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Owanhincha, harness racing

Ireland Road Trotting Finals at Owenahincha Sunday

WEST CORK, Ireland - For road trotting followers all roads lead to Owenahincha on Sunday next the 5th of March for the staging of the 2017 All Ireland Road Trotting Championships . The venue is just off the the N71 just on the Eastern side of Rosscarberry. Owenahincha boasts a blue flag beach and is a top tourist attraction for holiday makers during the Summer season . Although a tiny hamlet in off season during the peak season the population swells to over 2000 with Hayes Holiday parks holding the majority of the visitors . The rack is a testing run from Castlefreake Cross on the Sothern side past the hoilday park and Ocean View hotel to Owenahincha bridge on the Northern side of the venue. Spectators gather on the natural Grand stand on the Sand Dunes which run down to the Atlantic Ocean (Next stop west is the USA) It is one of these places only God himself could have designed . But at approx 4 PM next Sunday it will be All Reland time at the seaside Maitha Buachaill will start as favourite in the classic .He has won all of his four outings this season and looks the one thay all have to beat . Owned by Ger Hegarty and James Hurley this former grass specialist will be ridden by Jamie Hurley a second season jockey . Rhyds Ponder the 2106 champion is back to defend his title which he won in Old Chapel .Owned and trained by Ned Forbes he finished second to Maitha Buachaill on there four meetings this season but won in Dunmanway wherehis great rival was absent . Top female jockey Deirdre Goggin will once again team up with Rhyds Ponder Tactician Du Lys an imported French trotter takes on the pacers once again .He isowned by County Meath based Ger Kane but is trained locally by Jeremiah O Mahony in Dunmanway .His last run was in Dunmanway where he only went down to Rhyds Ponder after a titanic battle. "Cool Hands"Timmy O Leary gets the leg up on this imposing type. The enrty of Rhyds Destiny has really thrown new light on the race. This former track and turf specialst will be having his initial run on tarmac but trainer John Shanahan is no stranger to winning the classic .The owner of Lakeview Stud in Leap Shanahan has often being dubbed "Mr All Ireland" with Fidlin ,Dream Maker ,Hilos Pride .Eastwood Florist,Perfect Dream and Bodeen all former winners . Destiny is owned by Shanahan in partnership with Derbyshire UK dairy farmer John Mycock. David Brickley has been the stable jockey for the firm but has his own Meadowbranch Kiki listed as an entry so riding arrangements need to be confirmed. Kiki has been a model of consistency all year but will start as anoutsider . Racing on Sunday has a 2 30 start time with details of entries on by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink  

Harness racing

Finn Brickley, age 10, already owns winning horse

WEST CORK, Ireland - Young Finn Brickley,  age 10 from Drimoleague, Ireland, attends the Drimoleague National School.   While many kids his age love to play football or rugby, Finn's real passion is with harness racing.    Last October Finn bought  a pacer named Young Deano from his own savings.   After a few placings Young Deano won in Dunmanway a few weeks back. Finn helps his dad, David, (also Jockey) to train the horses. Finn is up at 7:00 am every morning to clean out the stables while his Dad works out the horses. In the evening once homework is finished Finn helps to school the horses to the bale and also jogs out "Deano" On the morning of races Finn feeds the horses early so that his Dad can have a lie in. Finn loves going to the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend where he gets to meet his heros - Dexter Dunn, Stevie Lees, Martin Loughran, Alan Wallace Snr, Mick Lord, and Rocker Laidler to name a few. On the local scene Finn says his Dad is his hero because of all the wins he has had and FInn hopes to follow in his steps as a jockey and driver while also having a big training yard of his own. Finn can't wait to be 12 where he will be able to ride in saddlle races and when he is older he would love to go to drive in West Cork, Portmarnock and Dundalk. Finn's older sister, Shelley, has had several wins in saddle races while grandad Finbar still competes in the sulky with his French trotters. When Finn was seven he got a sulky from Santa, which he had great fun along with his pony "Bob" which included leading out the horses in Portmarnock. Last Christmas, Finn's presents all involved horses, including some riding boots and a Champion helmet for himself along with pop ups and a saddle cloth for "Deano". Young Finn Brickley will most certainly be one to watch as harness racing continues to grow by leaps and bounds in both Ireland and the UK. HIs passion for the sport is super.  by Caroline Collins, for Harnesslink

