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Porcelain Seelster takes Oakwood Stud first leg

Bannock, Scotland - The visiting mare Porcelain Seelster was the first to score in Corbiewood's inaugural mares series on Thursday 22nd June in a competitive affair which saw the first six horses cross the wire with less than a second separating them. It was GDs Baby (William Drysdale) who was first to show as the field settled into Indian file by the first quarter, with the leader coasting through the half and three quarters in good fractions. It was at this stage that the race came alive, with San Diego (John Allan), who had closely tracked the long-time leader, first to mount a serious challenge. Entering the home stretch San Diego nosed in front, yet as soon as she had taken up the running Porcelain Seelster (James Haythornthwaite) had reached top gear and delivered a well-timed challenge along with Dontstoptheparty (Brian Gilvear) who by this stage was having to challenge four wide. As they crossed the line in a pulsating finish, it was Porcelain Seelster who came out on top. Dontstoptheparty snatched second with San Diego in third. The other feature race of the night was billed as a match between the previous two top grade OPH winners from the first two meetings of the season: Indie Hanover (Richard Haythornthwaite) and Robhall (Stuart MacKenzie). The former led out, as his anticipated early rival Stoneriggs Banner (Hugh Menzies) made a break, gifting him an uncontested lead. They headed through the half in 1.02, which compared to last week's sizzling 59 seconds seemed pedestrian. Approaching the three quarter marker there were three obvious dangers: American Gigolo (William Drysdale), Bayrigg Millionayr (Dougie McKenzie) and Camden Massino (Grant Cullen). Of the three, Bayrigg Millionayr emerged from the chasing pack and despite his best efforts, Indie Hanover could not shake off his challenger as Bayrigg Millionayr sprinted to victory. American Gigolo got up for second with the long-time leader finishing third. GDs Hazzard was the first of two wins for English driver Andrew Cairns when going off a hot favourite in the maiden race, following on from his third placed run in the SHRC 3YO Derby the week prior. Cairns' second win came from a catch drive on Camden Rocco in the Grade 1 for Corbiewood-based trainer Alex Taylor. Another winning catch drive secured victory in the maiden and novice combined race, when Richard Haythornthwaite steered the Gregor Menzies-trained Cash home in front. Live In Toyboy (Grant Cullen) made his second start of the season a winning one in the Grade 1 -3 OPH and the multi-disciplined Jasper Hill (Thomas MacKenzie) returned to winning ways in the Grade 3 & 4 OPH. The next meeting at Corbiewood is Thursday 29th June, first race 7.30pm. Featuring the second leg of the Oakwood Stud Mares Pacing Series. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink Race 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VhxnmwgjKE 1st GDs Hazzard (Mypanmar-Jambo Cam) - A Cairns 2nd Lets Party (Dreamfair Vogel-Party West) - B Gilvear 3rd Beach Blizzard (Radiant King-Jennas Desire) - S Murray Time: 2.05.48 Dist: 4 1/2L & 6L Race 2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UDlbrcHcNA 1st Cash (Hasty Hall-Cherokee) - R Haythornthwaite 2nd Red Romeo (Daylon Alert-Red Sarah) - W Drysdale 3rd Royal Mint Howard (Village Marquis-Gold Sovereign) - G Cullen Time: 2.08.81 Dist: 6 1/2L & Neck Race 3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHO1_NqNyE0 1st Camden Rocco (Arts Conquest-Magical Sign) - A Cairns 2nd Evenwood Coolsting (The Firepan-Lamour La Plott) - S MacKenzie 3rd Springhill Catch (Best Sunshine-Springhill Kate) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.06.49 Dist: 10L & 3/4L Race 4 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_efJfFyKZI 1st Live In Toyboy (Village Jasper-Live In Lover) - G Cullen 2nd Wellfield Alfie (Village Connection-Garys Advice) - G Drysdale 3rd Valentine Camden (Pro Bono Best-Lets All Boogie) - W Drysdale Time: 2.05.77 Dist: 2L & 1 1/2L Race 5 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfvBWrJ44GM 1st Jasper Hill (Village Jasper-Eyes Wide Open) - T MacKenzie Jnr 2nd Camden Casper (Yankee Lariat-Lets All Boogie) - G Cullen 3rd Mega Star (Genghis Pan-Party West) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.07.33 Dist: 3/4 & 3/4L Race 6 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n79hmxmTyWM 1st Bayrigg Millionayr (Genghis Pa-Ayr Millennium) - D McKenzie 2nd American Gigolo (Village Jasper-American Beauty) - W Drysdale 3rd Indie Hanover (Well Said-Incredible Margie) - R Haythornthwaite Time: 2.04.46 Dist: 1L & 1 1/4L Race 7 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ0L32XyHZc 1st Porcelain Seelster (Camluck-Pantecostal) - J Haythornthwaite 2nd Dontstoptheparty (Dreamfair Vogel-Party West) - B Gilvear 3rd San Diego (Pro Bono Best-San Carra) - J Allan Time: 2.06.91 Dist: Neck & 3/4L  

Benny Camden, harness racing

Big miles at York Raceway in Derby & Oaks

YORK, UK - Last Saturday York Raceway in York, United Kingdom staged its 14th annual Derby and Oaks festival for 3 year old colts and fillies with a bumper attendance witnessing some top class harness racing. Sixteen of the UK’s best bred colts and geldings lined up in 2 heats of the Derby with the first heat going to the Irish bred Springhill Glory for trainer/driver combination of Sally Teeboon and Patrick Kane in 1:59.5 with Frankie Camden and Rhyds Decoy filling the minor placings. The second heat went to Irish trained raider Benny Camden who comfortably disposed of his nine rivals to win by a distance in 2:00.5. Father Ted and Rhyds Rock Star filled the frame and the scene was now set for an epic final. The Oaks also featured twelve of the UKs finest bred fillies and the opening heat went to Viccy Elvin’s phenomenal female Rhyds Mystique in 2:00.3. Driven by her trainer Vicky Gill the partnership defeated Coalford Honey and Crosshill Ace in 2:00.3. The remaining heat was won by Olivia Camden who held on to defeat a fast finishing Greenhill Debatable and Teatime Preacher in 2:02.9.      In the final of the Oaks, Rhyds Mystique tracked Olivia Camden in the opening quarter before assuming command and from there on in never seen another rival, striding out purposefully to score in 2:01.4 from a rapidly closing Greenhill Debatable and Crosshill Ace. The winner, by Hasty Hall out of CPs Village Jigsaw now remains unbeaten in the UK against her own sex and will continue the one they all have to beat in all the big classics coming up for fillies in 2017.    The Derby final was a much more competitive affair with heat winner Springhill Glory grabbing the rail and setting a blistering pace. Odds on favourite Benny Camden was content to sit in behind the leader at this stage but as the race progressed Rhyds Cocoa flashed up alongside Springhill Glory boxing Benny Camden in. Just as it looked as if he was in a hopeless position trapped in behind a wall of horses, Benny Camden’s driver Alan Richardson sensed that Richard Haythornthwaite was struggling to hold his position aboard Rhyds Cocoa and then the gap finally opened in the stretch Benny Camden shot through it to win rather cheekily in 1:59.5. A big crowd of Irish converged on the winners enclosure including owner Clive Kavanagh and trainer Christy “Hopper” Foran who had a spell as assistant trainer in the US back in the 1960’s and is still considered a master trainer of juveniles in Ireland despite being in the twilight of his career.  When interview, driver Alan Richardson joked he always had the race in the bag and it was all relieved smiles in the winners photograph. The biggest smile of the day however was reserved for Mick Welling, both owner of York Raceway and Camden Stud the breeder of Benny Camden. Established over a decade ago Camden Stud is the home of 6 stallions - Eagle Luck, My Panmar, Art Professor, Stonebridge Galaxy, Arts Conquest and Yankee Lariat aswell as a dozen or so select broodmares where all progeny carry the Camden prefix. Pro Bono Best (now deceased) was one of the Camden Studs founding sires and is the sire of Camden Benny. His dam is the million dollar winner Electrical Art p,3,1:51 and one of Camden’s proven producers. A beaming Welling confirmed on the day that Electrical Art now has a yearling by Eagle Luck currently being prepped for this years sale which will be held, as always, in October at the York venue.  To view the colts final on video click here.  To view the fillies final on video click here.  by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

