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Oakwood Star Cam, harness racing

Multiple track records fall at Tir Prince

WALES, UK - It was a first class night of racing at Tir Prince Raceway, north Wales, on Saturday 9th June as the track played host to the NWHOA 2 and 3 year old divisions for colts and fillies, as well as the first heat of the Crock of Gold. The first race on the card was a maiden and novice event, which saw the heavily-backed Teatime Preacher (William Laidler) take up the running at the half and go further and further away from the field, with only Triplicity (Jonathan Dunne) putting up any sort of chase. This was the four-year-old mare's first start for the Laidler stable and she made it an impressive one, breaking the track record for her age category in 1.59.1. This half-sister of top racehorse Stamp Hill looks to be going places. The next race was the Le Trot/TrotBritain Silver Division trot over a mile and a half and in a repeat of the race at Appleby two weeks earlier, Bora Bora De Seg (Andrew Cairns) led the field into the final turn with Amazing (Jason Ali) hot on its heels. The leader put in a replica performance and broke stride when being strongly pressed, leaving Amazing a clear run home to notch up its second consecutive win since being imported to the UK. The Brightwells-sponsored 2YO Fillies pace was dominated by two fillies, eventually being won by the sales-topping filly from last October, Oakwood Starcam (John Richardson), who led out and made all. The Mockingjay (Marc Jones) put in a strong show to finish second and clear of the field. The winner set a new track record for her age division in 2.01.1. The 3YO fillies followed, and it was another Irish-trained filly which dominated. Last year's record-breaking 2YO filly and BHRC Overseas Horse of the Year, Robyn Camden (Clive Kavanagh), led out and was never to be headed, setting a new track record for her age division in 1.57.3. Rhyds Sapphire (William Laidler) and Ayr Empress (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr) were the best of the rest, finishing some 16L behind in second and third respectively, with only a nose splitting them. After the VDM Fillies Final winner had notched up her first victory of the 3YO season the VDM Colts Final winner Matticulous (William Laidler) was set to do the same. The BHRC 2YO Colt of the Year settled mid-pack in the early part of the race, and then tipped three wide in the last quarter to take up the running, closely pursued by Monsieur Bibeau (John Richardson) who could never match the leader in the stretch. The winner pulled up in 1.58.6. The first Crock of Gold heat for Free For All pacers looked set to be dominated by last year's joint winners Evenwood Sonofagun and Miraculous, and the four-year-old track record holder Rhyds Rock Star who was drawn in pole position. As expected, Rhyds Rock Star (James Haythornthwaite) led out and set good fractions. At the three quarters, Rockin Mambo (Marc Jones) tipped out to challenge and cleared the leader with ease. He was followed by Coalford Tetrick (Alan Wallace Snr) but was never to be challenged and came home in an overall track-record equalling time of 1.56.1 much to the delight of owner/trainer/driver Marc Jones and his wife Jenny. The five-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover was purchased by Marc and Jenny at Harrisburg as a weanling, as was his mother Mambo Western at the same sale. The fifth leg of the BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Co. Star Makers series went to Borntorun (James Haythornthwaite), who had previously put in a good performance in the first leg at Tregaron before going on to win at Appleby two weeks ago. Borntorun joins the other leg winners in the grand final at Tir Prince on Saturday 14th July. The penultimate race of the night was the Le Trot/TrotBritain Gold Division trot over a mile and a half and the unbeaten this season Valseur Du Cygne (William Laidler) dominated throughout to take victory. The Irish visitor, Ultimo D'ouville (Billy Roche), the winner of the FFA Trot at Portmarnock at the VDM weekend last year, put in a good show to finish second over the extended distance, with the 2 mile World Record Holder Vichy De Moem (Jonathan Dunne) finishing third on his debut for new connections in the UK. The last race on the card was the Brightwells-sponsored 2YO Colts & Geldings division for pacers. Takemetothelimit (Alan Haythornthwaite), the half-brother to earlier winner Borntorun, won on his career debut in an eventful race which saw multiple horses make mistakes. The winner was flawless and did not appear fazed by the magnitude of the occasion to land the spoils. Christy Camden (William Laidler) put in an eye-catching performance to finish strongly in the stretch to take second. Long-time leader Anglesey Fallguy (Patrick Kane Jnr) faltered on the last bend when in front, losing his position, before recovering and running on for third, however broke stride again on the line and was demoted to fourth position behind betting favourite Rhyds Seeandbeseen (James Haythornthwaite). Racing returns to Tir Prince on Saturday 30th June featuring five Group 1 races, a STAGBI Future Broodmares Race and heats of the 3YO and 4YO Le Trot/TrotBritain Series Finals. If last night is anything to go by, then we are in for another treat in three weeks' time! by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