harness racing

UK trainer gets five years for Cobalt positive

On the 22 February, 2017 a Panel of Appeal was convened to hear Mr David Taff’s appeal against the decision of a Panel of Enquiry which found on 26 November, 2016 at York Raceway, Mr. Taff to be in breach of section Y13 of the Rules and Regulations of the British Harness Racing Club (BHRC).  Mr. Taff was negligent in his position as a public trainer in that he failed to take all reasonable precautions in respect of the horse known as Johnny Camden, to avoid that horse’s exposure to a prohibited substance namely, Cobalt. He was found positive on 03, September, 2016 after competing at Tir Prince Raceway. The BHRC’s reply to those grounds of appeal took place at the hearing held at Tower Wharf, Bristol. Mr Taff represented himself, the BHRC were represented by Rory Mac Neice and Joanne Saye of Ashfords LLP, instructed by Kirsty Lee of the BHRC. The Panel of Appeal heard submissions from Mr. Taff and from Mr. Mac Neice. Having heard from the parties and having considered the written submissions and other evidence produced to them, the Panel dismissed Mr. Taff’s appeal and confirmed the finding and penalties imposed by the original enquiry panel. As a consequence, Mr. Taff shall have the following penalties imposed upon him: A fine of £2,500; suspension of all licenses with effect from 26 November, 2016 for a period of 5 years;  In addition Mr. Taff is ordered to pay the costs of the BHRC in the sum of £5,550. The BHRC reserve the right to inform any and all animal welfare organizations of the penalties issued under Y24[b]. This decision is published in accordance with A3 of the BHRC’s Rules and Regulations. From the British Harness Racing Club

SHRC and Oakwood stud logo.jpg

Oakwood Stud to sponsor new series at Corbiewood

A new mares’ series to be staged at Corbiewood in 2017 is to be sponsored by Oakwood Stud (Co Offaly, Ireland).   The series, which will be staged over 7 weeks, will be run by the Scottish Harness Racing Club (SHRC) for its members and is open to mares aged 4 and above with a BHRC handicap of Grade 1 or above.   Mare owners must be members of the club at the date the entries close.  SHRC members do not need to reside in Scotland. The Oakwood Stud Mares’ Pacing Series will be limited to the top 12 BHRC handicapped mares which enter, with the handicap mark to be determined on the date the nominations close (Friday 9th June).   The series will consist of 6 legs, with the first 3 legs run as open preferred handicaps in two lines as per the BHRC handicap system (lowest earnings drawn 1, highest earnings drawn 8) and the remaining 3 legs run as open preferred handicaps in two lines based on monies won within the series.   The series will culminate with a £1500 purse final for the top 8 highest earners in the series, with the winner receiving £1000 as well as a rug and trophy also sponsored by Oakwood Stud. Derek Delaney, speaking on behalf of Oakwood Stud, was quick to get on board with the idea: “We love to be involved in great start up ideas in UK & Irish Harness racing from the beginning and we believe there needs to be more racing for the mares and love the idea of them racing their own sex as older mares and not only juvenile stakes racing.  When Sarah Thomas told me her thoughts, I was immediately interested in supporting her forward thinking.” Each of the 12 mares will be guaranteed 4 runs in the series should they enter for all of the legs, with the purse for each leg set at £550.  The nomination fee to stake a mare is £150, with the entry fee for each leg being £40.  The final will be run in two lines with all 8 mares to ballot for position. The order of priority for the first leg will be the top 8 BHRC handicapped mares; any mares returned from the first leg will take priority for the second leg. The order of priority for the remaining legs will be as follows: Any mares returned from the previous leg; Mares with the lowest number of runs within the series; Mares with the lowest earnings within the series; Highest BHRC handicap mark. The idea for the series stemmed from the success of the three STAGBI Future Broodmares races staged at Corbiewood in 2016.  All three races were fully subscribed and provided competitive and thrilling finishes in the open preferred handicap format.  In 2017 there will be a maximum of two STAGBI Future Broodmares races sponsored by STAGBI, which will supplement the mares’ series. Further details of the series will be published via the SHRC and BHRC websites and social media pages in due course, however if anybody has any queries regarding the series, please contact Sarah Thomas. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