Sweet Lou, harness racing

Oakwood to have Sweet Lou breedings in Ireland

Offaly, Ireland - Management at Oakwood Stud have announced that they have reached an agreement with Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farms in Pennsylvania in the USA, to have semen shipped over from Sweet Lou, for breeding to pacers in Ireland and the UK. Sweet Lou is sired by Yankee Cruiser out of the mare Sweet Future. As a two-year-old, Sweet Lou set, and still holds, the world record on all sized tracks at 1:49. Sweet Lou currently holds the world record for older horses and the all-age mark on a five-eighths mile track in 1:47 with lifetime earnings of $3,478,894. In the summer of 2014 he won 10 consecutive races, with six consecutive wins in sub 1:48. He is the only pacer in harness racing history to achieve this feat. “It’s an honor for us at Oakwood Stud to be able to work on such a milestone project with Diamond Creek Farms,” said Derek Delaney of Oakwood Stud. “and make World Champion Sweet Lou available to breeders in Ireland & the UK via frozen semen for the 2018 Breeding season. Sweet Lou will be the fastest and richest stallion ever to stand in Ireland and the UK. “The timing of this could not have been better with the juvenile stakes racing at an all-time high with record purses in the Vincent Delaney Memorial, the Sire Stakes Ireland Program and the Breeders Crown UK/IRE in 2017,” Delaney added. “This has encouraged breeders to import record numbers of broodmares from USA in 2016, bred to top US studs and now they will have the opportunity to breed their mares to World Champion bloodlines in their own back yard. This in turn will make for a very exciting and competitive racing opportunity in the future for both Ireland and the United Kingdom. “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Adam Bowden and all the team at Diamond Creek Farms,” Delaney said. “For their shared vision and forward thinking for the future of racing in both Ireland and the UK as we do at Oakwood Stud.”  There is no price yet set on how much breeding’s in Ireland and the UK will cost to Sweet Lou. For more information contact www.oakwoodstud.ie.   From Oakwood Stud

Harness racing

Chris O'Reilly scores double at Drimoleague

WEST CORK, Ireland - Chris O'Reilly took the driving honours when driving a double on his home track in Drimoleague on Sunday. O'Reilly is also is also a member of the Drimoleague Harness Racing Club who promoted the event as a fund raiser for Cancer Connect which provides transport for cancer patients to Cork Hospitals . Lyons Stallone set the ball rolling for O'Reilly in the grade F & E Pace. This son of Silky Stallone took up the running from a number one draw and was never headed seeing off a late challenge from Armoured Bear to win by three lengths. Later in the afternoon O'Reilly completed his brace on Rhyds Panachein the Grade D & C Pace. Again he employed front running tactics on this son of The One Night Pan .The Hitman joined issue with three furlongs remaining but Panache was never in any danger running out a three length winner. "My horses have been running well enough but lady luck has nor been on my side but I got a few breaks today and it keeps the show on the road, " said Chris, who last December became the first West Cork driver to win on US soil in Pompano Beach . Two of the younger generation of drivers on the circuit were on the score sheet today. Anthony Mc Carthy drove his first winner under rules on Fairdays Bret in the Grade F Pace. Ringo Lady and Mr Security had a battle royal for the opening two laps but McCarthy produced the winner on the run to the line and got the verdict by a length from Mr Security with Ringo Lady a head futher back in third. John O'Mahony gave Un Boss a peach of a drive in the Le Trot race for French Trotters. Teenager O'Mahony was quick off the gate and when his rivals lost ground he kept this nine year old at his game and was flattering his rivals with four lengths in hand at the wire. The top Grade Grade B & A Pace had only three runners but it turned out a fantastic renewal. Kestrels Dot Sammy took over from Sunnyside Kildare after a furlong. Normally these small field races tun into Cat and Mouse tactics but not this one. George Deane Memorial winner Hail Spartacus when to war with the leader and Sunnyside Kildare likewise . With two furlongs remaining Hail Spartacus looked a winner but Kieran Sheehy on Kestrels Dot Sammy had a little left in the locker and won by two lengths. Racing opened with a win for the Jennings family with their home bred Heather Breeze. Sam Jennings hit the front with this son of Best sunshine to win by four lengths. Next week the action moves to Lisangle with racing on Saturday evening having a 3.30 Start Time. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE G & G1 PACE The Acorn Life Shield 1st S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE Owner 2nd O'Mahony / O Brien FAME EARNED J O MahonyTJ 3rd O'Farrell MEADOWBRANCH MATT P Hill DIST 4l 10l TIME 2.21.7 5 Ran   GRADE F PACE The Timothy & Catherine O Reilly Cup   1st D McCarthy FAIRDAYS BRET A McCarthy 2nd M O'Donovan MR SECURITY Owner 3rd S & T O'Reilly RINGO LADY T O Reilly DIST 1l HD TIME 2.2.9 7 Ran   GRADE F & E PACE The Black Forest Cup 1st O'Reilly/ O Driscoll LYONS STALLONE C O Reilly 2nd J Boyle ARMOURED BEAR Owner 3rd M Healy BRYWINS STARSHIP Owner DIST 3l 2l TIME 2.20.0 5 Ran   LE TROT GRADE E TO B 1st J O'Mahony UN BOSS J O'Mahony 2nd Inishford Syn SILVANO BELLO T Murphy 3rd D Finn ALINEKA DARCHE D Murphy DIST 4l 10l TIME 3.25.1 4 Ran   GRADE D & C PACE The Duggan Agri Contractor Cup 1st C O'Reilly RHYDS PANACHE Owner 2nd J Hill THE HITMAN M Goggin Jnr 3rd Hegarty/Hurley MAITHA BUACHAILL J Hurley TIME 2.19.1 6 Ran   GRAD B & A PACE The James O Driscoll Memorial Cup 1st K Sheehy KESTRELS DOT SAMMY Owner 2nd S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE D Murphy 3rd P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS Owner DIST 2l 1l TIME 2.18.2    

