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Harnesslink celebrating 17th birthday today

It's hard to believe but today (down under, tomorrow in North America) harness racing's www.harnesslink.com celebrates its 17th birthday.  Harnesslink is the brainchild of international horse agent, John Curtin (J.C. International), who 17 years ago saw a need for a world-wide harness racing website that put online the latest harness racing news from around the globe. John says, "Our policy is to keep improving every single day - 365 days of the year. We have staff working every day of the year to bring you all the latest harness racing news from every corner of the world. When Harnesslink launched in 2002 there were only four harness racing websites on the internet, so we've been in a unique position to have watched the harness racing community embrace the technological world during this time. It has been our pleasure to keep harness racing fans around the world informed of what is happening within our sport. We are projected to have over 3 million unique IP users in 2019, which will make Harnesslink the world’s most read harness racing site. "We will also have some blockbuster improvements to our website shortly," Curtin added.  We are still looking for ways to improve and provide you, our customers, with better coverage throughout the world, we continously strive to do this! We currently have more than 170,000 photos in our library and over 250,000 articles. If any of our readers have a worthy news item, please feel free to send it to news@harnesslink.com and we will do our best, as always, to print your article. We'd like to thank all of you for coming back regularly to read Harnesslink, if you're reading this you're obviously one of our faithful followers and we thank you. From the staff at Harnesslink

Harness racing

Louisa Barton: Harness racing’s busiest mum

Pembrokeshire horsewoman Louisa Barton, a successful Standardbred driver on the Wales and Borders circuit, is one of British Harness Racing’s busiest mums. She combines training a small team with driving at race meetings, motherhood and a full-time job. “Basically, I get up early, train Ayr Ontario and then get my two boys ready for school and myself ready for work. I then take the boys to school and go straight on to work,” Louisa said. “It’s busy and it takes a bit of juggling. Then we’ve got the after-school clubs and plenty to do with the boys as well.” Despite the gruelling schedule, Louisa wouldn’t have it any other way! “I do enjoy working with the horses. It’s always nice to see them getting fit and it’s exhilarating driving them too,” she said. Married to Rob Barton, also a harness racing driver, the couple have two boys – Ben, 9, and Tommy, 6. A qualified nurse, Louisa is a pre-assessment nurse at Withybush General Hospital, Haverfordwest. Louisa was born and bred into harness racing. Her mother Sandra Weigel and husband Horst have been involved in the Wales and Border Counties Racing Association as both participants and officials for more than 30 years. They prepare a successful team together on a 34 acre property at Llanddewi Velfrey with Horst having been a trainer-driver and Sandra a trainer in both racing codes – gallopers and pacers. Sandra has been a director of STAGBI (Standardbred and Trotting Horse Association of Great Britain) since 2015, a committee member of the Wales and Border Counties Racing Association for 10 years including three years as chairman and is a member of the WBCRA handicapping panel. Louisa has been in the gig in many of her family’s raceday successes. She started helping out with the horses when she was a 15-year-old. “I started out exercising the horses and riding them along the road, then we headed over to the races and basically I started riding in the saddle and doing cart racing in the juniors when I was 15,” Louisa said. Louisa landed her first winner in the juniors as a 16-year-old with Creative Jack at Brecon in mid-Wales. “It was my first drive in a race and my first win as well. It was a joint win with another girl. He (Creative Jack) basically just took a hold and I just had to sit there and make sure he got around really,” she stated. “My biggest win so far was in the Grade A at Caersws on a mare called Bon Bethan. She’s the best one we’ve ever had and the best one I’ve driven. In one year she won 16 races and I drove her in all of them. She was named Horse of the Year. “She was bought as a yearling at the Builth Wells sales in 2000 and we’ve still got her now as a broodmare.” In all, Bon Bethan won 73 races and Louisa was at the helm in 50 of them. Makemeamillionaire (37 wins), Ayr Ontario (34), No Mercy (18), Family Circle (trained by her husband Rob) and Creative Jack have been other good performers she partnered down through the years. A three-time winner of the Wales and Border Counties lady driver’s premiership, Louisa estimates she has driven around 200 winners to date. “Obviously winning is good and when you do get the win it makes it all worthwhile,” she said. “It’s also nice that even if they don’t win they run well.” By Peter Wharton, for Harnesslink        