George Deane, harness racing

Rhyds Panache takes George Deane Memorial

WEST CORK, IE - Rhyds Panache took out the first big handicap of the season The George Deane Memorial at a sunny Dunmanway on Saturday evening. Three heats saw two qualifiers going forward to the grand final HEAT ONE Rhyds Heartbeat set all the fractions in the opening heat .Donal Murphy sent the veteran to the front and led until the final corner.Here the chasing pack closed in and Western Dreamer got up on the line to beat Heather Breeze and Springhill Doyle in a blanket finish HEAT TWO Earnies Umpire was all the rage in the betting ring .Hurry Up Abi off the plum one draw went to the front early and was not for catching with Earnies Umpire running on to claim the second qualifing slot with The Hitman third HEAT THREE Rhyds Panache was quick at the start to lead from Hail Spartacus.Heading out on the final circuit the field had closed in on the leader but Chris O Reilly let out an inch of rein and eased to a 7 length winning margin from Hail Spartacus with Supreme Sunshine third FINAL Hurry Up Abi was again quick from the start and was follwed by Earnies Umpire and Heather Breeze . The order remined much the same until the final quarter where Rhyds Panache was st alight and won going away from Hurry Up Abi. 6 lengths the distance . "I think he needed the run on the beach and ran well in Dundalk so I was confident of a big performance today" said winning owner /trainer and driver Chris O Reilly about the nine year old son of The One Night Pan "He take a hit in the handicap for today but we tak our chances in The Red John Memorial next weekend" O Reilly added and himself and Red John were workmates and life long friends . Waxies Dargle broke his Maiden tag for Mike Shanahan in the G & G1 Pace . The pair led after the firts circuit and were not for catching Cupidon De Breteil took the le Trot race. Himself and Avetot traded blows for most of the contest but the latter went off stride in the final 100 yards to hand the race to the winner. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS George Deane Memorial Heat One 1. Western Dreamer PJ Cleary 2. Heather Breeze S Jennings 3. Sprighill Doyle M O Reilly DIST 1 1/2 TIME 2.12.2 Heat Two 1. Hurry Up Abi J Manning 2. Earnies Umpire M O Reilly 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST 3 1 TIME 2.08.1 Heat Three 1. Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. Hail Spartacus P Hill 3. Supreme Sunshine J Boyle DIST 8 1/4 TIME 2.05.6 Final ! Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. Hurry Up Abi J Manning 3 Earnies Umpire M O Reilly DIST 6 11/2 TIME 2.04.3 Race 5 1. Waxies Dargle M Shanahan 2.Moorside Captain J O Mahony 3. Shanes Income D McCarthy DIST 6 3 TIME 2.14.8 Race 6 1. Cupidon De Breteil F Quill Jnr 2. Avetot D Murphy 3. Un Boss J O Mahony DIST 8 20 TIME 2.19.7 Next weekend the Red John Memorial Festival weekend takes place in Lyre Clonakilty with racing on Sat and Sun First Race both days 2 PM start .

William Greenhorn, harness racing

Corbiewood STAGBI Pace to Dynamic Ace

CORBIEWOOD, UK - On Friday 8th June, Corbiewood Stadium played host to the first of two STAGBI Future Broodmares races for pacing mares aged 4 and older. Seven mares faced the starter in the Open Preferred Handicap, all seven of which are entered for the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series which begins next week. Seasonal debutante Tarawood Joy (Hugh Menzies) led out from the gate from post position three, passing Dynamic Ace (William Greenhorn) and Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen) who were drawn inside her. The former settled in second on the rail with the latter finding herself parked two wide. The leader set good fractions with the field remaining largely unaltered in formation until Porcelain Seelster (James Haythornthwaite) tipped out down the back straight on the final lap to go three wide, looking a danger to the leader. Victoria Camden began to tire heading into the straight which allowed Dynamic Ace the room to deliver her challenge having enjoyed the pocket trip. Lady Mary (William Drysdale) followed Dynamic Ace through but found herself with little racing room in the closing stages, and Dynamic Ace went on to head long-time leader Tarawood Joy for a length victory in 2.05.9. Lady Mary was beaten a neck back in third. The track also played host to the fourth BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Co. Star Makers heat, with five horses lining up. Al Jolson (John Smart), who was returning to the racetrack following three seasons away from racing, led out from post position three and dictated the race from on top. Brywins Mayhem (William Greenhorn) challenged the leader in the first half; Ceiron JD (Richard Haythornthwaite) then tipped three wide to mount his challenge, a challenge which proved to be short lived. It was then Dynaramic (Hugh Menzies) which popped out of the pack to become the danger to the leader however a mistake around the stable bend left the leader clear to record a five length victory on his seasonal debut. Al Jolson now progresses to the grand final at Tir Prince on Saturday 14th July where he will join Laneside Layla (Leg 1), Soul Search (Leg 2), Father Ted (Leg 3), Borntorun (Leg 5) and Ithon Orbit (Leg 6). Three legs of the series remain, with the third and final Scottish leg due to be staged on Thursday 21st June at Corbiewood. The evening featured two open preferred heats and a handicap final, with the first heat going the way of Saunders Hoochie (William Drysdale), a victory which ended a 30-run losing streak. The second heat was won by Stoneriggs Banner (Hugh Menzies) making this his 24th career victory; both winners led out and made all in their respective races. Claire & Shane Fletcher's three-year-old filly Ella Mana Mou (James Haythornthwaite) broke her duck when she led out and made all in the maiden and novice combined event. The final race of the night was the Grades 1-10 handicap final which provided the finish of the night. Killarney Howard (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr), who scraped into the final with a fourth-place finish in heat one, managed to hold his position in the final to lead out. Stoneriggs Banner (Hugh Menzies) briefly headed the leader coming into the stretch however Killarney Howard found extra to gain the upper hand; Robhall (Gregor Menzies) came with a four-wide power-packed finish to get up in the shadow of the post. Stoneriggs Banner stayed on to finish third. This was Robhall's 20th lifetime win with it being catch driver Gregor Menzies' first time behind the horse. Racing returns to Corbiewood on Friday 15th June featuring the first leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series and the SHRC 3YO Derby divisions for fillies and colts & geldings. First race 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Springhill Ruby, harness racing

