A total of 15 two-year-old colt and filly pacers have entered the 3rd annual Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial this weekend at Portmarnock Trotting Track in Dublin, Ireland.
There will be three five horse field elimination divisions on Saturday, August 9 with the top two official finishers and the fastest two third place finishers to return the very next day, Sunday, August 10, for the finale.
Each preliminary round will race for a purse of 750 euros ($1,000 US) and the final will go for a record 18,500 euros ($25,000 US), making it the richest stakes race ever in the history of harness racing in both Ireland and Great Britain and the richest pacing event ever in all of Europe.
One of the three divisions will be for fillies and the fillies that advance to the final will then draw for the inside post positions.
The draw for post positions will not take place until Saturday afternoon before the start of the race card at Portmarnock, that way all owners, trainers and drivers will be on hand for the draws. The same will take place on Sunday.
Currently the 6/4 favourite and leading contender is Alexander Camden, who was the highest priced yearling ever sold in Ireland and the United Kingdom last season, fetching £38,000 sterling ($53,000 US) at the York Standardbred Sale last year. His is sired by Cambest out of Lola making him a full brother to two sub 1:49 pacers Canyon Wind and Paragon.
In his short career on the track, Alexander Camden seems to be living up to his purchase price as the good looking youngster is being trained by English maestro Mick Lord for Scottish owner Davy Morton. In his four races so far, the colt has two wins and two seconds with his fastest victory in 2:02.3 at York Raceway, the UKs premier half mile track.
However, the fastest of the freshman pacers so far this season is a filly, Carmel Camden, who is owned and trained by Dubliners Derek and James Delaney, who originally developed and sponsored the race back in 2012 in memory of their younger brother Vincent, who tragically past away in 2011 at age 27.
Since the inception of the event, the brothers have dearly sought to have a runner in the line-up and last October they acquired Carmel Camden, a £12,000 sterling ($17,000US) daughter of No Pan Intended out of Pan Cullottes, who were both US Breeders Crown winners respectively back in 2003.
Carmel Camden is the second choice in the early wagering at odds of 7/4. She has made three starts so far and remains undefeated. Her fastest win was 2:01.7 over Portmarnock’s half mile oval, just a few ticks shy of tying the track record for two-year-old fillies.
Another top prospect is Titanium, who was a bargain £3,400 sterling ($5,000 US) yearling purchase and is by super sire Hasty Hall, who has dominated the ranks of the juvenile classic winners in the UK in recent years.
Owned and driven by leading lady driver Vicky Gill of Yorkshire and trained by Vicky’s Dad, John Gill, of the Emerald Stables, Titanium has won two of his three starts so far and has a personal best time of 2.02.2. Vicky and dad John won this race just last year with Camden Tino, so the combination know just what it takes to win the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial. Titanium is listed at odds of 7-1.
Other contenders include Lyons Premier at 5-1, another son of Hasty Hall, who has two impressive starts so far, a strong win at York Raceway in 2:03.3 for Welsh owner/breeder Geoff Mound. Mound races pacers all over Canada and the USA under the Lyons prefix.
Just last week Lyons Premier won a colts division Breeders Crown in the UK by six open lengths in 2:07.2 in defeating It’s My Check with Titanium third over a heavy wet track.; Mikey Camden at 12-1, is by Cambest, who is a £27,000 sterling ($38,000US) yearling purchase, has one win after three starts in 2:03.1 and locally owned Meadowbranch Ideal, an imported son of Western Ideal who has been impressive in three qualifiers so far, but as yet to win at the Dublin venue. He is 7-1.
Listed below are the 15 horses entered in the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Pacing Series for two-year-olds. Morning line odds for the punters are listed next to the name of each horse.
6/4 Alexander Camden
7/4 Carmel Camden (f)
5 Lyons Premier
6 Coalford Tetrick
7 Its My Check
7 Meadowbranch Ideal
12 Mikey Camden
12 Watch Your Back (f)
16 Rhyds Gambler
16 Ballyhill Jimmy
25 Showtime Big Cigar
25 Meadowbranch Millie (f)
33 Regal Sensation (f)
40 Springhill Nancy (f)
(f) denotes a filly
Handicapper Thomas Bennett has put the race in summary.
“Based on all known form this looks like a straightforward match between Carmel Camden and Alexander Camden,” Bennett said, “with the latter just getting the nod. Top trainer Mick Lord has gradually built up momentum with the colt and is improving rapidly whilst a filly has never won this event going against the chances of Carmel Camden. Titanium could upstage the pair of them and Lyons Premier, Coalford Tetrick and Its My Check boast solid credentials and are more than capable of causing a shock.”
In addition to the Delaney Memorial with it eliminations on Saturday and final on Sunday, there are other top race events over the weekend.
“We had more than 150 horses entered for this weekend,” said Derek Delaney, “That is a great number for any weekend meet. Looks like everyone wants to be part of the racing action at Portmarnock.”
The supporting card over the weekend will feature the Oakwood Stud Three-Year-Old Derby; the Paul Murtagh Senior Memorial 4YO Championship and the Elvin/Delaney FFA Trot.
On Saturday starting at 3:00 pm guests at the track are invited to a meet and greet with the three Hall of Famers who have come to Ireland for the event. They are world-class drivers Wally Hennessey from the USA/Canada, New Zealand’s Anthony Butt and calling the major races both days is world-renowned track announcer, Roger Huston.
At 3:30 pm will be the drawing of post positions for Saturday’s race card followed by the special charity auction with proceeds going to the Peita House of Ireland, which is a center for the prevention of self-harm or suicide.
The top item in the auction is a UFO racing sulky from world famous trainer Ron Burke. This bike was used on many of the Burke Stables top horses, including world champion Foiled Again. There will also be six sets of driver’s autographed colours from some of the top horsemen in harness racing.
The racing will get underway Saturday starting at 5:00 pm.
In addition, there will be 18 services to stallion at stud here in Ireland and some in the UK. All the donation from these proceeds will be presented to the representatives from the Pieta House during Sunday’s race program.
Ladbroke’s, the premier sponsor of the Vincent Delaney Memorial, is also giving out a 5 euro match play wager to everyone that comes out to track on Sunday.
Entertainment for the children each day will include a Playbus, face-painting, balloonist, candy cart, a colouring competition and a free goody bag for all the children.
Sunday’s first race post time is 2:00 pm and there will be a competition for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Gentleman and the Best Dressed Couple with some wonderful prizes including a Designer Dress Hire, Hotel Break, Pampering Vouchers and much more.
by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com