The all-new 2017 TrotBritain Le Trot £60k 3YO Trot Series and 3YO Derby for minimum £10k is offering a unique raffle to win one of two French trotters for this year’s stakes races. So here is your chance to be part of it! Raffle tickets are £60 per number – winners decided on the official Lotto bonus ball (soonest date after all 59 numbers sold). Thanks to the kind agreement of TrotBritain the two French trotters will be made available to raffle (two separate Lotto draws to determine winner). These three-year-olds will be fully staked into two of Great Britain’s most lucrative trotting race series to date: The Le Trot 3YO – Heats throughout the racing calendar at various tracks with Finals at Tir Prince on 9th September Series with the purse at a whopping £60,000. The TrotBritain Le Trot 3YO Derby – minimum £10,000 purse which will include consolation races, so all eligible horses are guaranteed a run and return on stakes fee (at Tir Prince on 23rd September (Heats) & 14th October (Final & Consolations). The Le Trot 3YO French trotters will be selected by TrotBritain during their next French visit w/c 13th March 2017. Horses will arrive w/c 20th March 2017. Do not miss out on this opportunity to be part of these fantastic new races and the Le Trot initiative under TrotBritain. And each raffle ticket is just £60 per number. Contact the British Harness Racing Club at 01405 766877 to pick your number. Draw date will be announced once all 59 tickets are sold. The two French trotters will be made available to the raffle subject to sufficient sales of numbers. All funds raised will be divided equally between the 2017 PRAKAS & Roosevelt Race Series. From the British Harness Racing Club

The Cheltenham Festival is almost upon us. Weeks, months and even years of hard work and dedication have been building towards the four-day horse racing extravaganza at Prestbury Park -  where the best horses in the business will gather on the second full week of March, vying to take home some of the most famous and prestigious prizes in the world of sport. Racing enthusiasts, who have been crossing off the passing days on their calendar, will already be researching the races and tracking their favourite horses in the build up to the festivities. If you don’t have the time, knowledge or energy to go into such detailed measures of preparation – don’t worry, has got you covered. Visit the site for all the breaking news, tips and ante-post previews of every single race at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. Cheltenham Festival tickets have been on sale throughout the season. It’s not too late to book your seats in the Tattersalls Stand, or even a place in the Best Mate Enclosure, but 250,000 horse racing fans flock to Gloucestershire every year to watch the best action the sport has to offer, so you better get those tickets booked today. Whether you are in attendance on the opening Tuesday or the final Friday, you are guaranteed an action packed day of sporting drama, full of intrigue, suspense and top quality entertainment. Irish Champion Trainer, Willie Mullins has often dominated the proceedings on the opening day of the Festival. However, recent tragedies and set-backs have thrown a spanner in the works this season and the first day flood gates have been thrown wide open for some of the other top trainers in the world to steal Mullins’ limelight.  Yorkhill’s predicated late switch to the Champion Hurdle - covering for injured duo Faugheen and Annie Power - will give Mullins a great chance of retaining the title ahead of a hungry chasing pack, led by Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air and Alan King’s Yanworth. Mullins’ star mare, Vroum Vroum Mag will be favourite to hand the Irishman a ninth-straight victory in the Mares Hurdle. However, Gordon Elliott’s Apple’s Jade resigned the star to a surprise defeat earlier in the season and the two look set to renew their mouth-watering rivalry at the Festival. The best first-season hurdlers will get the Festival off to a flying start in the Supreme Novices Hurdle. Altior claimed that crown in stunning fashion last year and he will be flying the Nicky Henderson flag on the first day of the Festival once again. He will head into the Arkle as the overwhelming favourite, as he looks to establish himself as the top dog in the two-mile chasing division. One who will have something to say about that is the Willie Mullins’ Douvan, who puts his fourteen-race unbeaten streak on the line in the feature Championship race on day two of the Festival - the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Fox Norton and God’s Own will be out to try and upset the odds-on favourite, but another stunning victory is expected, as the horse racing world anticipates an incredible showdown between Douvan and Altior in the very near future. Finian’s Oscar and Neon Wolf have been in excellent form this season and a possible battle between the two in the Neptune will thrill onlookers in the first race on day two at Cheltenham. The RSA Chase is a three mile contest of the highest order and the Cross Country wows fans year-in-year-out, as it winds an unusual route around Prestbury Park, taking on a unique mixture of hurdles, fences and strategically placed shrubbery.  The Stayers’ Hurdle is the main event on the penultimate day of the Festival, with Unowhatimeanharry bringing plenty of form and confidence with him to Cheltenham, having landed the Albert Bartlett crown on Friday at the Festival last year. Former Champion Hurdler, Jezki has returned from injury this season and could provide Harry Fry’s favourite with stiff competition. As could 2015 victor Cole Harden, who looked back to his old self when finishing just behind Unowhatimeanharry in the Cleve Hurdle earlier in the year. Un De Sceaux will be stepping up in trip in a bid to land the Ryanair Chase for Willie Mullins, but there will be a strong field opposing him as he looks to repeat his Festival heroics in the Arkle back in 2015. Novice chasers will get Thursdayoff to a flying start in the JLT, with the Pertemps Final at the Byrne Group Festival Plate providing fans with plenty handicap excitement later in the day.  Friday at the Cheltenham Festival is always an electrifying day to be in attendance and the opening contest, the Triumph Juvenile Hurdle, is shaping up to be one of the most exciting races of the entire week. Defi Du Seuil will defend his unbeaten seasonal record, but the likes of Charli Parcs, Cliffs Of Dover and a large Irish battalion of young challengers – headed by Bapaume, Mega Fortune and Merie Devie – will make this race one of the most memorable contests staged at Cheltenham in recent years.  The County Hurdle is amongst the best and most profitable handicaps of the meeting and the final race of the Festival, the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase, is one of the most historic sporting contests in the country – having first been run back in 1834. However, the highlight of the final day and the jewel in National Hunt racing’s crown, is the Cheltenham Gold Cup. For over 80 years, the biggest and best names in the sport have come to Prestbury Park, looking to get their name etched into the famous Gold Cup trophy, alongside all-time greats like Arkle, Best Mate and Kauto Star.  Thistlecrack is the hot favourite to claim the title and to watch Colin Tizzard’s charge attack the obstacles in his majestic, swashbuckling style is worth the admission fee alone. Fan’s favourite Cue Card will garner plenty of support from the crowd, as will seasonal victors like Native River and Bristol De Mai. The Guinness Grandstand will be bouncing as Djakadam, Outlander and Sizing John whip the Irish fans into a frenzy, ensuring this year’s Gold Cup – and the 2017 Cheltenham Festival as a whole – is a sporting occasion you simply cannot afford to miss. 2017 Cheltenham Festival Preview