The sun shines on Appleby and Team Laidler

Harness racing fans could not have asked for better weather as they descended on Holme Farm, Appleby-in-Westmorland in the heart of Cumbria for two days of quality racing, featuring three Group events on Sunday 27th and Monday 28th May. And last season's champion trainer and driver duo Alexis and William 'Rocker' Laidler couldn't have asked for much more either as their stable notched up 9 wins from the 21 races across the festival, along with a bit of help from Scotland's leading driver, William Greenhorn. Blackwell Tiana, a winner two weeks earlier at Tregaron, dug deep in the stretch to hold off Royal Mint Howard (Grant Cullen) to record their first win of the meeting in the third of the four heats for the Group 2 Appleby Spring Sunday Final. More success followed immediately in the fourth heat, when Springhill Ruby made easy work of her competitors to finish up a 5 length winner in the top heat. It was to be three on the bounce as Rocker guided the impressive French trotter, Valseur Du Cygne, to an effortless win in the Gold Aged Le Trot. Afterwards during the interview, trainer Alexis strongly suggested that this horse could be exported to Canada to race before the season is out. The stable then recorded a training 1-2 in the maiden and novice event as William Greenhorn and Bobby Camden pipped Rocker and Laneside Layla on the line. The three-year-old son of Art Professor looks to be improving with every start having notched up his first career win on his third attempt. With three runners in the final, Rocker opted for betting favourite Springhill Ruby with William Greenhorn partnering Springhill Calaburn (runner up in heat 2) and co-owner Jonjo McMeekin taking the reins behind Blackwell Tiana. Springhill Ruby gave connections a scare when faltering on the first lap and losing ground after breaking, however in similar style to her win at Tregaron earlier in the month, she overtook the field to battle it out in the stretch with Springhill Catch (Grant Cullen), Blackwell Tiana (Jonjo McMeekin) and Royal Mint Howard (James Haythornthwaite), eventually getting up to record victory by half a length for the Stewart family. On day two, the stable's first win on the card came again in the third of the four heats, this time for the Group 1 Appleby Whit Monday Spring Races Final. And it was William Greenhorn who landed the win with Jack Swagger, a horse he and his wife Joyce bred but later sold to 2017 Leading Owners Raymond & Frank Huschka. Not content on finishing in the placings, Rocker made his debut in the winner's circle a couple of races later with their homebred Merrington Movinup, an impressive winner of heat and final at Tregaron in aged company who returned to the 3YO ranks and dominated the colts and fillies mixed event. The wins came in quick succession for Rocker as he partnered another homebred Merrington Doublel for owner/trainer Brian Liddle in the first of the maiden and novice combined races, before having to do it the hard way with Rhyds Sapphire in the second division when the pair battled it out in the stretch with long-time leader Hawthorns Henry (Leo Arnett) to get up by three parts of a length. Once again, Alexis Laidler fielded multiple runners in the final, with Rocker partnering Frankie Camden (runner up in heat 2) and William Greenhorn retaining the drive on Jack Swagger. When the latter sprinted clear for an impressive victory in his heat, Greenhorn had been clearly delighted to see the horse back to, if not surpassing, his best, although by his own admission if defeat came in the final then connections would happily accept the sole victory on the day from a horse who has suffered many issues in his career. It was not to be the case however, as Jack Swagger kicked clear down the back straight on the last lap and was clearly not for catching as his driver roared him home to a comfortable and emotional victory for everyone concerned. Afterwards, Alexis [Laidler] was overcome with emotion during her interview as it has been an established fact that not that long ago it seemed as though Jack Swagger, or 'Maxi' as he is affectionately known, might never race again. However, perseverance, dedication and ultimately faith in the horse brought him back to the track and on this day, he repaid all of those associated with him. With 9 training wins for Alexis, including all three Group races, and 7 driving wins for Rocker, it seems they are once again leading the way in British harness racing. That said, there were 12 other winners across the weekend outwith the stable. Richard Haythornthwaite opened proceedings on Sunday when guiding the Swinbank's Ceiron JD to victory in the novice pace. He returned to the winner's circle later in the day with the 4YO French Trotter Emirat Du Levant, a horse he described as 'the further he goes, the better he goes', when winning the Le Trot 4YO Gold Division. The following day he took out the second heat of the major handicap aboard Ghengis Pride who was a impressive 3 length winner. Brother James added further wins to trainer (and mother) Teresa's tally on Monday, taking the first race on the card with maiden winner Borntorun who showed potential at Tregaron, and then bringing Teresa and owners Claire & Shane Fletcher to tears when winning the top heat with Sports Trick, another horse who has overcome adversity to return to racing. A catch drive for trainer John Gill on board Imperial Deal gave James his driving treble on the day when leading from start to finish in the first two-year-old event of the racing season, a race in which Gill fielded four of the six starters and landed a training 1-2-3-4. The Scottish travelled south for the meeting with high hopes and were pleased to land the spoils in a few of the races, with the first Scottish victory coming by way of the Hamish Muirhead-trained Dynaramic, driven by Hugh Menzies in a photo finish with Western Lover (Peter Jackson) in the first heat on Sunday. Menzies was confident he had gotten up in the shadow of the line during his post-race interview, despite the lengthy wait for the official result. The second heat also went to Scotland, as Grant Cullen steered Springhill Catch to victory. The duo later took the runner up spot in the final. Cullen returned to the winner's circle on Monday when partnering ante-post favourite Live In Star to a popular victory. The 5-year-old son of Doonbeg was a heat and final winner at Corbiewood a week earlier and came to the meeting in good form, however ultimately could not hold off Jack Swagger in the final later that day. The Silver Aged Le Trot race was won by a newly-imported French trotter, Amazing, owned and trained by the Ali family and driven by Jason Ali. Jason later admitted they didn't know how good the horse was prior to his debut on British soil having previously raced at Wolvega (Holland) but he may prove an interesting addition to this division as the season progresses. The Le Trot 4YO Silver Division was won by Mike Evans with Etoile De Villodon, making this the horse's second win from nine starts since arriving in the UK last summer. Racing returns to Appleby for the New Fair meeting on Sunday 3rd June. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