IB A Magician, harness racing

Red Mills Cornfield Handicap to IB A Magician

West Cork, IE - The picturesque Cornfield Oval in Manch was the setting for the second "Premium Meeting" of the year in West Cork and organizers were blessed with fantastic weather and the harness racing was of the highest quality.   The feature was The Red Mills Cornfield Oval Handicap. Four elimination heats (raced over 1 1/4 miles) sent two from each into the final. The scene was set in the opening heat for a day of thrills and spills.   A Kind Of Magic was sent to post a favorite and led his five rivals away from the start. With four furlongs to pace he was joined by IB A Magician and the pair battled it out to the line with IB Magician prevailing by two lengths.   There was another titantic battle in heat two. Armoured Bear drew pole position and led No Big deal for the opening 6 furlongs. Then Earnies Umpire joined the pair and we were set for another dramatic finish.   Armoured Bear with 76-year-old John Boyle in the bike looked to have done enough but Jamie Hurley got Earnies Umpire up in the final strides to win by half a length. The winner was a recent purchase for new owners James Hurley and Pat Carberry.   Hail Spartacus was all the rage in the third heat but Fairdays Bret came with a wet sail to deny stable companion Rhyds Dilemma by two lengths.   Rhyds Destiny the recent Grand Prix winner was the punters pick in the final heat and the veteran came off a twenty yard handicap to lead home King wills Arrival by two lengths.   So, on to the final and again A Kind Of Magic set a seering pace followed by IB A Magican. The pair were three lengths clear entering the final circuit and all the while the field were closing in in the final eighth of a mile   IB A Magician got the upper hand and ran out a four length winner from King Wills, who stayed on late to finish second with Fairdays Bret a half a length back in third .   There were jubilant scenes in the presentation area as winning owner/driver Wayne Mc Nevin from Lucan Co Dublin was carried shoulder high by his supporters.   "I only bought the horse in early August and he's won at Annaghmore and twice today. I'm thrilled and its great coming to Cork and winning at a fantastic meeting. Fair play to the organizers." McNevin said at the post race press briefing.   There was further glory for the final winner as Benny Camden who Mc Nevin also owns and is trained in West Cork took out the fifth heat of the All Ireland Pace series.   Fairdays western led the four horse field until the final lap. Then Benny Camden hit the front and was followed by Sarahs Gift .Again we witnessed another epic battle with Benny Camden just coming out on top by 3/4 length.   "He won the low Grade Final at The Red John Meeting in Lyre and has improved in leaps and bounds .i dont think we have seen the best of him just yet" were the words of winning driver Donal Murphy and he takes his place in the series final in Portmarnock in late September.   The All Ireland Trot series also had its final heat today .Brooklyn Trixie led Vigo De Bassiere early with Aubade a Helene in third .This remained the order on the final lap Aubade A Helene threw down her challenge and when "Vigo" went off stride her task was made easier but general consensus was she would have won either way.   Oisin Quill drove two winners on the day both on trotters .Firstly Ariane Des Tithais looked in danger with a lap to go but out sprinted Empereur Souverain to win by eight lengths.   The double was completed in the very next race when Vallanzanna won a race which had so may leaders had the crowd almost asking what had won .   Another novice driver Jamie Hurley also drove two winners. IB A Warrior despite been drawn number eight made light work of his seven rivals winning by 11 lengths was the second winner for Hurley who won earlier on Earnies Umpire.   Dynamite Brouets since joining the Co Meath based Moorside Stables has sen a rejuvenated career and took to the Oval well and waas five lengths clear of Destin De Larre at the finish.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS ALL RACES RUN OVER 1 1/4 Miles UNLESS STATED   RACE ONE Heat One 1,IB A MAGICIAN W McNevin 2.A KIND OF MAGIC A Wallace 3.BEAT THE CLOCK J Richardson DIST 2L 16L TIME 2.41.9   RACE TWO Heat Two 1. EARNIES UMPIRE J Hurley 2.ARMOURED BEAR J Boyle 3.NO BIG DEAL S Kane DIST 1/2L 5L TIME 2.45.1   RACE THREE Heat Three 1.FAIRDAYS BRET A McCarthy 2.RHYDS DILEMMA C O Driscoll 3.HAIL SPARTACUS O Quill DIST 2L 5L TIME 2.42.8   RACE FOUR Heat Four 1. RHYDS DESTINY T O Leary 2.KING WILLS ARRIVAL O Quill 3.SUPREME SUNSHINE J Boyle DIST 2L 3L TIME 2.42.8   RACE FIVE 1.IB A WARRIOR J Hurley 2.MOORSIDE MYRA S Kane 3.MOORSIDE JOSEPH J O Mahony DIST 11L 2L TIME 2.47.3   RACE SIX 1 1/2 Miles 1.DYNAMITE BROUETS S Kane 2.DESTIN DE LARRE F Quill Jnr 3.BELLA DESPANA L Kelleher DIST 2L 2L TIME 3.27.4   RACE SEVEN 1 1/2 Miles 1.ARIANE DES TITHAIS O Quill 2.EMPEREUR SOUVERAIN D O Reilly 3.ANTINGO D Murphy DIST 8L 3/4L TIME 3.23.3   RACE EIGHT 1 1/2 Miles 1.VALLANZANA O Quill 2.BRUTENOR P Hill 3.BATMAN DU RELAIS A Wallace DIST 1 1/2L NK TIME 3.25.8   RACE NINE All Ireland Pace Series 1.BENNY CAMDEN D Murphy 2.SARAHS GIFT J Cowden 3.FAIRDAYS WESTERN A Walace DIST 3/4L 12L TIME 2.44.1   RACE TEN All Ireland Trot Series 1 1/2 Miles 1. AUBADE A HELENE P Hill 2. BROOKLYN TRIXIE S Kane 3. VIGO DE BASSIERE D Murphy DIST 3 1/2L 1L TIME 3.22.1   RACE ELEVEN The Red Mills Cornfield Oval Handicap Final 1.IB A MAGICIAN W McNevin 2.KING WILLS ARRIVAL O Quill 3.FAIRDAYS BRET A McCarthy DIST 4L 1/2L TIME: 2:44.1  

