Day At The Track

First Anglo-Irish Inter Dominion heat

11:04 AM 01 Jul 2015 NZST
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Meadowbranch Dj  and connections Meadowbranch Dj
Meadowbranch Dj and connections
Meadowbranch Dj (5-1) stamped his authority on the high-class field

It was Ireland and Meadowbranch Stables who dominated the first leg of the Anglo-Irish Inter Dominion series. The curtain raiser to the inaugural competition was held at York Harness Raceway on Saturday over 2400m where Meadowbranch Dj (5-1) stamped his authority on the high-class field with a ten-length victory in a new British record of 3’00”08.

Drawn three, the winner took up the running early for driver John Richardson and held his position throughout, making his race-winning move with half a lap to go when surging clear in record-breaking fashion. Brywinsmagicpotion (drawn 6) – who finished a well-beaten second – could be considered unlucky as, while the winner broke clear, he was trapped last with seven lengths to make up. Meadowbranch Romeo, stable companion of the winner, fended off Saunders Mach 3 for third who failed to justify his short price. The disappointment of the race was Sepia Sands who, despite being popular in the betting, struggled throughout from the worst draw of all and was already two lengths down after the first turn.

After the race, winning driver John Richardson said, “He’s always been a stayer, he hasn’t been on form but he’s come back good today”. When asked about his confidence going forward co-trainer Mark Flanagan confirmed “There are some good horses in the series and you don’t just win it over one race. Four races to keep a horse on the boil, it’s going to be tough.” He also said both of his horses hadn’t quite been on form coming into York which suggests there could be even more improvement over the coming heats. 

This isn’t the first opportunity for the Flanagan team to send a pacer over to the Australasian Inter-Dominion, who had Sable Matters entered in the 1997 renewal. Three weeks before, Mark Flanagan tells the story, the future three-time winner of the series Sir Vancelot was actually beaten in a workout by Sable Matters, however Flanagan’s charge unfortunately failed to make the race due to breaking a side bone.

Meadowbranch Stables are now in a very strong position going into the second heat where they will also have home advantage at Portmarnock on July 26th. Meadowbranch Dj receives the maximum eight points for his clear-cut success with Brywinsmagicpotion snatching six points and MEADOWBRANCH ROMEO four. Saunders Mach 3 picked up two while all four other runners collect one each. Unfortunately both Meadowbranch Josh and Meadowbranch Demon were withdrawals early on in the card and will face an uphill struggle in the next three legs.

The overall heats winner, decided in the finale at Portmarnock on 9th August, will represent Great Britain and Ireland at the $1.8 million TABtouch Inter Dominion series ran at Gloucester Park, Perth Australia in December.

Result – Anglo/Irish Inter-Dominion 2015 – Round One


            7yr old; Real Artist x Search for Cam

            Owner: Meadowbranch Stables & Noel Cowden

            Trainer: William Flanagan

            Driver: John Richardson



            8yr old: Camotion x Life’s Magic Girl

            Owner: James Gammie

            Trainer: Theresa Haythornthwaite

            Driver: Alan Haythornthewaite



            7yr old: Fantastic Western x Churchill Queen

Owner:  Meadowbranch Stables & Watson

            Trainer: William Flanagan

Driver: Noel Ryan

By Michael Andrews

British Harness Racing Club




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