RINGOSTAR TREB WINS ELITLOPPET FINAL; BOLD EAGLE MAKES BREAK IN FIRST HEAT

Corbiewood, UK - After a couple of years of racing failing to get started in May in Scotland, the Scottish Harness Racing Club was pleased to stage two meetings during the penalty free period. The gates opened on Friday 18th May for an 8 race card, with the feature races being the second leg of the national BHRC and Standardbred Horse Sales Co Star Maker Series (the first of three to be staged in Scotland) and the open handicap final for grades 1 to 10. The first of the four heats saw David 'Buster' Moncrieff's three-year-old DKs Happy Forever (Richard Thomson) lead from start to finish, with GDs Hazzard (Andrew Cairns) finishing a clear second. The second heat went the way of Bono (William Greenhorn), another all the way winner, with Royal Mint Howard taking the runner up spot under a catch drive from the Tim Tetrick-sponsored BHRC Drive of the Year winner James Haythornthwaite. Heat three was re-run after a lengthy delay following an accident in the first running which resulted in driver John Allan being taken to hospital by ambulance. Fortunately John was not seriously injured and made a speedy recovery to return for the following week's meeting. In the re-run, it was Live In Star (Grant Cullen) who showed a good turn of foot to deliver a three-wide challenge and assume control in the stretch. The long-time leader Whosurbaby (Scott Murray) was a gallant second. The last of the four heats saw stable companions Indie Hanover and Porcelain Seelster land the 1-2 for brothers Richard and James Haythornthwaite to complete the line-up for the final. The maiden and novice divisions were run as two races of 4 horses following a late withdrawal of the ninth runner which had forced the split. In the first division it was a popular victory for Mahogany Martini, owned by the Castalongshadow syndicate under the guidance of Gregor Menzies as the mare wore down her earlier foe, Hawthorns Dream (William Greenhorn). In the second division, Talavaryterminator made all to give Richard Haythornthwaite his second win of the night from from I Live To Party (William Greenhorn) and the strong-finishing Busking Boy (Lee Fletcher). The second leg of the Star Maker Series saw five horses from the pool of 33 nominations face the start, and despite the small field it turned out to be a thrilling event. The betting favourite, Dynaramic (Hugh Menzies) was the early pace setter, closely followed by Ceiron JD (Richard Haythornthwaite), with Soul Search (William Drysdale) settling in third. The race developed in the same manner, but as the pace quickened, Soul Searcher tipped out to challenge around the last bend and came out on top down the stretch with a well-timed run from one of Corbiewood's most experienced drivers. The crowd gave trainer Charles Inglis Jr a hearty reception as he led the horse into the winner's circle, as not only does he train at the track but he is one of the sport's greatest characters. Soul Searcher, a 5-year-old gelded son of Soulofthematter out of the Todays Man mare Bigreddog, progresses to the grand final on July 14th at Tir Prince Raceway, where he will join the winner of the first leg, Laneside Layla. The next leg in the series will be staged at Corbiewood on June 1st. The last race on the card was the open handicap final run almost under the cover of darkness. The judge disqualified the back markers Indie Hanover and Porcelain Seelster at the start for being through their handicap trail, leaving six remaining to fight it out. DKs Happy Forever (Richard Thomson) led out and held his position for the first lap, however he was soon headed by Live In Star (Grant Cullen) who took up the running and just went further and further clear to record a very impressive victory for owner Robert Miller and first-season trainer Keir Cullen. Full results from the meeting can be found here - http://www.bhrc.org.uk/racing/results-2018/?meet=1628&date=18-May&track=Corbiewood# Racing returned to Corbiewood less than a week later, with the second meeting staged on Thursday 24th May. The first race, which was the first of three heats for the final, saw Oaks Telstar (Richard Haythornthwaite) lead out, and although briefly challenged at various stages by numerous rivals, he dominated the race throughout and was in complete control at the finish. Imogen Camden (Grant Cullen) and Carlo Camden (William Greenhorn) filled the minor placings. In the second heat, Lets Party (Hugh Menzies) led out from Miami Seelster (William Greenhorn). Young Stephen (John Smart) tipped out just before the half to go three wide and take up the running in a blistering first half. As the race progressed, Bowriver (Richard Haythornthwaite) took the shortest route up the rail to come with a late challenge in the stretch to get up close home. A lengthy stewards enquiry into a potential pylon violation by the winner delayed the result being given until after race three, however the result stood with Bowriver beating Young Stephen by a nose. In the third heat, James Brown (John Smart) led out from post position 2 and set level fractions throughout, with Dreamfair I Say (Brian Gilvear) always breathing down his neck. In the stretch, the long-time leader looked set to just hold on, however Dreamfair I Say got up in the shadow of the post. The fourth race was a maiden and novice combined event; I Live To Party was given a forceful drive from start to finish by new driver Grant Cullen, overcoming early leader Goodtime Hal (Hugh O'Neil Jnr Jnr) and seeing off his main challenger, Ladyford Warrior (William Greenhorn). Despite being challenged at the three quarters he streaked clear in the closing stages to run out a convincing winner. The penultimate event was a consolation final for horses which did not qualify for the main final, and six horses faced the starter. Mooreside Watson (John Allan) was the early leader, however approaching the half, Indie Hanover assumed control and held off a late challenge from Lyons Nant Hall (Grant Cullen) to win by a neck and give Richard Haythornthwaite his driving treble on the night. The final, run in lines as opposed to yards, saw Oaks Telstar (Richard Haythornthwaite) win the early battle with Imogen Camden (Grant Cullen). Just before the half mile marker, James Brown (John Smart) rushed through the field from the rear to take up a prominent position on the outside of the leader. Swinging off the final turn the full field of seven were stacked up, but Oaks Telstar held them all at bay to win by a length from Imogen Camden and James Brown who dead heated for second in a thrilling blanket finish which saw the entire field cross the line within half a second from first to last. Congratulations to Richard Haythornthwaite on his four-timer! Full results can be found here - http://www.bhrc.org.uk/racing/results-2018/?meet=1629&date=24-May&track=Corbiewood The next meeting at Corbiewood will be Friday 1st June featuring the third leg of the BHRC & Standardbred Horse Sales Co Star Maker Series. First race 7.30pm. By Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Shane Eggerton driving his own horse Ayr Major clinched the Novice final in the traditional Knighton harness racing meeting of the trotting racing calendar. With a good crowd, attracted by a bigger card, there were many new horses ready for the season ahead. The Novice section had two heats, with Ayr Major benefitting from his preparation run the previous week to take top honours driven by Andrew Hardwick. In the second heat Meadowland Olympic lived up to his name to win. The Novice final Ayr Major driven by owner and trainer Eggerton ran a class race to take the win from long time leader Lady Lisleen while Evenwood Thumps Up was third. In the nursery race the experience of Llwyns Mercy (Huntington) driven by Jonny James told off as they were first over the line. The grade B was a straight race again this week and recently promoted Second Affair again showed aspirations of climbing to the top of the racing ladder winning in fine style from Enter the Dragon (Harrison, Onibury) on their his first run in open company. In the Baby Novice race C U Maggie driven by Mel Langford came home in front from long time leader Morning Breeze. The finale of the day was the final of the Grade A which proved to be one of the best races of the day with Zestthewayilikeit surging over the line in front while Ayr Hero (Bevan, Llanddewi) with a late run was second. Next week’s racing is on Bank Holiday Monday, May 28, with the well established Synod Inn meeting starting at 1.30pm. Reprinted with permission of The Hereford Times