Turning for home at Ballabuidhe,Harness racing

Ballabuidhe Grand Prix goes to Rhyds Destiny

West Cork, IE - Rhyds Destiny and driver Timmy O'Leary were worthy winners of the 2019 Murphys/Hurley & White Grand Prix at a wet Ballabuidhe on bank holiday Monday.   Four elimination heats were held with two qualifiers from each heat.   In the opening heat Gamblers Gold a winner on his previous two starts tried to make all the running but was collared on the run in by IB A Magician.   In the second heat Just a promise led for most of the testing trip but Fairdays Bret made a race winning move with two furlongs to go and ran out an easy winner.   The third heat was settled in the stewards room .Hail Spartacus passed the post first but was found to have interfered with the runner up Coalford Bruce and the placings were reversed.   In the concluding heat Rhyds Destiny was all the rage in the betting and never gave his supporters any anxious moments and ran out to a four length winning marginIn the final punters again latched on to Rhyds Destiny despite a thirty yard handicap.   Fairdays Bret and Coalford Bruce were the pace setters on a track that was now running very heavy. Rhyds Destiny was slowly bringing down the handicap and Timmy O Leary made his move with four furlongs to pace and was not for catching winning by four lengths from IB A Magician with King Wills Arrival third .   The winner is owned by John Shanahan and UK dairy farmer John Mycock from Derby.   Shanahan and driver O'Leary had four winners on the day with American Rebel joining Rhyds Destiny heat and final and Coalford Bruce another heat winner in the winners circle.   O'Leary completed a five timer of wins when landing the maiden aboard Moorside Myra who has shown promise and got her day in the Sun today.   The other feature was The Paddy Connolly Memorial for trotters and here it was Silvano Bello and Donal Murphy who made all the running to win from Batman Du Relais with Vallanzanna back in third. Silvano Bello a former winner of The Maven Trot added another notch to his impressive CV.   In the consolation final for pacers John Boyle at 76 years of age steered home his own mare Supreme Sunshine to beat recent Red John Memorial winner Rhyds Panache while in the tro consolation Banialouka who hated the going on Sunday made amends when winning easy from Brutenor and Tarnao Josselyn.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS   Grand Prix final 1.Rhyds Destiny T O'Leary 2.IB A Magician D Murphy 3.King Wills Arrival O Quill DIST 4L 1L 7 Ran   Grand Prix Heat winners IB A Magician D Murphy Fairdays Bret A McCarthy Coalford Bruce T O'Leary RhydsDestiny T O'Leary   Paddy Connolly Memorial Final 1.Silvano Bello D Murphy 2.Batman Du Relais S Quill 3.Vallanzanna O Quill DIST 3L 1L 5 Ran   Consolation Grand Prix 1.Supreme Sunshine J Boyle 2.Rhyds Panache C O'Reilly 3.Sunnyside Kildare D Murphy DIST 2L 2L 4 Ran   Consolation Trot 1.Banialouka K Sheehy 2.Brutenor P Hill 3.Tarnao Josselyn S Quill DIST 4L 2L 7 Ran   Maiden Pace 1.Moorside Myra T O'Leary 2.Talented Girl S Jennings Jnr 3.The Red Rebel M Goggin Snr DIST 3L 2L 6 ran   Grade G1 Pace 1.American Rebel T O'Leary 2.Moorside Captain J O Mahony 3.Brywins One Off M Goggin Snr DIST 12L 12L 4 ran  

West Cork, IE - Following an early morning inspection, racing just about went ahead at the annual Ballabuidhe Festival.   Three elimination heats heats of The Paddy Connolly Memorial for Trotters saw two qualify for the Bank Holiday Monday Final.   In the opening heat Silvano Bello and Donal Murphy were all the rage in the betting market and this pair toyed with their rivals and despite being challenged by Ariane Des Tithais for most of the mile and a half ran out for an easy 2 length victory.   The second heat was rather a messy affair and after early mistakes it was Batman Du Relais who led home Antingo with Brutemor a remote third .The winner is owned and trained by Finbarr Quill.   In the final heat Banialouka a winner on her previous two starts was the punters choice but the ever consistent Vallanzana was not for catching giving owner Finbarr Quill his second win of the day and driver Seanus Quill a driving double .Amende De Cosse capturing the second qualifying spot .   The weather took a turn for the worse after this heat and promoters cancelled the remainder of the card.   The plan is to start at 1 Pm on Monday with the four elimination heats of the Grand Prix followed by two graded paces and then the Connolly Memorial Final and consolation Final followed by the Grand Prix Consolation and finishing off with the Grand Prix Final   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS   Paddy Connolly Memorial Heat One 1.SILVANO BELLO D Murphy 2.ARIANE DES TITHAIS F Quiil Jnr 3.BELLA DESPANA L Kelleher DIST 2L 1 1/2L 6 Ran   Heat Two 1.BATNAN DU RELAIS S Quill 2.ANTINGO D Murphy 3.BRUTENOR P Hill DIST 3L 12L 4 Ran   Heat Three 1.VALLANZANA S Quill 2.AMENDE DE COSSE E Kane 3.BANIALOUKA K Sheehy DIST 1/2L 1L 5 Ran   Rain caused cancelation of the remaining race card