WEST CORK, Ireland - Harnes racing jockey's David Brickley and Jamie Hurley both rode two winners on the day while Rhyds Ponder returned to winning ways in the featured Grade A & B Pace that were the headlines on a bitterly cold but dry day at the annual Dunmanway Road Trotting Races on the Killbarry Road . Brickley, the former multiple champion jockey, started off the day guiding The Red Rebel (a winner on Memorial Day in Skibbereen) to victory in the Novice Pace. On The Other Side was sent off a warm favorite and sat in behind Fame Earned to the first turn. Both horses over shot the turning point and this allowed The Red Rebel and jockey Van Helsing to go clear with The Red Rebel eventually going on to win by 2 lengths with eight lengths back to On The Other Side. Young Deano, a dashing grey pacer, has finished second on three of his four tarmac outings and this time put it right on the day, taking an ultra competitive Grade D and gave David Brickley his second win of the day . The winner and Millers Boy, ridden by Ciaran Brickley (a brother of David), were at the head of affairs for most of the contest .At The final turn Young Deano had edged in front in the "Battle of The Brothers" and ran out a three length winner from newcomer Coalford Hardy with Millers Boy staying on to finish third. Jamie Hurley has been racking up the winners in his second season on the road and added two more on the day. IB Tweedy wont get an easier assignment all year when landing the Grade E at prohibitive odds. IB Tweedy was sent to the front after a furlong and the six length winning margin could have been a lot more with Return Of The Mac putting in its best performance to date to finish second. Ryds Artist has been mixing it with the big boys in the top grade but was down in the handicap today in the Grade C, but came up against the unbeaten Saunders Paris who was having her first outing in higher company today. Both market principles were prominent at the opening turn. There was drama at the second turn where Deirdre Goggin got unseated from Saunders Paris leaving Rhyds Artist clear and this gave Jamie Hurley his second win of the afternoon. Thoughts then turned to the fallen jockey and horse, but thankfully both returned unscathed. Deirdre Goggin is made of stern stuff and following the compulsory check over by the Medical Staff, sat back on Rhyds Ponder in the grade A . With his arch rival Maitha Buachaill an absentee, "Ponder " got back to winning ways but not before a great battle with Tactician Du Lys. The imposing French bred trotter really served it up to the 2016 Horse of the year and it was only in the final furlong that Rhyds Ponder got the better of Tactician, winning by four lengths. The All Ireland Road Championships are next on the menu in three weeks time at Owenahincha and we will preview that next week by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE A & B (The George & Monica Deane Memorial Cup) 1. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 2. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O Leary 3. D Brickley MEADOWBRANCH KIKI Owner GRADE C 1. L O Brien RHYDS ARTIST J Hurley 2. J Manning SPRINGHILL JAZ D Brickley GRADE D 1. D Brickley YOUNG DEANO Owner 2. J woodland COALFORD HARDY J Hurley 3. C Brickley MILLERS BOY Owner GRADE E 1. On For The Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 2. P Kane RETURN OF THE MAC M O Reilly 3. G O Callaghan TROOPERS HARMONY M Goggin Jnr NOVICE 1. D O Callaghan THE RED REBEL D Brickley 2. M O Brien VAN HELSING P O Brien 3. D McCarthy ON THE OTHER SIDE Marie Moloney    