WEST CORK, IE - Sean Kane drove two winners at Annaghmore on Saturday and repeated that feat with another brace at the opening meeting of the 2018 West Cork harness Racing season at Inchadoney Beach on Sunday.   Brasilia Match a winner in Portmarnock a few weeks ago followed up with another victory in the Grade F & E Trot. Kane sent the winner to the front from the off and despite a late challenge from Un Boss he was never in danger and stayed on to win by 1 3/4 lengths . His driving double came in the finale The High grade trot . This time Kane employed the same front running tactics aboard Uldiem Alfa and was never for catching holding off Tarnao Josselyn for a 5 3/4 length winning margin Kane who is retained driver for Moorside Stables is enjoying a rich vein of form in the early season and the four hour drive back to their Naul base in County Meath will be made shorter by their winners . Racing opened with a four year old trot and here Denis O Reilly got a well over due win on his Empereur Souverain . O Reilly led off the number on slot and was never in any sort of danger eventually winning by 6 3/4l lengths from Eve Du Parc "He was very unlucky not to win in Portmarnock a few weeks back and done everything right today.We head to Dundalk for the big PMU meeting on the June weekend" explained winning driver Denis O Reilly . Reclamation opened her three year old campaign with a facile victory in the Grade G & G1 pace . This daughter of A Rock N Roll Dancer led from the start and was not over extended by Donal Murphy .She is owned by the Florida based Bill Donovan and The Murphy Bros and the plan is to race her in all the big three year old races both in Ireland and The UK and will most likely be shipped back to the US at the fall of the year. Canadian visitors Carla Selig and Kathy Byrne were on hard to make the presentation . King Wills Arrival justiofied good market support in the saddle race . Coalford Bruce and Hail Spartacus battled it out early but at the 3/4 pole Oisin Quill went through the middle of the two pace setters and ran out an easy two length winner. Earnies Umpire (Earned Income / Elizabeth Ann) followed up on his win in Portmarnock last Sunday with a victory that would suggest that he could be a very smart type .His eight length win from Pan Cam Drift was most impressive " We think he could right to the top and we will aim him at The Red John Memorial Handicap and then The big Handicap at The Grendon Memorial weekend" were the thought of winning owner Tadhg O Reilly The Iron Horse Meadowbranch Demon showed scant regard for his three rivals in the High Grade Pace.Running off a thirty yard hard handicap driver Luke Kelleher made his move down the back straight and passed with ease and "sat back in the armchair " on the run to the line "Hes just simply the best we ever had and at 12 years of age he seems to be enjoying himself .We give him ma week or two off and plan after that" winning owner Mike Kelleher said of this son of The Commissioner . Next Sunday is George Deane Memorial Day in Dunmanway with heats and finals for pacers By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslinl RESULTS Race One 1 Emperaur Souverain D O Reilly 2 Eve Du Parc D Murphy 3 Extase Des Epines L Kelleher Distance 6 3/4 6 Time 3.21.6 Race Two 1 Reclamation D Murphy 2 Riverdance Hanover L Kelleher 3 Moorside Captain S Kane Distance 21 1/4 7 1/4 Time 2.10.1 Race Three 1 King Wills Arrival O Quill 2 Coalford Bruce M Shanahan 3 Hail Spartacus E Murphy Distance 5 2 Time 2.06.5 Race Four 1 Brasilia Match S Kane 2 Un Boss J O Mahony 3 Dream Des Broeuts Distance 1 3/4 1/4 Time 3.23.8 Race Five 1 Earnies Umpire M O Reilly 2 Pan cam Drift L Kelleher 3 Brywins Starship R Kingston Distance 8 2 Time 2.07.5 Race Six 1 Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher 2 Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 3 Kestrels Dot Sammy J O Mahony Distance 3 3/4 1/4 Time 2.08.1 Race Seven 1 Uldiem Alfa S Kane 2 Tarnao Josselyn 3 Aubade A Helene Distance 5 3/4 38 1/2 Time 3.17.3  