West Cork, IE - Rhyds Destiny with "Cool Hands" Timmy O Leary in the bike took the featured Willie Bradfield Memorial Cup at The Cornfield Oval in Manch on Sunday as racing was of top notch at the Duggan family owned oval.   Sunnyside Kildare set the early fractions in the feature with Rhyds Destiny and Supreme Sunshine sitting in behind. Then with two furlongs to pace O Leary made his move on the veteran Rhyds Destiny and ran out a two length winner from Supreme Sunshine who lost nothing in defeat.   The winner who has been a great servant of owners John Shanahan and UK based owner John Mycock is a former winner of the Red John Memorial back in 2018.   Jamie Hurley, who works for the Mike Kennedy national hunt yard in Upton, drove his first double . IB A Warrior initiated the brace when landing the opener. Hurley sent this four year old son of Arts Conquest to the front and had to battle on to beat the late finishing Cushenstown Rocky by two and a half lengths.   Moorside Myra who finished third was one that will go into the notebook for the future.   Lakeview Panam followed up on her Lisangle win and completed the double for Hurley .Again the novice driver was not waiting around for his rivals and had three lengths in hand on Armoured Bear with IB A Magician back in third.   "My Dad James and my brother Conor look after the show at home and the lads who own IB A Warrior are around the yard most days so I think we might have a few drinks to celebrate and look ahead to the Ballabuidhe Festival for both of these" Hurley told the press briefing.   Hail Spartacus has been another great servant to the Hill Family and Oisin Quill always seems to get a good tune out of the former Grand Prix winner. He showed tenacious battling qualities today.   Western Dreamer, Just A Promise and Coalford Bruce all had a "rattle" off the front runner and they threw everything at him bar the kitchen sink, but he was not for passing.   There were two trots on the card. Banialouka, a mare with tremendous ability, has been knocking at the door all year and showed her true colours this afternoon.   Trained by Micheal Duggan and John Hurley for the DHK partnership she never put a foot wrong and led home Vallanzana and Bella Despana.   "We always knew she had ability and has just been a bit unlucky," added co trainer Duggan.   Banderillero Piya is another one that has found the winning ways .A winner in Portmarnock last Sunday, he put in another perfect round accounting for stable companion Tenor Meslos with Brutenor back in third.   With the all Ireland series continuing at The Premium meeting in Annaghmore next week there is no local action until the two day Ballabuidhe Festival in Dunmanway on the August Bank holiday weekend.Details of entries can be got on www.irishharnessracing.com.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink       RESULTS   RACE ONE 1.IB A WRRIOR J Hurley 2.CUSHENSTOWN ROCKY O Quill 3.MOORSIDE MYRA T O Leary DIST 2 1/2L 1/2L TIME 2.39.9   RACE TWO 1.LAKEVIEW PANAM J Hurley 2.ARMOURED BEAR J Boyle 3.IB A MAGICIAN D Murphy DIST 3L 2L TIME 2.37.1   RACE THREE 1.BANIALOUKA K Sheehy 2.VALLANZANA O Quill 3.BELLA DESPANA L Kelleher DIST 4L NS TIME 2.45.6   RACE FOUR 1.RHYDS DESTINY T O Leary 2.SUPREME SUNSHINE J Boyle 3.RHYDS PANACHE C O Reilly DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.34.8   RACE FIVE 1.HAIL SPARTACUS O Quill 2.COALFORD BRUCE T O Leary 3.JUST A PROMISE P McInerney DIST 2L 1L TIME 2.38.7   RACE SIX 1.BANDERILLERO PIYA D Murphy 2.TENOR MESLOS O Quill 3 BRUTENOE P Hill DIST 3L 1L

Gamblers Gold who finished second on his initial run at Lyre produced a performance on Saturday evening in Lisangle that would suggest that a bright future is in store for this son of Cams Security.   Mike Goggin Jnr was in the bike and set the six year old alight from the start and ran out an easy seven length winner.   " Hes a six year old and look he took a while to mature. We were expecting a big run in Lyre and he didnt disappoint but met a decent horse that day but today I think he came on a lot from that run and we give a week off and plan after that" said delighted owner Marie Moloney.   Donal Murphy and Silvano Bello are a partnership as old as this scribe and were easy winners of the Low Grade Trot.   Murphy sent this veteran to the front after the opening quarter mile and were never in any danger .   Overall the last 24 hours were good to Baltimore based Murphy as on Friday night /Saturday morning Reclamation who he jointly owns with Bill Donovan (Main Sponsor of The Red John Memorial Festival) extended her winning run to seven at the Meadowlands Raceway in New Jersey USA and connections have big plans for the filly.   John Boyle at 76 years again showed the younger lads how its done when taking the Top Grade Pace on Supreme Sunshine.   Sunnyside Kildare and Hurry Up Abi set the early fractions but were passed with three furlongs to pace and Supreme Sunshine won by a length from Hurry Up Abi with Meadowbranch Demon a neck back in third   Jamie Hurley and Lakeview Panam were fastest on the clock for the evening .The pair took charge off the start and ran out 19 length winners from Moorside Captain.   "She missed out on the Red John Weekend but wee knew today that she was spot on .We see how she comes out of today and then weigh up her options" Hurley briefed the media after racing.   Brutenor and Patrick Hill were seen to good effect in the high grade trot .Winners of the Maven Derby in 2018 thay sat in behind early leader Valliant Forgion and with four furlongs to trot led and eventually led home Ultimo D'Ouville by three lengths.   There is no local racing next week with many of the West Cork Contingent heading to Tregaron in wales for the two day Festival .   RESULTS RACE ONE 1.Gamblers Gold M Goggin Jnr 2.Moorside Joseph J O Mahony 3.The Red Rebel M Goggin Snr DIST 7L 7L TIME 2.12.4 3 Ran   RACE TWO 1.Silvano Bello D Murphy 2.Vallanzanna S Quill 3. Banialouka K Sheehy DIST 2 1/4L 2 1/4L TIME 2.15.7 8 Ran   RACE THREE 1.Lakeview Panam J Hurley 2.Moorside Captain D O Mahony 3.The Hitman D Murphy DIST 19L 3 3/4L TIME 2.08.8 8 Ran   RACE FOUR 1.Brutenor P Hill 2.Ultimo D'Ouville J Hurley 3.Antigo D Murphy DIST 3/4L 5 3/4L TIME 2.16.5 6 Ran   RACE FIVE 1.Supreme Sunshine J Boyle 2.Hurry Up Abi J Manning Jnr 3.Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher DIST 1L NK TIME 2.09.   Tim KELLEHER

