back then that this race weekend would become a world-wide event." The Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend has been hailed as a miniature Little Brown Jug and Gold Cup and Saucer all rolled into one. People from all over the world now travel annually to Dublin to attend the weekend festival and the races. "It is just amazing how this race has grown in popularity over the last few years," Derek Delaney said. "Now we have world class sponsors from the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand involved in the races and they all come over after the Hambletonian for our big weekend." And the race itself has grown by leaps and bounds. The VDM is perhaps the most grueling test for two-year-old pacers in harness racing. It requires these young horses to first race in elimination heats on Saturday with the top finishers returning the very next day (Sunday) to compete in the finals. And every year there are so many young horses entered that most of the race card on Saturday are elimination heats. There are also special stakes for three-year-old's, Le Trot events, and stakes for older horses too over the weekend. Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA is the main sponsor of the colt division of the VDM and the filly division is sponsored by the USA's Diamond Creek Farm. A new sponsor for 2018 is Tara Hills Stud (David Heffering) in Canada. What is also impressive is the "guest list" of who is coming to Dublin for the VDM. "I know I will forget someone," laughed Derek Delaney. "This year we have some well-known people in the harness racing industry coming over for the Vincent Delaney. The list includes Jim Simpson from Hanover Shoe Farm along with Murray Brown and his wife Carol, Heather and Mike Wilder, and Mike will also be driving that weekend. "Also coming are Tom Charters and his wife Sue, Dr. Courtney Pink from Diamond Creek Farm, Australia's and UK's Bill Hutchison, Sweden and Germany's Klaus Koch,," Derek went on. "Our regulars Roger Huston, Heather Vitale (wouldn't the VDM without her running about), Dale Welk, John McDermott, Jeff Kuhen and more. I am getting emails, texts and calls almost daily." The VDM weekend kicks off on Friday night with a dinner and in the special VIP Tent at the races there will be a great auction for charity. Already donated are a helmet, gloves and colors from Yannick Gingras and a set of Doug McNair's colors. If you ever really want to renew your passion for harness racing, then contact Derek or James Delaney at Oakwood Stud and they will send you all the details. It's a guaranteed must on everyone's bucket list. Check out www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com or www.oakwoodstud.ie for more information and to contact Derek and James Delaney. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial    

Corbiewood, UK - Thursday 21st June saw Corbiewood play host to the second leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares' Pacing Series and it was the winner of the first leg, Saunders Hoochie, who ran out a convincing winner in the six horse race. The mare, who ended a losing streak of 30 runs when winning on her first start for new trainer Cathy Shields on 8th June is now three from three in Scotland and leading not only the table in the mares' series on monies won but also the Equine Products UK Ltd-sponsored leading horse table on points at the track. It was a case of the winner leading out and making all for driver William Drysdale, with the youngest mare in the series Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen) threatening the leader down the back straight but ultimately not finding enough to pass and finishing second. Reigning champion Dontstoptheparty (Brian Gilvear) was the finishing horse in the race but perhaps lacked racing room in the stretch to finish third. Another notable winner on the night was the 11-year-old Killarney Howard who scored in the Grade 1 & 2 event for Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr who was celebrating his 25th birthday. Having led out and dictated the fractions, the duo were strongly pressed and headed down the back straight for the final time by Imogen Camden (Grant Cullen). That's Life Again (Ryan Inglis) joined the leading pair as they turned for home for a three horse battle in the stretch which looked to favour the two outside horses, however Killarney Howard dug deep on the rail to get back up and win by a neck from Imogen Camden, with That's Life Again in third half a length behind. It was a night for old family favourites as Miami Seelster returned to the winner's circle for the first time this year for the Paterson stable in the Grades 2 to 4 pace. William Greenhorn gave one of the best drives from the front ever witnessed at the track, when leading out from pole position with the betting favourite Tyler Camden (Grant Cullen) behind him throughout. Greenhorn was conscious of this throughout the race and seemingly endeavoured to keep his main rival in the pocket by setting a pace which ensured that there was a constant challenge to his outside, firstly in the form of Camden Candyman (James Morton) and secondly San Diego (John Allan). Only when Tyler Camden saw daylight in the final 100 yards of the race did Greenhorn ask his charge for maximum effort and it was sufficient to hold on from the fast finishing runner up. San Diego stayed on for third. The opening race for maidens and novices combined saw Shake It Up (William Drysdale) put in a much improved performance, leading out and making all until the closing stages of the race. The runner up in the SHRC 3YO Fillies from the week before, Shebesporty (Gordon Gilvear) came with a late challenge down the home straight and ultimately proved to be too strong for the long-time leader, recording her first win on her third lifetime start. Jennifer Camden (William Greenhorn) had played catch up to a strong pace throughout but ran well to finish third and looks to be a winner waiting to happen in coming weeks. Lady Mary was an impressive and comfortable winner in the Grades 4 to 11 event when leading out for driver William Drysdale. The mare dictated from on top and eventually won by open lengths from the highest handicapped horse in the race, Robhall (Hugh Menzies). She has improved her placings with every start this season and now heads to the third leg of the Mares' Pacing Series hoping to give trainer Cathy Shields three from three in the event. Four horses faced the starter in the final leg of the BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Company Star Makers Series to be staged at Corbiewood. Hawthorns Melinda (Stuart Mackenzie) led out and was strongly pressed throughout by stablemate Ladyford Warrior (William Greenhorn); narrowly headed approaching the final bend with Country Major (William Drysdale) switching three wide to challenge and Dynaramic (Hugh Menzies) diving for an inside path. There were four horses across the track as they passed the stands but ultimately Hawthorns Melinda held on by a nose to secure her spot in the grand final to be staged on 14th July at Tir Prince. The next meeting at Corbiewood is Thursday 28th June featuring the third leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares' Pacing Series. First race 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

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