WEST WALES, UK - Management at Tir Prince Raceway are delighted to announce that Top Notch will be sponsoring the British Harness Racing Club (BHRC) Derby and the BHRC Oaks, which will take place at Tir Prince Raceway on Saturday 9th September. Formed in 1984, Top Notch is a family run business and are leading importers and suppliers of toys to the Amusement Arcade & Holiday Park Industry.   Tir Prince Raceway is delighted to have secured this sponsorship and would like to thank Martin Millar of Top Notch. This promises to be a great night of racing as The BHRC Derby and Oaks races are steeped in history and are for Three Year Old Pacers, run over a very tough one and a half mile distance.   This year the races have been granted Group One Status for the first time, which elevates their importance in the harness racing calendar even higher. by Eric Witherspoon, for Tir Prince  

The second annual British Harness Racing Club (BHRC) and Standardbred and Trotting Horse Association of Great Britain and Ireland (STAGBI) joint awards dinner will this year feature the inaugural 'Drive of the Year' award which is being sponsored and supported by none other than world famous USA reinsman, Tim Tetrick. The six shortlisted drives were selected by a small panel from within the awards night organisation committee and the winner will be chosen by a public poll which closes at midday on Tuesday 14th February - For the link to vote click here. Before casting your vote, take a look at the drives which have been selected: Race 1 - James Haythornthwaite & Porcelain Seelster - James Haythornthwaite comes from last to clinch the Victor Carson Memorial Final with a well-timed run at Corbiewood on board 3YO filly, Porcelain Seelster (September 2016) Race 2 - John Nicholson Jr & Cochise - Sixteen-year-old John Nicholson Jr holds off 2015 Leading Driver William 'Rocker' Laidler to win the Red John Memorial Hurricane Pace at Musselburgh (one of the major handicap events of the calendar) in a cool drive on board Cochise (June 2016) Race 3 - Ian Pimlott & Thundier Jiel - Seasoned campaigner Ian Pimlott guides Thunder Jiel to the trotter's first win on British soil since being imported from France, at the inaugural fixture at Chelmsford City Racecourse which followed the Thoroughbred card and was televised live on At The Races (November 2016) Race 4 - Mick Lord & Shaba Hanover - Mick Lord with what commentator Darren Owen described on the day as a 'perfectly timed' drive to guide Shaba Hanover to victory at York, having painted the outside fence to pass the leading horses in a thrilling finish (October 2016) Race 5 - Richard Haythornthwaite & Ayr Majesty - Richard Haythornthwaite guides former top British juvenile Ayr Majesty to an impressive victory when winning the Tregaron leg of the Standardbred Sales Company Battle of the Big Guns, which was the horse's sole win in the toughest of top flight company all season (August 2016) Race 6 - Vicky Gill & Rhyds Mystique - Vicky Gill passed the field coming home on Rhyds Mystique for the BHRC 2YO Filly of the Year's first of 8 victories from 9 starts in 2016 when winning the NWHOA 2YO Championship. This performance was only the first indication of what was to come from the champion performer (June 2016) The winner will be celebrated at the awards dinner on Saturday 25th February and presented with a trophy and prize package provided by world champion driver Tim Tetrick. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink  