A world record in harness racing was achieved at York Raceway, in York, England Saturday when Evenwood Sunofagun paced the mile in 1:57.3, a record for pacers under saddle on a half mile track. Owned by Raymond Hushka and trained by Alexis Laidler, the five-year-old gelding by The Firepan, out of the mare, I’m The Last, was also ridden on the day by the UK’s leading trainer, Alexis Laidler. Quickly asserting themselves at the start of the race, Evenwood Sunofagun kept up the blistering pace, cutting fractions of :29, :58, 1:27 and burnt off his rivals one by one to score by more than six lengths in 1:57.3 – a certified new world record. Race favourite, Rhyds Design, was second whilst Afan Romeo and Burning Dust claimed the remaining places. The previous world record was held by Darla Frakes (nee Conklin) who clocked 2:00 in July 1998 at Northfield Park in the USA with the gelding, Highly Rated. Amid chaotic scenes in the winner’s enclosure, Alexis Laidler was surrounded by scores of family and friends and thanked race organizers Lisa Farrelly, Lauren Moran and Sarah Thomas for staging the contest and giving her the opportunity of entering the history books. “He's such a dream horse,” Laidler added about Evenwood Sonofagun. “And I can't believe he has achieved this. Was such a fab day.” Asked about how she came to ride pacers, Laidler stated that she always rode ponies as a child, and in recent years she started taking out the saddle again with some of her aged pacers in order to “sweeten them up” and introduce something different into their training regime. Laidler, is an eight-time Leading Trainer in the UK alongside her husband, William “Rocker” Laidler”, who won that title twice himself, so between them, Great Britain’s power couple have won the last ten trainers titles, an achievement that Alexis is rightly proud off. And now she can add world record holder to her burgeoning resume. When asked about her future ambitions, eclipsing her previous total of 102 winners in a single season, is next on the agenda and some classic race winners along the way are always an added bonus. On hearing the news, previous holder of the record, Darla Frakes, was quickly onto connections of the winner, expressing her congratulations and stated that she never thought her world record would stand for almost 20 years, and she looked forward to seeing some pics and official video of the occasion.   An emotional and overwhelmed Mick Welling, owner and promoter of York Raceway, commented that he never thought in a million years that a world record in harness racing would find a home at the venue, his pride and joy. Heavily involved in the sport in the UK, Welling also runs Camden Stud, which is situated adjacent to York Raceway and currently stands stallions Art Professor, My Panmar, Eagle Luck, Stonebridge Galaxy and Yankee Lariot and is a boutique breeder himself with a dozen or so select broodmares, whose progeny all run under the Camden prefix. To view the world record under saddle mile, click on this link. https://www.facebook.com/scottishharnessracingclub/videos/825934210914763/ By Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

YORK, UK - Come this Saturday afternoon there will be an attempt to break the all-age world record for harness racing Under Saddle on a half mile track at York Harness Raceway in England. The current world record holder is Santo Domingo, who at age 8 in 2015, set the mark for jockey Marita Volstad with a 1:59.3 clocking at Flamboro Downs in Canada. The early favorite is Teresa Haythornwaite's Rhyds Design, who has already won at York with a sulky in 1:57. Rhyds Design will be ridden by Lauren Moran. Another major contender who could set the record is Rocker Laidler's Evenwood Sonofagun, who will be ridden by the Rocker's wife, Alexis Laidler. Rocker said he feels that the record can be broken on Saturday. There are six horses entered in the race. Post positions are drawn the day of the event. Also entered from the Nicholson Stable are Burning Dust and Afan Romeo and the Laidler Stable is also entering JMs Hallstar and Rhyds Solution. The race will be featured live on Facebook from Craig Stevenson. By Craig Stevenson, for York Harness Raceway  

Evenjobb, UK - With summer in full flow the Old Radnor trotting races at Evenjobb provided a wonderful afternoon of harness racing entertainment. The public with racecard in one hand and icecream in the other witnessed superb racing, as the speedy horses responded to top of the ground conditions. Three nursery races preceded the serious races, in the first Kentucky Roam belonging to the Perks family from Presteigne enhanced his growing reputation with another win. In the second race it was Bets All Off (Sargeant Llandrindod) on his first time on the track who claimed first place, while in the third nursery another one with a few runs on the books Immortal Storm (Meaney Merthyr) was first passed the post. The Novice section is very competitive at the moment and this week was no exception as the backmarker Lakeview Meg (Atherton Rees, Narberth) with Debbie Hitchcock on board stormed to victory in the first heat in front of Fronfelen Duchess (Preece Llanbister) with Tyssul Pennylane (Broome, Bromfield) in third. In the second Novice heat Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre) romped away to victory with Mel Langford at the controls in front of the fast finishing Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) while the ever reliable Lanehouse Patch (Thomas, Merthyr) was third. In the first Grade B the in-form George Gentle despite his ten yard handicap claimed an heroic victory for his young owner, trainer, driver Zak Lewis from Welshpool, in second was Arctic Prince (Gwatkin Evenjobb) with Tyssul Pearl (Thomas, Llanbister) in third. Meadowland Maverick with owner, trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones from Evenjobb on board produced a classy run to take the second Grade B heat from the handsome Ayr Ontario (Weigle Llanddewi Velfrey) while Tillies Larg (Evans, Brecon) ran on well to be third. In the first Baby Novice the newly promoted Cool Ice (Gething, Ewyas Harold) partnered by her trainer Derek Pritchard ran a mature race to win from the well respected Talavary Zara (Jones, Evenjobb) with newcomer The Chancer on his first time with Mid Wales racing (Knox, Pandy) was third. Universal Soldier belonging to long time trotting enthusiasts David & Marion Powell from Merthyr Cynog and driven by his trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones won the second Baby Novice race ahead of Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) while Ook Whos Coming (Evans, Brecon) was third. After the break the racing continued with a saddle race where five jockeys battled it out, the spoils going to the experienced Jayne Bevan on No Mercy (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) with Habberley Haste (Lloyd, New Radnor) in second and Nia Patrol (Williams, Ludlow) in third. Four juniors lined up in the next race with experience counting as Ellie Tromans driving Makemeamilliaonayr (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) was first passed the post in front of the hard pulling Wellfield Wally (Bevan, Builth Wells) driven by Rachel Bevan-Thomas while the striking Camden Lock (Lloyd & Samuel, Painscastle) ridden by Jess Samuel was third. The Novice final saw another display of speed from Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre) as Mel Langford urged him to the front where he remained, despite the efforts of his pursuers, again Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) finished strongly in second while Fronfelen Duchess (Preece, Llanbister) was third. The Grade B Final produced another fine run by the much respected George Gentle with his nineteen year old, owner Zak Lewis at the controls beating Ayr Ontario (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) into second while Fold the Notes (Perks, Presteigne) ran on well to be third. The final race of the day was the Grade A, with nine horses lined up, it was Best of the Fleet with owner Matt Lewis from Welshpool claiming a thrilling victory from Chinatown Kolt (Jones, Llanllwni) with Ithon Inmate (Price, Brecon) finishing in third. The Lewis family from Welshpool registering a significant double by winning both the Grade A with Matt Lewis driving and the Grade B with son Zak driving. Next week is the prestigious Presteigne races held on Broadheath common on Saturday, June 24 starting at 1.30 pm. By Brecon and Radnor Reporter in Equine Reprinted with permission of The Brecon And Radnor Express