WEST CORK, IE - The 2018 West Cork Harness Racing season opens on Sunday next at the beautiful Inchadoney Beach at 3.30 PM Described by the purists of the sport as one of the best venues to be found anywhere in the world Around 1pm on Sunday The Great Atlantic Ocean tide will be begin to turn outwards and a hippodrome for harness racing will begin to uncover at this Blue Flag Beach (An award only given to the cleanest beaches in Ireland) . Committee members will then mark out the track ,a temporary judges box will be driven on to the beach and at 3.30 racing begins A seven race program is on offer with a mix of three pacing races ,three races for trotters and one saddle race . "Everyone helps setting up the track owners ,drivers and even the race day officials "added Donal Murphy " Its a race against time in every manner firstly setting up the track then getting through the card and finally taking down the track and of course timing all the races " according to Timmy O Donovan a member of the ITHRF (The Irish Trotting and Harness Racing Federation) one of the clubs which make up the Irish Harness Racing Club. " With South West winds due lunch time on Sunday the beach should be at its very best with a half mile oval "coming out of the sands" it is one of our show piece meetings and I have sun glasses ready for the good weather which is forecast" said O Donovan This scribe through the medium of social media had contact from Canada from people who "had it on their bucket list " to make it to the famous beach and will be guests on the day and will enjoy the famous West Cork hospitality . So 3.30 pm at Inhadoney Beach is the place to be and remember TIME NOT TIDE WAITS FOR NO MAN! By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

On Saturday 12th May, the BHRC Star Makers Series sponsored by the Standardbred Horse Sales Company (USA) kicked off with its first leg of nine at Tregaron. The Alexis Laidler-trained mare Laneside Layla held off a strong challenge from Colin Bevan's Laughing Buck to secure her place in the grand final, to be staged at Tir Prince Raceway on Saturday 14th July. The series was developed for horses aged 4YO+ with lifetime earnings of £1000 or less. The remaining 8 heats are scheduled to be staged at a variety of hard and grass tracks across Scotland, England and Wales in the coming weeks. Thirty-three horses were originally staked, with heat winners automatically progressing to the final. Those horses which have not won a heat, can enter the remaining heats an unlimited number of times in an attempt to secure their places in the final. The tenth horse in the final will be the highest point scorer from the heats (with a reserve list to account for subsequent withdrawals from the final). The horses which have been staked for the series are: Al Jolson Ayr Freedom Blytheview JJ (1 run) Borntorun (1 run) Brywins Mayhem Cash All Ceiron JD Coalford Insignia Coffee Mate Country Major Dynaramic Father Ted Finley Wells GDs Hurricane Hawthorns Melinda Hilltop North Art (1 run) Ithon Orbit Ladyford Warrior Laneside Layla (1 run - WINNER OF HEAT 1) Laughin Buck (1 run) Lyons Aceofspades Lyons Comet Lyons Saint Marys (1 run) Mahogany Charmer Natalie Camden Olivia Camden Rhyds Girlpower Rodney Camden Soul Searcher Springhill Calaburn The Dark Destroyer The Lion King Wye Joels Best The remaining heats are as follows: Corbiewood - 18th May Presteigne - 25th May Corbiewood - 1st June Amman Valley - 3rd June Tir Prince - 9th June Evenjobb - 10th June Corbiewood - 21st June Pikehall - 1st July The grand final at Tir Prince, the home of the Crock of Gold, has an estimated purse of £6000 and will be the feature race on the card on Saturday 14th July. With entries from all corners of the UK, the series has captured the imaginations across the board and promises to be a competitive and prestigious event. British Harness Racing would like to take this opportunity to thank the Standardbred Horse Sales Company (USA) for their continued support of harness racing in the United Kingdom and hope that this series will become a regular event in the calendar in years to come. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink      