The Vincent Delaney Memorial Committee is proud to again announce that a record number of horses have been nominated for the sixth annual VDM weekend of racing. The richest stakes weekend in all of Ireland and the UK, the VDM has developed into a must attend week-long festival in Dublin, Ireland with the races being held August 12 and 13, 2017. "To say we were overwhelmed with the support from the horse owners," said race founder Derek Delaney. "would be an understatement for our festival of harness racing. While we are slightly down on numbers in the two-year-old divisions, we made up for it on three-year-old's with our new joint sponsorship with Alabar Stud and Oakwood Stud." The premier event of the weekend is the sixth annual Vincent Delaney Memorial for two-year-old's. Perhaps harness racing's most grueling race as it calls for two-year-old's to race in elimination divisions Saturday and then the final on Sunday. A record number of pacing fillies entered the Diamond Creek Farm VDM with 38 nominated over 35 in 2016. The newly sponsored Hanover Shoe Farm VDM for colts saw a decline over prior year with 38 nominated for 2017 vs 45 in 2016. Rhyds Mystique, the BHRC filly of the year in 2016 and IB Coyote, winner of the Diamond Creek Farm VDM Final last year, are both nominated. Another record was set in nominations for the three-year-old Alabar-Oakwood Stud Derby with a total of 45 colts and fillies entered. The colt division has 23 entered and the new filly division has 23 nominated. Heading the list of colts for the Derby is Tyrion Hanover, the BHRC colt of the year last season and the winner of the VDM colt final. In the four-year-old newly sponsored Yirribee Paul Murtagh, SR. Memorial, only seven entered the horse division, mainly because of the presences of the 2016 Harness Horse of the Year in Ireland and the UK, Miraculous, returning for another championship season. He is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest racehorses ever in Ireland and the UK. Unfortunately, due to a lack of entries (only four) in the Yirribee Murtagh Mare Division, the race has been canceled. "We will however," said Delaney, "try our very best to stage a four-year-old and older mare's race on the weekend. "Overall we are really excited that our three major stakes events are up again in total horses." Delaney add, "This year we have 127 entered for the three stakes and last year was at 120. Anytime we can continue to increase total nominations it shows we are growing and that is always good." Complete listings of all the horses nominated will be available soon at By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial      

WEST CORK, Ireland - A double on the day for David Brickley, Saunders Paris and Maitha Buachaill maintain their unbeaten run and Hillside Mustang made it two wins on the bounce were the headlines from the annual Skibbereen Memorial Day on Sunday. Brickley kicked off his brace of winners with a hard fought win on The Red Rebel in the opening Novice pace .This one had a length to spare over Van Helsing. The double was completed in the very next race the Grade C. Here Brickley set the pace on Meadow Branch Kiki who he owns jointly with John Shanahan. Coming off the final turn he had a four length advantage and despite a late rally from Springhill jazz this son of Kikicolt held on to win by a length with Beautys Harmony a further two lengths back in third.   Saunders Paris has been a revelation in her debut season on the tarmac and the fine run continued in the Grade D.  Gadgie Pan and Young Deano disputed the running for the opening mile .Approaching the final turn Deirdre Goggin eased this daughter of Play With A Full Deck to the front and went on to win by four lengths.   Old rivals Rhyds Ponder and Maitha Buachill crossed swords once again in the Grade A . The scoreline read 3 - 0 to Buachill from their the e previous meetings and he had to give a twenty yard handicap to his five rivals.   Rhyds Ponder set all the early fractions from trotter Tactician Du Lys .Maitha Buachill remained in touch .Turning for home Rhyds Ponder looked as if he might upset the favourite.   In a titanic battle to the line both horses gave their all with Maitha Buachaill just getting up on the line for a half a length victory with Tactician Du Lys four lengths back in third.   Hillside Mustang followed up on his Ballygurteen victory with another impressive performance in the Grade E. This son of Harmony P led from the start to beat IB Tweedy who was having his first outing since being upgraded from the Novice Grade. Jason O Reilly rode the winner for the Cuigear Racing Syndicate and steps up to grade D next time.   Our next meeting takes place in Dunmanway on Sunday 12th February.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS NOVICE (PAT HURLEY MEMORIAL CUP) 1. D O Callaghan THE RED REBEL D Brickley 2. M O Brien VAN HELSING P O Brien   GRADE E (THE PADDY AND JASON KANE MEMORIAL CUP) 1. Cuigear Racing HILLSIDE MUSTANG J O Reilly 2. On For The Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 3. G O Callaghan TROOPERS HARMONY M Goggin Jnr   GRADE D (THE JOE & MARTIN BENNETT MEMORIAL CUP) 1. M Goggin SAUNDERS PARIS Deirdre Goggin 2. D Brickley YOUNG DEANO Owner 3 .C Brickley MILLERS BOY Owner   GRADE C (THE GERARD COLLINS MEMORIAL CUP) 1. Brickley/Shanahan MEADOWBRANCH KIKI D Brickley 2. P Manning SPRINGHILL JAZ Deirdre Goggin 3. R Joyce BEAUTYS HARMONY M O Reilly   GRADE A & B COMBINED (THE TIM COOPER KELLEHER MEMORIAL) 1. Hegarty / Hurley MAITHA BUACHILL J Hurley 2. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 3. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O Leary