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Bugsy Maguire may have lost the early tussle off the gate this week but there was no stopping his march to the harness racing winner's circle in the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Rose Run Quest (Driven by Marc Campbell) was quickest off the wings in the $5,500 featured event with Doctor Royal (Walter Cheverie) getting away in the pocket spot and Bugsy Maguire ducking into the three-hole in the first turn. The fractions were tripped in 27.4 and 56.4 then driver Myles Heffernan Sr., angled Bugsy Maguire out of third and began his first-over advance on Rose Run Quest before the three-quarters of 1:25.4. He was able to wear down his pacesetting foe in the final quarter and prevailed by one-and-a-half lengths in 1:55.2 on a track listed with a one second variant due to rain. Rose Run Quest was second while Euchred (David Dowling) was third. Walter Simmons of Summerside holds the ownership papers of the five-year-old son of Bettor's Delight while Bugsy Maguire hangs his harness bag in the Wade Sorrie stable of Pinette. The Cecil Ladner Memorial was the top event but the Ladner family was front and center in another top event as Jordies Hope was a winner in the $2,800 Fillies and Mares Open in 1:57.1 with Corey MacPherson at the lines. Brian Ladner, the son of the late Cecil Ladner, co-owns and trains the daughter of Astronomical with fellow Charlottetown residents Lillian and Kevin Ladner. The night was also home to a harness racing rarity with three dead heats on the evening including two different races with dead heats for the winning spot. Race 2 on the card saw Hysteria (MacPherson) hit the wire in unison with Fox Valley Riviera (Jason Hughes) in 2:00. Michael Gallant trains hysteria while Kevin Gills handles the training duties on Fox Valley Riviera. The second dead heat for victory was in race 5 as Vaughan Doyle trainee Windsun Rebel (Dale Spence) crept up in the finals strides to hit the line together with the Jackie Matheson trained Give Em Heck (Gilles Barrieau) in a mile time of 2:01.2. Gillis had two training wins on the program as Jeb closed out the card with a 1:57.4 score with Hughes in the bike. Midnight Matt tripled up Hughes in the weekly Drive For Home Series event presented by Hillside Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac. Time of the mile was 1:58 for the Jennifer Doyle owned and trained pacer. MacPheron also had three wins on the card as Soccer Hanover captured the $3,000 Junior Invitational in 1:56.3 for owner-trained Leith Waite of Summerside. Total wager on the evening was $51,511. For race replays and more go to www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

West Cork, IE - Rhyds Panache with Chris O Reilly in the bike took the Red John Memorial Final at Lyre On Sunday. The harness racing final will go down as one of the greatest races ever to be held in Ireland . Rhyds Destiny, who impressed in the qualifying heat on Saturday, set a strong early pace. At the half way point of the mile and a quarter race Gentleman Jim joined the leader and with three furlongs to pace took up the running, all the while the "posse" were closing in.   Turning for home Gentleman Jim was still to the fore but the chasing pack were coming from all angles with Master Plan in the centre, Porterstown Courage on the outside and Rhyds Panache up the rail.   In the shadow of the post Rhyds Panache just got up by a neck to beat Porterstown Courage with Gentleman Jim a half length back.   Rhyds Panache winner of the 2019 RJM Final at Lyre          Nadina Ironia Photo   There were emotional scenes in the winners enclosure as driver Chris O'Reilly, a life long friend of Red John, was almost speechless.   "This is the one I always wanted to win and I think I must had got a little help from my friend John up there in heaven," O'Reilly explained. "There was no room turning for home but as the horses tired a small gap appeared and my horse ran on. He tries his heart out and we will enjoy tonight." added O'Reilly, his voice tinged with both sadness and joy.    Presentation of the RJM to winning connections of Rhyds Panache   Nadina Ironia Photo   The Maven Trot Final was another epic encounter.   Emeric Du Perreux was all the rage in the betting and punters bet this one as if defeat was not an option.   Those who wedged in looked happy as the 5 year old took up the running .With a mile to race Martin Loughran on Valliant De Gueham came long side the leader and for the remaining mile and hassled the leader.   Entering the final quarter mile "Emeric" looked the likely winner but Loughran was not done for and ran out a 3 length winner.   Martin Loughran winning the Maven Trot Final on Vaillant Du Gueham  Nadina Ironia Photo   This was the cue for a mass invasion of the winners enclosure as the Roche/Joyce /Mc Aleer families, who travel en mass to all meetings and were ten deep for the photo.   The winning driver, Martin Loughran, who hails from the Cooley Penninsula, and though diminutive in size seems to have "magical powers " when it comes to driving the trotters.   Winning connections of The Maven Trot   Nadina Ironia Photo   Tadgh Murphy, who was in the past has been Southern champion driver though in latter years, is the trainer at IB Stables and donned his silks for "a catch drive " in the PJI Engineering Handicap Final on Benny Camden, who got the better of Rhyds Rival in another epic battle.   " I think I go into retirement on a winning note," joked Murphy in the post race interview.   The meeting of Abraham and Vigo De Bassiere in the Free For All Trot was eagerly anticipated and they served up another thriller with "Vigo " coming out on top, but Beach De Bellouet almost stole the glory from his more famed rivals but his day will come.   American Rebel took the 3 year old Grass Championship and the winner looks destined for stardom In the consolation finals. King Wills Arrival with 16 year old Oisin Quill, Stakes On The Pan who ran terrible on day one in the heats but showed his true mettle and Besame Mucho who John Richardson described as the unluckiest drive he had in years in the heats, were all winners.   Competing drivers at The 2019 RJM          Nadina Ironia Photo   On a weekend of 23 races this scribe could write pages on the action which was top class on a venue that owner Ger Hegarty has done so much work on and was met with with universal approval.   The Red John Committee pulled out all the stops and were rewarded for their efforts, ROLL ON TO 2020!   Caroline Collins left (RJM Committee) making presentations to Bill Donovan & Family (Main sponsors)and to Gretta Cormican   On a sad note patrons on Sunday were told of the passing of Gerry Keenan from Dublin .Gerry was a Hall Of Fame member here in Ireland.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS   RED JOHN MEMORIAL FINAL 1.Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. Porterstown Courage J Cowden 3. Gentleman Jim J Richardson DIST NK 1L Time 2.49.9   MAVEN TROT FINAL 1 Vaillant De Gueham M Loughran 2. Emeric Du Perreux J Richardson 3. Urbano De Selles B Roche DIST 3L 1L Time 3.17.7   PJI Engineering Handicap Final 1.Benny Camden T Murphy 2. Rhyds Rival B Roche 3. Newtown Major M McAleer DIST 1L 10L Time 2.41.0   M50 Skip Hire FFA Trot 1 Vigo De Bassiere K Sheehy 2. Abraham S Duggan 3. Beach de Bellouet F Kavanagh Jnr DIST 2L 2L Time 3.24.3   Oakwood Stud/Keohane Readymix 3 Year old Grass Championship 1.American Rebel T O Leary 2. Elski P Kane Jnr 3. IB Notorious D Murphy DIST 7L 3L Time 2.50.4   RJM Consolation Final 1.King Wills Arrival O Quill 2.Coalford Bruce T O Leary 3.Streamside Star E Joyce DIST 1L 1L Time 2.46.8   PJI Engineering Consolation 1.Stakes On The Pan P Kane Jnr 2. IB McGregor F Kavanagh Jnr 3.Panam Colt L Kelleher DIST 4L 1/2L Time 2.51.1   Maven Consolation 1.Besame Mucho J Richardson 2.Banialouka K Sheehy 3. Tarnao Josselyn DIST 2L 2L Time 3.201.1  