BANNOCK, Scotland - On Friday 16th June, Corbiewood played host to the prestigious SHRC 3YO Derby, with Grant Cullen partnering the winners of both the fillies division and the colts and geldings division on a night that saw him record a hat trick of driving wins. Victoria Camden put in an impressive performance to reverse last year's SHRC 2YO Futurity placings when beating old rival Crosshill Ace (Andrew Cairns). She overcame a bad draw to take up the running just after the 3/4 marker, with long-time leader Crosshill Ace staying on for second and another Scottish-owned filly, She Be Rockin (Gordon Gilvear) taking the minor honours. Betting favourite Greenhilldebateable did not figure from the worst barrier draw. No Brakes led out and made all, although was tracked throughout by English raider All Good Hanover (Lee Fletcher). The latter could never get within striking distance of the all-the-way winner, who recorded an eye-catching personal best of 2.03.45 in victory. GDs Hazzard (Andrew Cairns) put in a good run to finish third. Betting favourite Tyrion Hanover finished fourth. Cullen's third win on the night came on board a non-winner in three seasons, Wellfield Alfie. Having not won since July 2014, the 8-year-old son of Village Connection debuted this year with a return to winning ways. He took up the running in the final quarter of the race and stayed on to win convincingly from the fast-finishing Camden Rocco (William Drysdale) and San Diego (John Allan). The high grade handicap attracted top quality competitors and what looked like a fantastic race on paper turned out to be even better in reality. Stoneriggs Banner (Ian Hay) led the field through the half in 59 seconds, the fastest this year, and then was forced to fend off several challenges. First challenge came from Camden Casper (Grant Cullen), then Ayr Majesty (Hugh Menzies) as the field stacked up behind them. Approaching the final bend with an eighth of a mile to go, a blanket covered the field and it was Robhall (Stuart Mackenzie) with a four-wide challenge who emerged from the pack to win impressively, with the grey Coalford Chief (Mick Lord) who had faltered early to find himself detached from the field, finishing second. The mare, Sureamsomething (William Greenhorn) found a gap on the rail in the stretch to snatch third. The beginning of the evening saw the first winner of the year for the O'Neil stables from Ayr, with their debutante Ayr Bird (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr) who took up the running at the quarter marker and never looked back. Springhill Catch (William Greenhorn) wore down the long-time leader Tarawood Kiki (Andrew Cairns) in the stretch to win the Maiden & Novice event. Vyrnwy Smoke returned to winning ways when partnered by SHRC Young Driver of the Year 2016, Lauren Moran, for the first time this year at Corbiewood, coming with a well-timed but bold challenge off the final turn to win from Ontop Accountable (Grant Cullen). The next meeting at Corbiewood is Thursday 22nd June featuring the first leg of the Oakwood Stud Mares Pacing Series. First race at 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink Race 1 1st Ayr Bird (Dreamfair Vogel-Grinfromayrtoayr) - H O'Neil Jnr Jnr 2nd Red Romeo (Daylon Alert-Red Sarah) - W Drysdale 3rd Beach Blizzard (Radiant King-Jennas Desire) - S Murray Time: 2.06.45 Dist: 4L & 2L  5 Ran Race 2 1st Springhill Catch (Best Sunshine-Springhill Kate) - W Greenhorn 2nd Tarawood Kiki (Kikikolt-One Mile Meg) - A Cairns 3rd Cardigan Flashman (Doonbeg-Ayr Flight) - R Haythornthwaite Time: 2.06.05 Dist: 1L & Neck  5 Ran   Race 3 1st Wellfield Alfie (Village Connection-Garys Advice) - G Cullen 2nd Camden Rocco (Arts Conquest-Magical Sign) - W Drysdale 3rd San Diego (Pro Bono Best-San Carra) - J Allan Time: 2.05.28 Dist: 5L & 1/2L  7 Ran Race 4 1st Vyrnwy Smoke (Backnthesaddleapan-Vyrnwy Victory) - L Moran 2nd Ontop Accountable (The Preacher Pan-Accountable Joe) - G Cullen 3rd K And M Redpandana (The Firepan-Rosy Red) - H Menzies Time: 2.06.79 Dist: 1 1/2L & 1L   7 Ran Race 5 1st Robhall (Dreamfair Vogel-Yoko Hall) - S MacKenzie 2nd Coalford Chief (Coalford Laag-Life Signs Image) - M Lord 3rd Sureamsomething (Wolfdancer Mindale-Sureamsmart) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.03.95 Dist: 2L & 2L   8 Ran Race 6 1st Victoria Camden (Mypanmar-Penn Kinki Touch) - G Cullen 2nd Crosshill Ace (Cams Card Shark-Vain In Spain) - A Cairns 3rd She Be Rockin (Rocknroll Hanover-Utopia Hanover) - G Gilvear Time: 2.06.10 Dist: 2L & 1 3/4L  8 Ran Race 7 1st No Brakes (Hasty Hall-Panama Canal) - G Cullen 2nd All Good Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-All Tucked Up) - L Fletcher 3rd GDs Hazzard (Mypanmar-Jambo Cam) - A Cairns Time: 2.03.45 Dist: 2 1/2L & 4L  6 Ran  