Coming up this Sunday, January 29, 2017 is one of the great trotting events in the world, the Prix D'Amerique. Check out the great promo video (in English) by clicking here.  Here is another one in French that is super click here.

WEST CORK, Ireland - This Sunday the Road Trotting action takes place in Skibbereen where the annual Memorial Day has become one of the biggest meetings on the Winter Tarmac racing season. Already the crowds have flocked to the three race days already held. Drimoleague , Durrus and Ballygurteen have already entertained bumper crowds and that should be echoed this coming Sunday . The fixture also coincides with an annual tour of harness racing fans from Dublin ,Scotland ,Wales and England who have been travelling to "Skibbz" for over 25 years. "Christmas is for the ladies and the kids but Skibbereen is for the men" explains Thomas Bennett who has been a stalwart at the fixture for many years. A six race program is planned with cups dedicated to former trotting greats on offer for all races. These include The Tim Cooper Kelleher Memorial in memory of the former trotting bookmaker whose son Tim Junior continues the business on the Cork circuit. Paddy Kane and his son Jason from Dublin are also remembered with the large volume of Dublin visitors sponsoring their memorial race. Jack Pat Collins , Micheal O Driscoll and Pat Hurley were all members of the Skibbereen Committee and though they have departed us will be fondly remembered with a cup honoring each of them fot three of the races. A new addition this year is the Joe And Martin Bennett Memorial Cup. The Bennett family have supported racing in West Cork for many years and Martin was a regular Skibb visitor until his death a few years ago. So to the equine stars on display. Maithi Buachaill unbeaten so far this year carries a 20 yard handicap against his old foe Rhyds Ponder in the grade A . Tactician Du Lys an imported french trotter looks to make it four from four in the Grade B and already the talk on the street is his clash with the big boys in the Grade A when he joins them. Saunders Paris is another with a 100% record and looks for another win in the Grade D. IB Tweedy with wins in the Novice grade at Drimoleague and Ballygurteen moves to the grade E race where his unbeaten record will be tested by last weeks winner Hillside Mustang. A lot to look forward to .The venue is located on The Marsh Road with ample parking at the Mart complex a 30 second walk from the course. Action gets underway at 2 PM. Details of entries will be available on by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