Endurance riding events – long-distance competitions against the clock which challenge both horse and rider – are run across the UK. Gayle Ritchie meets those taking part in one round Tentsmuir Forest A breathtakingly beautiful Friesian stallion canters through the forest, his glossy coat shimmering in the sunlight. His luxurious mane and tail flow freely and his ears prick forwards, listening to the gentle tones of the rider perched on his majestic back. The stallion in question is 16.3hh Oscar and his rider is Blairgowrie-based Janine Mason. The duo is taking part in a timed ride around Tentsmuir Forest alongside 71 other horse and rider combos. © Kris Clay Janine Mason taking part in an endurance ride at Tentsmuir Forest on Freisian stallion Oscar. Run by the Scottish Endurance Riding Club (SERC), the goal is to complete a set distance in an allocated time and with the horse in sound condition, its heart rate below a certain level. Routes today range from a “taster” 9km to a full-on 62km challenge but some riders can boast of completing longer rides – up to a staggering 160km. Some ride in teams while others go solo and there are horses of all shapes and sizes – from slinky, speedy Arabs to hairy Highlands. Overall, there’s a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere; there’s no snobbery or elitism whatsoever. A major focus is on fun and there are some fantastic colour combinations going on, with riders matching their hat silks to their horse’s bridles. Horse welfare and safety are hugely important. Spurs, martingales, blinkers and other restraints are not permitted and horses are vetted before the ride. © Kris Clay From Highlands to Arabs, all breeds take part. “Heart rates must be at a certain level and during the ‘trot up’, they mustn’t be lame,” chief steward Nancy Murdoch tells me. “Those doing big distances have another vet check half way round, and again at the end. “Rather than having a winner, mileage accumulated over time can result in awards.” Top team Mary Stockdale and her stunning black Arab Cumbria Khafifa, and Fiona Kirk with handsome Mr Charles, a Welsh D Cross Thoroughbred, are the first team to hit the half-way 32km mark. As they take a quick break to feed and sponge down their horses, they reveal why endurance is their favourite equestrian discipline. “You can be as competitive or non-competitive as you like,” beams Fiona. “You build a lovely partnership with your horse – a fantastic bond. You can ride all day as long as your horse is sound. “Performance is based on merit, unlike showing, which is based on someone else’s opinion.” © Kris Clay Mary Stockdale on Cumbria Khafifa. Mary, meanwhile, who has awards coming out of her ears – having clinched SERC’s 2017 trophy for rider with most mileage – tells me Khafifa has completed 3,742km under competition rules. “It’s a great opportunity to ride across beautiful countryside we’d never otherwise be lucky enough to see,” she smiles. “There’s a wonderful community and it’s a simple sport to get into. Any horse can do it, provided it’s reasonably fit, and taster sessions allow you to get a feel for the sport. “The relationship that horse and rider build together over the years is deeper than for many other disciplines.” © Kris Clay Mary shares a moment with Khafifa. Lorraine Laing is competing in the 30km option with her Standardbred ex-harness racing horse Tom, who is 20 years old. “We started with shorter pleasure rides then progressed to competing,” she tells me. “We’ve done 50km but prefer to do 30km. I ride in a team with Anne Scott and her Arab, Smokey. “We really love it and are trying to encourage more people to give it a go!” Sheila Bruce, chair of the Tayside branch of SERC, says the sport is open to everyone. “You go out, have fun, set your own parameters and ultimately, compete against yourself,” she says. “Our motto is: ‘To complete is to win’. We believe in challenges – and in the welfare of the horse.” © Kris Clay Janine Mason and Oscar about to be vetted. It wouldn’t be possible to run rides without helpers and roles include everything from runner to vet writer, timekeeper, gate opener, road crossing marshall and checkpoint steward. It’s hugely rewarding and addictive and who knows, it could inspire you to get involved in the sport yourself. To check the calendar or to sign up as a volunteer, see www.scottishendurance.com INFO The Scottish Endurance Riding Club organises three types of ride: pleasure rides, normally between 16 and 29km, competitive rides of 30km and over, and endurance rides of 60km and over. The ultimate competition is the endurance race, which may be up to 160km in one day but is always 60km and over. By Gayle Ritchie Reprinted with permission of The Courier

A tribute to Lazarus has been put together and shown on New Zealand's premier harness racing television weekly show 'The Box Seat' May the 9th 2018. You can watch the video below; Here is a behind the scenes feature video taken on Lazarus on the morning of the 22nd of February 2017 the day that Lazarus won the Victorian Cup. Harness Racing New Zealand produced this Good Luck Lazarus video;  