WEST CORK, Ireland - The wealth of talent in the French Trotters division held by the IB Stables was clearly on display at Dunmanway on Sunday where the Baltimore based yard took both divisions of the Le Trot. Bolero De La Fye the newest recruit to IB looked head and shoulders above his four rivals in the Grade F & E Un Boss and Blanpain De Fol both shared the lead for the first six furlongs but Donal Murphy was oozing with confidence on the winner taking it up and the winning margin of two lengths flattered his rivals . The winner is owned by Aidan Hayes who organises the transport logistics for IB. For good measure the second Murphy runner Silvano Bello finished second. The second win came in the high grade trot. Tarnao Josselyn was sent off favourite in the betting bureau but found Alinka Darche a winner in Portmarnock last week was again waiting in the wings striking a blow with two furlongs to trot and again had two lengths in hand. Chelsie O Driscoll rode her first winner under rules in the saddle race. King Wills Arrival tried to make all here but was reeled in by Fairdays Bret who was having his first run for new owner Derry McCarthy in the final 100 yards to give 16 year old Chelsie her first winner . It was a good day for Derry McCarthy who turned out Rhyds Dilemma to land the Grade D & C Pace. Llywns Allstar set a blistering pace and looked to have shaken off all comers but Mc Carthy produced Rhyds Dilemma in the final furlong to win by a head in a blanket finish. Cruise Howard returned to winning ways in the top Grade pace .IB Mohican led early doors . Hail Spartacus had edged closer and led heading out for the final circuit .All the while Timmy O Leary was waiting for the moment to mount his challenge and done so in the final eighth to win by two lengts. Brywins Starship with Mike Healy in the bike made his seasonal debut a winning one . Healy who trains adjacent to the track led from the start and the winner looks like a very decent type. Alert Code took the opening Grade G & G1Pace . Meadowbranch Matt led for most of the race but surrendered that lead to the winner with Heather Breeze running on to finish second . Next week the action moves to Drimoleague one of the best run meetings on the circuit. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE G & G1 PACE 1st - R Joyce ALERT CODE M O'Reilly 2nd - S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE Owner 3rd - P Hill HILLSIDE AURAILEUS Owner DIST 1/2L 1/2L TIME 2.38.8 5 Ran GRADE F & E TROT 1st - A Hayes BOLERO DE LA FYE D Murphy 2nd - Innishford Syn SILVANO BELLO T Murphy 3rd - J O'Mahony UN BOSS Owner DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.38.6 5 Ran GRADE F & E PACE 1st - M Healu BRYWINS STARSHIP Owner 2nd - M O'Brien HELLBOY Owner 3rd - T O'Reilly RINGO LADY Owner DIST 1/2L HD TIME 2.37.8 7 Ran UNDER SADDLE 1st - D McCarthy FAIRDAYS BRET C O'Driscoll 2nd - F Quill KING WILLS ARRIVAL O'Quill 3rd - S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE E Murphy DIST 1/2L 1L TIME 2.26.8 5 Ran GRADE D & C PACE 1st - D McCarthy RHYDS DILEMMA Owner 2nd - M O Brien LLYWNS ALLSTAR Owner 3rd - J Hill THE HITMAN M Goggin Jnr DIST HD 1L TIME 2.36.2 6 Ran GRADE D C & A TROT 1st - D Finn ALINKA DARCHE D Murphy 2nd - F Quill TARNAO JOSSELYN S Quill 3rd - IB Stables TENOR MESLOIS T Murphy DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.36.1 5 Ran GRADE C B & APACE 1st - C O'Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O'Leary 2nd - P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS L Kelleher 3rd - F Quill IB MOHICAN S Quill DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.32.0 6 Ran          

BANNOCK, Scotland - The season started with a bang at Corbiewood on Friday 9th June, with an eight race card which saw eight different winning drivers. The feature races were the STAGBI Future Broodmares Pace and the Open Preferred Handicap Final which both went the way of Corbiewood stalwarts. Loriznitestar picked up her first victory in the highly competitive STAGBI Future Broodmares Pace which guarantees connections a spot at the national harness racing and breeding awards next spring. The eight-year-old daughter of Dreamfair Vogel was the first to break the 7-horse Indian file when driver Grant Cullen committed her approaching the half. From this point, her and long-time leader Sureamhasty (William Greenhorn) matched strides until the former proved the strongest down the stretch, winning by a length. Caraghs Comet (Thomas MacKenzie Jnr) finished half a length off Sureamhasty in third. The other feature race was the Grades 1-6 OPH Final, with three heats run earlier on the night providing the runners. The first heat went the way of Willie Kyle's Millie May West (John Allan), who toughed a two wide trip for most of the race to give new connections a win by a neck from the three-year-old Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen) who in turn got up in the shadow of the post to steal second from long-time leader Killarney Howard (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr). The second heat saw another long-time leader headed in deep stretch, when the eleven-year-old Jasper Hill (Thomas MacKenzie Jnr) snatched victory from betting favourite Valentine Camden (William Drysdale). Camden Rocco (William Greenhorn) stayed on for third. The third of the three heats bucked the trend, as long-time leader Indie Hanover (Richard Haythornthwaite) shot clear coming home after seeing off the sole challenge of Ayr Pandemic (William Greenhorn) who faded after tough fractions. Stoneriggs Banner (Hugh Menzies) was the best of the rest, finishing five lengths behind the winner, with Bayrigg Millionayr (Richard Thomson) half a length behind in third. Seven horses faced the starter in the final, as Stoneriggs Banner withdrew. Valentine Camden (William Drysdale) showed a good turn of foot from the gate to take the early lead. Indie Hanover (Richard Haythornthwaite) was a persistent challenger throughout as they went through the half in a minute. Coming to the three quarter marker, Indie Hanover slipped the field, however Bayrigg Millionayr (Richard Thomson) emerged from the pack with a determined challenge and despite hooking wheels on the final turn, dug deep to record his 19th lifetime win. Indie Hanover stayed on for second with Jasper Hill (Thomas MacKenzie Jnr) finishing third. The first of the two maiden races was won impressively by the Rocknroll Hanover filly She Be Rockin (Gordon Gilvear) who made all the running to win in comfortable fashion. Her next assignment will be the SHRC 3YO Derby Fillies Division at the next meeting. The second maiden pace was won by Royal Mint Howard (William Drysdale) who went one better than his impressive debut at Appleby by leading from start to finish. The Corbiewood-trained Billy Wilk (William Greenhorn) won the novice pace in decisive fashion. The next meeting at Corbiewood is Friday 16th June, featuring the SHRC 3YO Derby Colts and Fillies divisions. First race is 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink Race 1 1st She Be Rockin (Rocknroll Hanover-Utopia Hanover) - G Gilvear 2nd Ayr Caledonia (Hasty Hall-Ayr Wing) - G Keith 3rd Hawthorns Melinda (Pierce Seelster-Dot Comm) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.07.48 Dist: 7L & 1/2L Race 2 1st Millie May West (Hasty Hall-Aprilmaywest) - J Allan 2nd Victoria Camden (Mypanmar-Penn Kinki Touch) - G Cullen 3rd Killarney Howard (Todays Man-Cams Legend) - H O'Neil Jnr Jnr Time: 2.07.56 Dist: Neck & Head Race 3 1st Jasper Hill (Village Jasper-Eyes Wide Open) - T MacKenzie Jnr 2nd Valentine Camden (Pro Bono Best-Lets All Boogie) - W Drysdale 3rd Camden Rocco (Arts Conquest-Magical Sign) Time: 2.09.2 Dist: Head & 2L Race 4 1st Indie Hanover (Well Said-Incredible Margie) - R Haythornthwaite 2nd Stoneriggs Banner (Banner Yankee-Thepansquickrnthei) - H Menzies 3rd Bayrigg Millionayr (Genghis Pan-Ayr Millenium) - R Thomson Time: 2.04.18 Dist: 5L & 1/2L Race 5 1st Royal Mint Howard (Village Marquis-Gold Sovereign) - W Drysdale 2nd Ayr Superior (Daylon Alert-Whos Laughing) - H O'Neil Jnr Jnr 3rd Daylon Vacation (Daylon Alert-Coalford Quest) - W Greenhorn Time: 2.09.98 Dist: 1L & 3/4L Race 6 1st Billy Wilk (Backnthesaddleapan-Southlands Lady) - W Greenhorn 2nd New London Hanover (Dragon Again-Natural Paradise) - G Gilvear 3rd Fools Delight (Mypanmar-Bettorbynine) - H Menzies Time: 2.06.46 Dist: 6L & 3 1/2L Race 7 1st Loriznitestar (Dreamfair Vogel-Starry Nite) - G Cullen 2nd Sureamhasty (Hasty Hall-Sureamsmart) - W Greenhorn 3rd Caraghs Comet (Soulofthematter-Flyers Comet) - T MacKenzie Jnr Time: 2.06.38 Dist: 1L & 1/2L Race 8 1st Bayrigg Millionayr (Genghis Pan-Ayr Millenium) - R Thomson 2nd Indie Hanover (Well Said-Incredible Margie) - R Haythornthwaite 3rd Jasper Hill (Village Jasper-Eyes Wide Open) - T MacKenzie Jnr Time: 2.04.61 Dist: 1L & 1L        