West Cork, IE - Brywins Starship owned locally by Micheal Healy was a popular winner of the George Deane Memorial Final, the first of the big Summer Handicaps, which took place at Dunmanway on Sunday.   Three Elimination were held with two to qualify from each for the final.   In the opening heat Western Dreamer and Armoured Bear went to battle early and remained in front into the final quarter .Here Hurry Up Abi hit the front and led home Western dreamer by two lengths.   In the second heat Brywins Starship drew pole position and was never headed leading home Hail Spartacus by a length . In The final qualifier punters "waded into" Meadowbranch Demon and despite carrying a thirty yard handicap the veteran ran his rivals ragged and ran on a two length winner from Sunnyside Kidare.   In The final the "smart money " came for Brywins Starship .Hurry Up Abi led early from Sunnyside Kildare .With two furlongs to pace Brywins Starship was set alight Meadowbranch Demon this time on a 50 yard trail made his move but hit traffic on the final corner and Brywins Starship was not to be denied on his home track staying on to beat Hurry Up Abi by a length.   "My late father and George Deane were great friends and its a great honor to win here today .He takes a bit of a hit in the handicap but its full steam ahead to The Red John Memorial in two weeks, " winning owner Mike Healy said in the press briefing.   The winner was driven by his nephew Richard Kingston.   Waxies Dargle, who disappointed on his previous two starts, made amends in the Grade G /G1 Pace. This son of Connors Dragon led from the start and won by three lengths and landed some nice bets for connections and gave Ryan Manning his first winner under rules.   There was only one trot on the card and it was the ultra consistent Tarnao Josselyn who sat behind Un Boss for most of the mile and his five length winning margin could have been much more.   There is no local action next week so The Red John Memorial Festival is next for followers with over €100,000 in purse money on offer in Lyre.   By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS  Race One  Hurry Up Abi J Manning jnr Western Dreamer K Sheehy IB A Magician D Murphy  DIST 2L 4L TIME 2.07.1 7 Ran    Race Two  Brywins Starship R Kingston  Hail Spartacus P Hill Panam Colt L Kelleher  DIST 1L 1L TIME 2.06.2 6 Ran    Race Three  Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher  Sunnyside Kildare D Murphy  King Wills Arrival O Quill  DIST 2L 1/2L TIME 2.05.2 5 Ran    Race Four  Tarnao Josselyn S Quill  Vigo De Bassiere K Sheehy UN Boss D O Mahony  DIST 5L 2L Time 2.14.2 8 Ran    Race Five  Waxies Dargle R Manning  Cushenstown Rocky P Gilligan  Brywins One Off M Goggin Jnr  DIST 3L 1L TIME 2.10.9 7 Ran    Race six (Final)  Brywins Starship R Kingston  Hurry Up Abi J Manning Jnr  Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher  DIST 1L NK TIME 2.05.2 6 Ran 

