Day At The Track

Chris O'Reilly, Rhyds Panache take Red John Memorial

02:12 AM 19 Jun 2019 NZST
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Harness racing
Up the home straight at the Red John Memorial in Lyre
Nadina Ironia Photo
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
 
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