After a couple of summer showers at the beginning of the Kington and Vale of Arrow meeting held at Evenjobb, the rest of the afternoon was fine and sunny with some exceptionally good harness racing. The long home straight gave plenty of opportunity for horses to time their run to the winning post which meant the camera was called on to confirm the results of many of the races. The two Nursery races were won by the Perks family from Presteigne’s stylish youngster Kentucky Roam with stable driver Becky Williams in the seat and the impressive Garth Vader belonging to the Williams-Pugh family from Brecon driven by trainer Andrew Hardwick. The first race for the punters was the Novice heats, in the first Immortal Breeze and Janet Thomas claiming an expected win for owner/trainer Helen Williams from Llanafan My Amazing Grace (Evans Red Roses) ran a good race in second while new recruit Hurricane Howard (Duggan Llangunllo) was third. In the second Novice heat new Mid Wales member Fantasizing belonging to Stella Havard from Dinmore with her quiet accomplice Martin Roberts at the controls showed a wonderful burst of speed to claim the spoils ahead of the impressive Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis Llanyre) while Lanehouse Patch (Thomas Merthyr) on his first outing this season was third. In the first Grade B heat the well mannered Habberley Haste owned by the Lloyd family from New Radnor driven by trainer Andrew Hardwick was first past the post, in front of the inspiring lady combinations of Mel driving Rhyds Backchat (Elder Blaencelyn) and Becky with Ithon Hannah (Perks Presteigne). Becky Williams partnering the variable Fold the Notes (Perks Presteigne) took the second B heat ahead of the in form George Gentle (Lewis Welshpool) with Meadowland Maverick (Jones Evenjobb) in third. Best of the Fleet with owner Matt Lewis from Welshpool on board is enjoying a winning streak adding another to the season’s tally while the independent Scoobies Dream claimed second with the excitable Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) in third. In the second Grade A heat the back horses soon made up their trail to present a speeding challenge up the home straight with the judges calling for the cameraman who declared the talented Ithon Inmate driven by Derek Pritchard for the Price family from Brecon winning just ahead of the swift Lakeside Pan (Elder New Quay) while Infinatey (Gwatkin Evenjobb) was third. In the first Baby Novice Talavary Zara with owner, trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones on board claimed first prize from a revitalised Immortal Ellie (Hughes Cwmbach) returning after a year off in second while Cool Ice (Gething Ewyas Harold) on his first taste of punter pressure was third. Bad Romance with owner Shane Eggerton at the controls took the second Baby Novice race ahead of C U Maggie (Bevan Llanddewi) running a good race while the backmarker Ayr Fella (Lloyd & Samuel Painscastle) was third. Meadowland Olympic with her young owner, driver Cellan Evans from Newcastle Emlyn took the third Baby Novice so moving up to the Novice division while Greenhill Lillian (Thomas Rhymney) ran on well to be second with Universal Soldier (Powell Merthyr Cynog) in third. In the saddle specialist jockey Jayne Bevan guided her mount Brywins Jo Jo (Jones Ammanford) to a well deserved win from Nia Patrol (Williams, Ludlow) with Tantalizing (Havard, Dinmore) in third. Five junior lined up in the next race with the experienced Ellie Tromans on Habberly Playboy (Johns/Gittins, Shrewsbury) swept all before them while the hard riding Jess Samuel on her mother’s Camden Lock (Lloyd & Samuel, Painscastle) gained a worthy second with the baby novice Posezest (Bevan Builth) and Rachel Bevan-Thomas was third Ceri Bevan on the idiosyncratic Beacon Sorcerer (Bevan Llanddewi) and Izzy John on Forest Gump (Duggan Llangunllo) completed the field. In the Novice final the camera was again called to separate the victors, with the impressive Immortal Breeze (Helen Williams of Llanafan) driven by Janet Thomas given the verdict from the speedster, Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) while third place went to another talented horse, Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre). Picking the winner in the Grade B final was no easy task as nine horses lined up but the individualist Fold the Notes owned and trained by the Perks family from Presteigne and driven by the enthusiastic Becky Williams was first passed the post ahead of Habberley Haste (Lloyd New Radnor) while Arctic Prince (Gwatkin Evenjobb) was third. The Grade A final was the conclusion of the day’s racing where the talented Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) claimed another victory with trainer Debbie Hitchcock in the seat, in second was the speedy backmarker Infinatey (Gwatkin Evenjobb) while Lakeside Pan (Elder New Quay) had to be content with third. That completed a good afternoon of racing, next weekend is one of the rare occasions when Mid Wales racing is on a Sunday as the go-ahead Talgarreg committee host their fixture on Sunday June 11 starting at 1.30pm By Brecon and Radnor Reporter in Equine Reprinted with permission of The Brecon & Radnor Express