New Zealand's greatest racehorse Lazarus has been sold to a North American syndicate in a record deal and will not race here again. The $3.8million earner will leave for the US on May 24 where he will be aimed at a possible four-race mini career in an attempt to secure a major win there to help his dual hemisphere stallion credentials. While the exact price is confidential the Herald estimates it must be close to $4 million when the other public offer for the five-year-old stallion is taken into account. Lazarus has been purchase by US thoroughbred breeding giant Taylor Made Stallions, a Kentucky-based operation run by the Taylor brothers, who started their racing lives in harness racing but have concentrated on thoroughbred breeding and yearling preparation for the last three decades. It is believed they have recently reignited their interest in standardbred breeding by purchasing at least part of champion US trotter What The Hill but the Lazarus deal, put together by South Auckland agent John Curtin, breaks new ground. While North America's best horses shuttling here to stand at stud in their off-season is common, trying to turn an Australasian standardbred into a dual hemisphere stallion is extremely rare. Christian Cullen stood one season at stud in the US but without having raced there was never going to be hugely commercial. Lazarus will be given his chance with two races at the famous Red Mile track in October targeted as well as the Breeders Crown at Pocono, a series his new connections would need to pay a supplementary payment to make him eligible for. But he will head to the US without his champion trainer Mark Purdon, with two of North America's leading trainers apparently in the frame to take over his training. If, and it is a big if, Lazarus could win a serious race in the US and pace a super fast mile he has the attributes to become that rare dual hemisphere stallion. In his 45 start career he has proven to be one of the greatest stayer bred in this part of the world, with some remarkable wins in two New Zealand Cups, an Inter Dominion, Hunter and Victoria Cups. But just as importantly from a stallion appeal point of view he was a sensational two and three-year-old, suggesting his stock will have the natural speed to run early. And he is bred on Australasia's golden cross, being by breed-defining stallion Bettors Delight out of a Christian Cullen mare. The one down side to that he is obviously can't serve Bettors Delight mares, who could be the dominant broodmare bunch in Australasia over the next decade. Details on where he will stand and for which studs in either hemisphere are yet to be decided. His departure will sadden many local harness racing fans as it means Lazarus will not get the chance to attempt a third New Zealand Cup win at Addington in November. And with several other high profile retirements or exports in the last year - Smolda, Heaven Rocks, Vincent being the biggest - next season's open class pacing ranks looks the most open in a decade. LAZARUS Breeding: 5h Bettors Delight-Bethany Trainers: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Record: 45 starts, 35 wins, nine placings. Earnings: $3,821,066. Highlights: New Zealand Cup (twice), Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup, Victoria Cup, Chariots Of Fire, Messenger, Taylor Mile, New Zealand, Northern and Victoria Derbys, Harness Jewels 2-yo, Sires' Stakes Final 3-y-o. By Michael Guerin Courtesy of The New Zealand Herald New Zealand Cup 2016 New Zealand Cup 2017 2017 Inter Dominion Grand Final Hunter Cup Victoria Cup

A training course for ‘sulky’ drivers and trotting horse owners will begin next month in the Dublin area as part of a “carrot and stick” approach by the Government to curb illegal road racing. The Department of Agriculture has commissioned the training programme, which will also be rolled out in other areas of the State, and is currently examining the issue of regulating sulky racing. This follows an increase in the number of collisions on public roads involving such vehicles and the death of a 12-year-old boy in a sulky incident in Dublin. A sulky is an unprotected lightweight, two-wheeled cart usually drawn by a horse or pony. The department said the course would be run by a team of veterinary surgeons and nurses with a “clear understanding of the cultural sensitivities surrounding participation in road racing”. Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the issues around sulky racing were complex and not always clear cut “particularly as a variety of horse-drawn vehicles are legitimately and safely used on Irish roads”. “The course will encourage participants to move away from road racing practices and move to racing on tracks and to engage with the regulated sport of harness racing on tracks, as operated by the Irish Harness Racing Association,” he said. People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny has expressed concern that sulky racing would be banned, something which he said would not work. Independent TD Mattie McGrath has stated an intention to introduce legislation to ban the practice. Complex issue Describing the sport as popular among the Traveller and working-class communities, Mr Kenny said banning it “will simply drive the practice underground”. Raising the issue in the Dáil this week, the Dublin South-West TD referred to a sulky event in Portmarnock, Co Dublin and said that while the track was not widely known about it was “very good and very positive for those who use it”. Mr Creed said the unregulated nature of sulky racing on public roads was dangerous for horses, their owners and the public at large. Describing it as a complex issue, he said: “We need both the carrot and the stick in this area. We have the legislative toolbox necessary but we need to ensure all actors involved in the implementation of that legislation live up to their respective responsibilities”. The Minister said the department was keen to raise awareness of the importance of good horse welfare among sulky participants and the owners and keepers of trotting horses. Mr Creed last year formally opened the Clondalkin Equine Club in Dublin, a facility for urban-owned horses where local youths are taught about equine care and welfare. He said “the urban horse is as much a part of the story of the Irish horse and cannot be forgotten or written out” but “there is an issue around welfare that is disproportionately evident” in urban areas. Mr Kenny said urban horse ownership sometimes had very negative connotations, “but it is actually a very positive thing, particularly for young people in working-class communities. Travellers have also been unfairly criticised in relation to horse ownership.” Marie O'Halloran Reprinted with permission of The Irish Times

WEST CORK, IE -The harness racing community in West Cork has always been generous when it comes to looking after local charities. Following the record breaking Red John Memorial Festival of harness racing in Lyre last August, the committee made a presentation recently to Cork University Hospital Charities Committee. "We feel that it is important to look after those who may need medical help and CUH was our chosen charity this year." said Caroline Collins, treasurer of the RJM. "In 2018 we are going local with Bantry Pallative Care the charity "added Collins. Harness racing received a massive boost recently with the government funded Indecon report into the industry published and following on that report the government have announced funding of a five year strategic plan giving the sport a chance to grow further. The West Cork season opens at Inchadoney Beach on May 13th with the Red John Memorial Festival pencilled in for Sat 16th and sun 17th June at Lyre. By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink      

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