West Cork, IE - John Boyle was the man of the moment when recording a double at a sun drenched "Cornfield Oval " in Manch on Sunday.   Boyle one of the most popular personalities in Irish Harness Racing and at 76 years of age showed that age is only a number when steering home both of his horses where he trains from his Doneraile Base in North Cork.   Armoured Bear kicked off his winning run. Waxies Dargle set a frenetic pace up front and led to the three quarter pole but Boyle produced the winner at this point and ran out a six length winner from favorite Western Dreamer. Supreme Sunshine a half brother to Armoured Bear completed the double .Rhyds Dilemma led early in this but Boyle hit the front after half a mile and was never for heading in the mile and a quarter contest and stayed on to win by three lengths from Rhyds Panache.   "Im a non drinker all my life and walk five miles around Doneraile Park every morning before jogging the horses at home. There is a lot of young drivers out there but as long as Im fit enough and enjoying the sport I keep going, " added the "Young Man" in the press briefing.   Brywins One Off second last week on the beach went one better today. Mike Goggin Snr is another of the older generation of drivers sent the son of Share The Delight to the front in the last quarter to lead home Hail Caesar by 5 lengths .   Paul Mc Inerney made the long journey from Co Clare to the the opener with Just A Promise .A son of Fantastic Western they upset the odds to beat favorite IB Notorious by six lengths.   Philip "Buster" Gilligan made even a longer journey from his Co Meath base to land the high grade trot with Bian Luis Porsguen . Antigo and Tarnao Josselyn both made breaks but the winner was not to be out done and had one and a half lengths over Tenor Meslos .   "It's his first time racing on grass, so we enter him in the big free all Trot at the Red John Memorial In Lyre," said Gilligan .   Patrick Hill came in for the catch drive on Bella D Espana (Luke Kelleher laid up with a stomach virus) when taking the low grade trot .A recent addition to the Macroom based Kelleher Bros who are cousins of Hill led from the start and was never headed Next  week is George Deane Memorial Day in Dunmanway with heats and final for pacers.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS   Race One BRYWINS ONE OFF M Goggin SnrHAIL CAESAR P Hill MOORSIDE JOSEPH J O Mahony DIST 4 1/2L 1 1/4L TIME 2.39.6   Race Two JUST A PROMISE P McInerneyIB NOTORIOUS D Murphy CUSHENSTOWN ROCKY P Gilligan DIST 6L 5 1/2L TIME 2.32.0   Race Three BELLA D'ESPANA P HillARIANE DES TIHAIS S QuillUN BOSS J O Mahony DIST 1 1/2L 1L TIME 3.16.7   Race Four ARMOURED BEAR J Boyle WESTERN DREAMER K SheehyTHE HITMAN D Murphy DIST 1 1/2L 7L TIME 2.34.3   Race Five BIAN LUIS FORSGUEN P Gilligan TENOR MESLOS O Quill AUBADE A HELENE P.Hill DIST 1 1/2L 5L TIME 3.13.3   Race Six SUPREME SUNSHINE J Boyle RHYDS PANACHE C O Reilly KING WILLS ARRIVAL O Quill DIST 3L 2L TIME 2.30.5 Virus-free. www.avast.com

The 2019 West Cork harness Racing season opened at the "Blue Flag" Inchadoney Beach on Sunday at it was veteran pacer Meadowbranch Demon who stole the headlines at this most beautiful of venues.   Rhyds Dilemma and Coalford Bruce led out the gate with Coalford Bruce leading after the first quarter .Sunnyside Kildare led at halfway and held that lead to the final turn .All the while Meadowbranch Demon was moving nearer and took up the running in the final eighth of a mile to lead home the fast finishing Rhyds Panache by four lengths,   " He might be 13 years young but is loving his racing and has been a great servant " commented winning driver Luke Kelleher .   Empereur Souverain drew pole position in the trot and was never headed .This five year old had been one of the leading four year old trotters last year and was unlucky in defeat last week in Portmarnock but Denis O Reilly had an armchair drive and his length and a half winning margin could have been more and plenty more winning days are in store.   IB Notorious who broke his maiden in Tir Prince at the end of last season took the low grade pace. This three year old son of Hasty Hall came home 12 lengths clear of Brywins One Off . winning driver Donal Murphy is part owner of the colt with Bill Donovan from Florida who is the main sponsor of the Red John Memorial Festival which takes place in Lyre On June 15th & 16th    "He will head for the Three Year Grass Championship in Lyre and is staked up for all the major three year old races both at home in the UK" said Murphy .   Oisin Quill has struck up a good partnership with Vallanzana and the pair were seen to good effect in the high grade trot .   Since his stable move to the Quills in Kenmare he had "paid The Bills" .Sixteen year old Oisin is one of the future stars of the sport .   Brywins Starship according to owner MiKe Healy"Takes time to come into form" but driver Richard Kingston a nephew of the owner had him in top shape coming of the back to win the Mid grade Pace.   "He is staked up  in the Red John and he suprised me today"    A large team of volunteers were on hand to erect and dismantle the track on the beach which drivers described as the best ever.   Next Sunday the action moves to The Cornfield Oval in Manch.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS    RACE ONE   IB NOTORIOUS D Murphy  BRYWINS ONE OFF M Goggin Jnr  JUST A PROMISE P McInerney  TIME 2.18.6 DIST 12L 4L RACE TWO  EMPEREUR SOURVERAIN D O Reilly  BRASSILA MATCH S Kane SILVANO BELLO D Murphy TIME 3.42.2 DIST 1 1/2L 3 1/2L RACE THREE  BRYWINS STARSHIP R Kingston  SPRINGHILL DOYLE C O Reilly WESTERN DREAMER S KANE TIME 2.16.1 4 1/2L 4L  RACE FOUR    VALLANZANNA O Quill  ANTIGO D Murphy  DESTINE DE LARRE S Quill TIME 3.25 1L 3/4L RACE FIVE  MEADOWBRANCH DEMON L Kelleher RHYDS PANACHE C O Reilly COALFORD BRUCE T O Leary TIME 2.15.4 DIST 4L 1/2L  