OFFALY, Ireland - It has been announced by Derek and James Delaney of Oakwood Stud in Ireland, that they will be standing the French trotter, Rachmaninov Seven, for the 2017 breeding season. It will be the first time a French trotter has ever stood in Ireland. Acquired in a lease arrangement from his owner in Belgium, Rachmaninov Seven is a 12-year-old stallion sired by Korean from the Pelican Du Pont mare, Indiana Of The Bridge. Korean is also the sire of world champion racehorse Sebastian K. "We hope to have Rachmaninov Seven at Oakwood Stud by mid-March," said Derek Delaney. "It's great news for Oakwood to get involved in the breeding of French trotting horses here and to bring a horse of his calibre to the quality broodmares that have been bought in France for Ireland and the UK." The resulting foals from the 2017 season at Oakwood Stud will be eligible to all of the LeTrot Series in both Ireland and the UK plus they will be eligible to race not only in France, but throughout Europe. Rachmaninov Seven made 55 career starts with 12 wins, six second and four third place finishes with earnings of €418,975 and a record of 1.11.9 at 2175 meters. He was victorious in the Prix D'Angouleme, Prix Joseph Aveline, Prix De Clermont-Ferrand, Prix Magimnus and the Prix Bernard Le Quellec, all raced at Vincennes, Paris. He is owned by Lieven de Groot and is being leased from Star Breeding Company. 2017 will be the fourth season standing stud for Rachmaninov Seven. "His oldest foals are now three," Delaney said. "And the trainers are all talking good things about the ones they have training in Belgium. Delaney said they have not yet set a stud fee price for Rachmaninov Seven. "This is a win win situation for all of us." Delaney added. "The revitalization of the trotter here in Ireland and the UK over the last year thanks to the arrangements made with LeTrot in France is outstanding and growing by leaps and bounds." By Steven Wolf, for Oakwood Stud    

WEST CORK, Ireland - Jamie Hurley took the riding honors riding a first and last race double IB Tweedy in the opener and Maithi Buachaill in the finale of the Grade A trot at the annual Ballygurteen road trotting races on Sunday. Maithi Buachaill was looking for his third win on the bounce in the Grade A. Here he locked horns with his old rival Rhyds Ponder, who has finished second to him in their previous two outings . As always Deirdre Goggin set the fractions on Rhyds Ponder leading at the three turning points but Hurley did not let his arch rival get too far away and overtook her with three furlongs to go. Rhyds Ponder to his credit, battled back but Maithi Buachaill was not for catching and eventually had four lengths to spare. IB Tweedy had earlier impressed in the Novice. Here Hurley sent the winner to the front after two furlongs and never looked in any danger of defeat and will race in Grade E the next time out. Saunders Paris has swept all before her in her two previous outings and despite the step up to Grade D, this daughter of Play With a Full Deck continued to impress, making light work of her five rivals to record a six length rompn .Deirdre Goggin was in the plate and "Paris" is owned and trained by her father Micheal. Tactician Du Lys also remains undefeated this term.This imposing French bred trotter made his debut in the Grade B a winning one. When Favorite Democrat made a mess of the opening turn and was pulled up, this left Rhyds Artist with a commanding lead nearing the final turning point.  "Cool Hands" Timmy O'Leary had cut the advantage on the leader and coming off the sand at the last turn swept to the front to win by eight lengths. Already the talk has started of Tactician Du Lys taking on the big boys in the Grade A . The large partisan local crowd roared on Hillside Mustang to victory in the Grade E Race. Owned by the five strong Cuigear Racing syndicate, this son of Harmony P was given the office by Jason O'Reilly to lead home Big Jim by five lengths. David Brickley's season has been slow by his terms, but he got the ball rolling with a win on Meadowbranch Kiki in the Grade C, who had a titanic battle with race favorite Lakeview Walter eventually getting up to win by a head . The next meeting is the annual Memorial Day in Skibbereen on Jan 29th by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS NOVICE (Donal McCarthy Memorial Cup) 1.One For The Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 2. D McCarthy ON THE OTHER SIDE Marie Moloney 3. McCarthy/ Daly SHANES INCOME Grade E (Denis Dullea Memorial Cup) 1. Cuigear Racing HILLSIDE MUSTANG J O'Reilly 2. G Kane BIG JIM T O'Leary 3. C Brickley MILLERS BOY Owner Grade D (Jeremiah Keohane Memorial Cup) 1. M Goggin SAUNDERS PARIS Deirdre Goggin 2. R Joyce BEAUTYS HARMONY M O'Reilly 3.H Bennett WELLFIELD DAMIAN Marie Moloney Grade C (William O Donovan Memorial Cup) 1. Shanahan / Brickley MEADOWBRANCH KIKI D Brickley 2. R Joyce LAKEVIEW WALTER M O'Reilly 3. P Manning SPRINGHILL JAZZ Deirdre Goggin Grade B (Sean McCarthy Memorial Cup) 1. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O'Leary 2. L O Brien RHYDS ARTIST Grade A (Paddy Keohane Memorial Cup) 1. Hegarty / Hurley MAITHI BUACHAILL J Hurley 2. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 3. N Forbes MOUNTAIN DEW LAD J O'Reilly                                                          

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