The first visit to Ceredigion this season produced a good afternoon of harness racing without sunshine but with no rain to spoil the show. The big open track as always provided classic racing with some close finishes to test the cameraman. Derek Pritchard drove both winners of the two Nurseries at the beginning of the day with Ithon JR owned by the Thomas family from Llanbister winning the first and Cool Ice (Gething Ewyas Harold) victorious in the second. The Novice race was a straight race this week with the well regarded Immortal Breeze (Williams Llanafan) and partnered by Mel Langford coming home in front of The Wow Factor (Lewis Welshpool) on his season’s debut in second and My Amazing Grace (Evans Red Roses) in third. In the first grade B heat Hyar Temptation with her owner Janet Thomas from Tregroes at the controls swept up the home straight to snatch victory ahead of fast finishing Meadowland Maverick (Jones Evenjobb) with long-time leader Tyssul Pearl (Thomas Llanbister) holding on gallantly to third. In the second grade B George Gentle with owner Zak Lewis from Welshpool on board enjoyed their first taste of open racing by making the most of their guaranteed pole position to win comfortably from the well named Fold the Notes (Perks Presteigne) while Ayr Ontario (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) was third. Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) and trainer Debbie Hitchcock claimed the first heat of the Grade A from Habberley Playboy (Jones/Gittins, Shrewsbury) with No Mercy (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) third. In the second heat Best of the Fleet repeated last week’s heat win with owner Matt Lewis from Welshpool on board coming home just in front of Ithon Inmate (Price Brecon) while local horse Lakeside Pan (Elder New Quay) was third. In the Baby Novice race the impressive youngster Ithon Nitro with owner Andrew Bevan from Builth in charge swept to the front to win decisively from Meadowland Olympic (Evans Newcastle Emlyn) and deputy driver Celyn Evans in the seat in second with the speedy Talavary Zara (Jones Evenjobb) in third. The next race was the Junior this always a favourite as the younger members of the family get their chance to have a go. Ellie Tromans from Newcastle Emlyn is a very experienced jockey but this week was her first effort at driving, but her partner Immortal Breeze (Williams Llanafan) was a willing collaborator and they were first over the line in front of Rachel Bevan-Thomas from Builth on her own Posezest. The next race on the card was the ladies race, and Rebecca Williams who loves leading the field, found a willing partner in the Baby Novice Ithon Nitro (Bevan Builth Wells) as they scorched around the track not allowing anyone to challenge their position. Brywins Jo Jo (Jones Ammanford) and Makemeamillionayr (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) had to be content with the minor places. The Consolation followed and again it was a Baby Novice, Ceiron Blue Boy (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) who claimed the race with his young driver Louisa Barton in the seat ahead of Tyssul Opal (Meaney, Merthyr) while Nia Patrol and dedicated owner Paul Miles was third. The afternoon ended with the two open finals, in the Grade B George Gentle with owner Zak Lewis from Welshpool won convincingly from the striking Meadowland Maverick (Jones Evenjobb) while talented Fold the Notes (Perks Presteigne) was third. In the Grade A Final four horses swept across the line to produce a blanket finish, the verdict went to Ithon Inmate (Price Brecon) and Derek Pritchard while Best of the Fleet (Lewis Welshpool) for the second week in a row finished in second place this week beating Chinatown Kolt (Jones Llanllwni) into third. At the end of the week we return to Powys when the old committee of Kington and the Vale of Arrow host a meeting at the Evenjobb track, on Saturday June 3 starting at 1.30pm. Nursery race 1 1 Ithon JR (Derek Pritchard) owned Thomas Llanbister trained Pritchard Rhosgoch 2 Hilltop Recon 3 Brywins Awesome Time: 2:18.03 Nursery – race 2 1 Cool Ice (Derek Pritchard) owned & trained Gething Ewyas Harold 2 Ithon Overdrive 3 Hobgoblin Time: 2:14.81 Novice 1 Immortal Breeze (Melanie Langford) owned & trained Williams Llanafan 2 The Wow Factor 3 My Amazing Grace Time: 2:10.07 Grade B – heat 1 Hyar Temptation (Janet Thomas) owned & trained Thomas Tregroes 2 Meadowland Maverick 3 Tyssul Pearl Time: 2:10.72 Grade B – heat 2 1 George Gentle (Zak Lewis) owned & trained Lewis Welshpool 2 Fold the Notes 3 Ayr Ontario Time: 2:08.59 Grade A – heat 1 1 Chinatown Kolt (Debbie Hitchcock) owned Jones Llanllwni trained Hitchcock Haverfordwest 2 Habberley Playboy 3 No Mercy Time: 2:10.25 Grade A – heat 2 1 Best of the Fleet (Matt Lewis) owned & trained Lewis Welshpool 2 Ithon Inmate 3 Laleside Pan Time: 2:10.94 Baby Novice 1 Ithon Nitro (Andrew Bevan) owned & trained Bevan Builth Wells 2 Meadowland Olympic 3 Talavary Zara Time: 2:10.56 Junior 1 Immortal Breeze (Ellie Tromans) owned & trained Williams Llanafan 2 Posezest (Rachel Bevan-Thomas Time: 2:14.69 Ladies 1 Ithon Nitro (Rebecca Williams) owned & trained Bevan Builth Wells 2 Brywins Jo Jo 3 Makemeamillionayr Time: 2:04.94 Consolation 1 Ceirion Blue Boy (Louisa Barton) owned & trained Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey 2 Tyssul Opal 3 Nia Patrol Time: 2:14.97 Grade B Final 1 George Gentle (Zak Lewis) owned & trained Lewis Welshpool 2 Meadowland Maverick 3 Fold the Notes Time: 2:05.93 Grade A Final 1 Ithon Inmate (Derek Pritchard) owned Price Brecon trained Pritchard Rhosgoch 2 Best of the Fleet 3 Chinatown Kolt Time: 2:07.78 By Brecon and Radnor Reporter in Equine  

"We thought we would get a good entry, but over 120 was beyond our target" said Caroline Collins of the Red John Memorial Committee when the final entry lists for The Red John Memorial Pace , The Maven Trotters Derby and The Oakwood Stud Three Year old grass pacing championships were published this week. "Since Bill Donovan one of the leading owners on the USA harness racing scene came to us with a major sponsorship deal early in the year we have worked hard to make this happen"added Collins. "At first people we a bit sceptical about the format of the three classics which sees a nomination fee plus two sustaining payments but with support from the ITHRF and the IHRA, but owners have grasped with the idea and we look forward to a weekend of top class racing at a new grass venue in Lyre Clonakilty. " " To be fair, Ger Hegarty, who owns the venue, is a horse owner and he is making improvements to the field. People must understand that unlike Portmarnock we are starting with a green field and must turn this into a harness racing amphitheatre .There is a natural grandstand in the field which provides a panoramic view of the beautiful local country side" "The IHRA have looked after the clerical side of things which have given us more time to plan the day to day organising of the weekend. Booking of hotels in the area has been brisk but with the help of Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce we have a full list of all types of accomadation to ensure those travelling will be able to taste the local hospitality" said Collins. The next sustaining payment comes on June 20th. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink    