Gypsy dad’s heartwarming act for deaf and blind little boy he’s never met. Romany gypsy Watson decided to climb Britain's highest mountain to raise money for 10-year-old Sean With a mobile home and a baby daughter who he takes harness racing, Romany gypsy Watson's life is worlds away from that of non-travellers Sonia and Sean.  But that won't stop the new dad from helping the parents he's never met and their 10-year-old son, who is deaf and blind and has to be tube-fed due to a rare condition. Watson is determined to raise money so the courageous little boy, also called Sean, can undergo life-changing treatment abroad after reading a story about the youngster's plight. And he plans to do so by climbing Britain's highest mountain, breaking down what Watson admits is a 'them and us' situation between travelling and non-travelling communities. Watson and Sean - who suffers from severe cerebral palsy after being starved of oxygen at birth and is not expected to live past his teens - both feature in the Channel 5 programme The Gypsies Next Door. NCJMEDIA 9 The youngster's dad, also called Sean, and mum Sonia were delighted to meet Watson From one father to another, it means the world' The series, which also stars glamour model Danielle Mason and her traveller ex Tony, looks at the occasional conflict between travellers and non-travellers across the UK. Although professional harness racer Watson has integrated with the settled community through the sport, he's aware that other gypsies in the country have faced issues. KNICKERBOCKERGLORY TV 9 Watson, seen with his baby daughter, admits it's a 'them and us' situation between travellers and non-travellers KNICKERBOCKERGLORY TV 9 Little Sean suffers from severe cerebral palsy and is not expected to live past his teens "One of the problems is stereotyping," he says. He explains he decided to climb 1,345m-high Ben Nevis to fundraise for Sean and a sick little girl from Essex after being touched by stories he read about them. He says: "I'm doing it for two little kids. A little lass is down in Essex, she's got a rare form of cancer, God love her, and she's really bad. "And there's a little lad over in Newcastle." Inspired by stories of sick children The father travels to Sean's home to meet the youngster, who can't walk or talk. Knocking on the front door of little Sean's Newcastle home, the dad, from Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, reveals his selfless plan to raise money - and the boy's parents are delighted. KNICKERBOCKERGLORY TV 9 Watson is filmed meeting 10-year-old Sean, who can't walk or talk and has to be tube-fed KNICKERBOCKERGLORY TV 9 Grateful dad Sean, right, thanks Watson for his fundraising efforts from the 'bottom of his heart' He is filmed hugging the boy's grateful parents, who have previously had little or no contact with gypsies and are overwhelmed by the support of a stranger. The boy's dad tells Watson: "Thanks very much from the bottom of my heart, from one father to another father, it means the world honestly. Sonia says: "It's the first time I've ever met a gypsy, it's totally changed my perspective on them. I mean, Watson's just a normal man, he's absolutely lovely." When the day of the climb finally comes round, Watson, Sean and other supporters battle through tricky, snowy conditions to make it to the top of the mountain. KNICKERBOCKERGLORY TV 9 Watson successfully climbed to the top of Ben Nevis, raising thousands of pounds in the process A successful climb and a trip to Panama Sean's stem-cell treatment, which reduces seizures and spasms, costs £20,000 per visit and his parents would like him to have it twice a year. The mountain hikers successfully raise thousands of pounds for the two children. Today, Sean's family are preparing to make a 10,000-mile round trip to Panama so he can undergo treatment. KNICKERBOCKERGLORY TV 9 Watson is seen video-calling a sick little girl in Essex, whom he also raised money for.   By Sophie Jane Evans Reprinted with permission of The Sun  

Freehold Raceway in New Jersey held their annual St Paddys Day harness race last weekend and fittingly two Irish born drivers finished first and second in the ever popular event. Jack Killeen from the suburb of Tallaght just outside Dublin, driving 3/1 chance Major Humor outgunned Joe Hanney from Blanchardstown aboard Black Hammer, a 10/1 shot, to claim victory in a mile time of 1:59.1 Driver of the winner, Jack Killeen, has recently taken up a five year visa to forge a career in harness racing and cited Mike and Heather Wilder as a source of inspiration and the primary catalyst for the helping to make things happen for the eighteen year old who has a handful of winners already racked up at the Meadows. Being so young he still doesn’t have his American driving licence and such was his sheer determination to participate that Jack Killeen embarked on an eight hour round trip by bus from Pittsburgh, PA, to take his place in the line-up. This trek was duly rewarded however and the victory will live long in the memory of the Dubliner. Hanney, the luckless runner up, and a previous winner of this event was ever gracious in defeat, shaking hands with the winner before posing for some pics which are almost certain to be framed and up on the walls of their family homes back in the emerald isle. Hanney undoubtedly must have felt some affinity to Killeen as he himself left Ireland as a raw teenager with an unquenchable spirit and a dream to make it stateside as a trainer and driver in harness racing. The race itself lived up to its billing and from the outset as Hanney and great rival George Brennan took each other on in a no-holds-barred early speed duel. Just as Hanneys Black Hammer started to get the better of Brennan's mount Dalton Did It and was starting to draw away from the field when along came Jack Killeen with Major Humour with a bold three-wide move at the three-quarter mile marker and despite Hanneys all-out stretch drive the fresh impetus of Killeens charge carried him past a battle-weary Black Hammer in the shadows of the post to win by three-quarters of a length. The race was well supported on the day by other drivers of Irish descent including Ron Burke and Bob Bresnahan and it’s a fantastic tribute to their Irish ancestry that these big names make the effort year after year to celebrate St Patricks Day at Freehold Raceway by taking part in the race. The Irish have earned a reputation for working hard and are recognised as accomplished harnessmen in the US and Canada amongst their peers with Stephen Loughran, Anthony Haughan, Ciaran Morrison and Robert Cleary amongst those who have successfully carved careers in the sport across the atlantic in recent years alongside Joe Hanney and yesterdays winning driver Jack Killeen. To view the St Patrick's Day race at Freehold Raceway click here. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

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