WEST CORK, Ireland - Hail Spartacus gave 15-year-old Luke Kelleher his first classic success when landing the George Deane Memorial at Dunmanway West Cork on Sunday writes Tim Kelleher. Three elimination heats were held with two horses going forward to the final. In the opening heat County Limerick raider Saunders Jubilee was "on the busses" in the betting ring and this son of Play With A Full Deck landed the odds but only just .He led from the start but just held on from Lyons Stallone who only saw daylight in the final 100 yards but the post came in time for Jubilee. Heat two went to Llywns Allstar who loves the front and driver Mike O Brien kept this son of Hasty Hall about his business. Favourite Camden Corleone looked a winner with two furlongs to pace but "Allstar" pulled out a little bit extra two win by two lengths. Cruise Howard second last week was the punters choice in the third heat and was put to sleep for most of the ten furlong contest by Timmy O'Leary and oozed to a comprehensive 3 length winning margin . In the final Cruise Howard was again the punters fancy despite a 50 yard handicap . Saunders Jubilee and Lyons Stallone led for the first mile of the contest. Cruise Howard and Hail Spartacus a 30 yard trailer soon joined issue and turning for home Hail Spartacus wore down his rival to give Luke Kelleher his first major success on the circuit . The winner who won the Grand Prix at this venue last year a son of Swingman and Meadoebranch Katie was bred by his owners the Hill Family who run Hillside Farms one of the top breeding nurseries in Cork. "He's as tough as nails and runs with his heart on his sleeve, " A delighted Pete Hill told the post race press briefing. The Trotteur Francais race produced another epic battle. Tarnao Josselyn second on the beach had everything bar the kitchen thrown at him by his six rivals but saw off all the challengers to win from lVaillant Forgion. Blanpain Le Fol led from the start but the winner took it up after two furlongs and was neverheaded. King Wills Arrival made it a double for the Quill family when taking the low grade under saddle race .Sunnyside Kildare tried to take on king Wills Arrival after a lap, but Oisin Quill was not giving away the top spot and as Brywins Picasso also loomed large but the US import held on by a neck. Meadowbranch Demon took the high grade under saddle race. Wellfield Ghost and Rhyds Destiny played battle up front but "The Iron Horse" showed why he earbned that name grinding down the pace setters to ease to a 3 length win. Coalford Bruce took the Grade G & G1 Pace for catch driver Patrick Hill . This son of Rogue Hall has been "tough"to keep right but showed his true colours despite an early break All roads lead to Dundalk Stadium next week for the big PMU meeting, by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS (ALL RACES 1 Mile 300 yards GEORGE DEANE MEMORIAL HEAT ONE GRADE F & E 1st M Shanahan SAUNDERS JUBILEE J Manning Jnr 2nd O'Driscoll / O'Reilly LYONS STALLONE C O'Reilly 3rd J Shanahan FAIRDAYS BRET M Kelleher DIST 1/2l 3l TIME 2.38.5 6 Ran HEAT TWO 1st M O'Brien LLYWNS ALLSTAR Owner  2nd  O'Reilly/Hurley CAMDEN CORLEONE M O'Reilly 3rd F Quill IB MOHICAN F Quill Jnr DIST 2l NK TIME 2.37.8 5 Ran HEAT THREE 1st C O Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O'Leary 2nd P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS L Kelleher 3rd C O'Reilly RHYDS PANACHE Owner DIST 3l 2l TIME 2.39.8 5 Ran FINAL FINAL 1st P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS L Kelleher 2nd C O Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O'Leary O'Reilly /Hurley CAMDEN CORLEONE M O'Reilly DIST 3/4l 5l TIME 2.36.6 6 Ran LOW GRADE UNDER SADDLE 1st F Quill KING WILLS ARRIVAL O Quill 2nd O Farrell /Kelleher BRYWINS PICASSO L Kelleher 3rd S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE E Murphy DIST 1/2l 3l TIME 2.37.0 4 Ran HIGH GRADE UNDER SADDLE 1st Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH DEMON L Kelleher 2nd J Shanahan RHYDS DESTINY M R Shanahan 3rd J Manning WELLFIELD GHOST R Manning DIST 3l 1/2l TIME 2.32.6 4 Ran GRADE G & G1 1st J Shanahan COALFORD BRUCE P Hill 2nd J Payne GET ROCKIN J Manning Jnr 3rd S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE Owner DIST 3l 3l TIME 2.39.8 8 Ran TROTTEUR FRANCAIS 1st F Quill TARNAO JOSSELYN F Quill Jnr 2nd O'Sullivan / Goggin VAILLANT FORGION M Goggin Jnr 3nd F Quill VA REINE DU PONT S Quill DIST 2l 1/2l TIME 2.53.7 7 Ran                      

County Armagh, Ireland - The curtain rose on Annaghmore's 2017 season with an ultra competitive 5 race programme on Wednesday evening where a bumper crowd seen some of Irelands harness racing stars come out to play for the first time this campaign.   All races were covered on Facebook live for those who could not be present, a pioneering move in keeping with the worldwide trend of broadcasting harness racing events live as they happen so all credit to Annaghmore for leading the charge in Ireland in this regard.   The opening race on the card for Grade G & G1 pacers was won by Triplicate driven by Jonathan Dunne in 2:02.6. By the mighty Doonbeg whose progeny are experiencing a purple patch in the UK at present out of US import Tripleplay Hanover.   The four year old bay gelding came with a storming late challenge to defeat Alicolt which looked to have the race in the bag turning for home. Early leader Pandercrombie held on for third sport ahead of Meadow Camden with the winning margins 1 1/2 lengths and 4 lengths respectively. Best Of Lou Lou looked to have the race at her mercy last Sunday at Portmarnock, but popped off-stride in the shadows of the post. The Noel Ryan driven french trotter made no such mistakes on Wednesday in the Grade D, E & F cruising to a bloodless victory over Tamalou Perrine and Bavoure De Mai in 2:05 .2 to the delight and relief of owner-trainer John Morgan from Omeath. Newtown Rock was a notable non-runner from the next event the C,D,E,& F pacing handicap which went the way of Rhyds Cobbler in a thrilling finish. Springhill KG had led them a merry dance in this and it looked as if Jonathan Dunnes charge had enough left in the tank to repel all challengers.   Simon Duggan had other ideas however and sent Rhyds Cobbler into overdrive at the 3/4 pole and the Hasty Hall bred sprinted from last to first to land the spoils by a length in 2:00.1. The luckless Springhill KG hung on for second spot a further half length ahead of Meadowbranch Kiki. Six french trotters graded A, B & C faced the starter in the penultimate race with Une De Donzy first to show pursued by Solicitor and Urmine De Mai. Favourite Umbratica spent the first circuit gradually wearing down her initial 20 yard handicap and when asked to quicken by driver John Richardson on the back straight for the final time the response was immediate.   Moving alongside Une De Donzy rounding the final bend Umbratica battled her way to the front and past the post with a half length to spare in 2:05.3 with Solicitor another length back in third spot. There wasnt a dry eye in the house after the final race on the card, the A, B & C pacing handicap, when the locally trained Astounding held on to deny red-hot favourite Porterstown Road in an epic battle up the home straight.   Partnered by Martin McSparron, Astounding was driving all last season without winning by young Kyle McSparron who tragically passed away in the off-season so this first win for the McSparron family was all the more poignant.   A spontaneous round of applause on his post victory parade warmed the bumper crowds hearts on what was a chilly evening and its moments like these that make harness racing the best equine sport in the world.   Clocking an impressive 1:59 the combination had a length and a half to spare over Porterstown Road with another 5 lengths back to Rhyds Boots in third. Annaghmore run again on Saturday 5th June with a full card of PACING RACES ONLY scheduled so purists of this discipline will relish the first such card of this type in many years.   A guaranteed record crowd is expected and with prizemoney of £500 per race - paid in cash on the day, the card will fill up fast so please text all entries to Carmel Stewart on 0044 7891005707. All of Wednesdays races can be viewed on the NI Standardbred Association Facebook page. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

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