Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 25

WALES, UK - After a number of years of wet or overcast conditions, the Tregaron committee were finally graced with some glorious weather and some top-quality harness racing to match. Some incredible equine performances were seen over the weekend non-more so that of Evenwood Sonofagun in the Battle of The Big Guns race, who won in an impressive 2.04, giving him his fourteenth straight victory and with it the favourites tag for the Crock of Gold final in two weeks' time where he will go head to head with the mighty Miraculous. However, the weekend belonged to driver Michael O'Mahony who won an incredible nine races over the weekend, seven of which he trained himself. Lyons Lememay (Lyons Danny-Lyons Montana) continued her tremendous form to take out the Little Welsh Dragoness heat and final from a very game Greenhill Debatable (James Haythornthwaite) and the other heat winner Crown Victoria (David Bevan) in third. He drove Style Matters (trained by Lowri Jones) and Southern Sunshine to victory to secure their places in the Strata Florida handicap, with the latter his charge in the final. The race panned out perfectly for Southern Sunshine the 7-year-old gelding by Best Sunshine who was able to settle himself during the first half a mile, then he moved into a challenging position going down the back straight for the final time before pulling away up the home straight. Second went to Cardigan Flashman (Richard Haythornthwaite) with Reeds Scarlett in third (Rhun Wilson). The victory meant an incredible amount to connections as the horse had incurred a number of setbacks over the last twelve months and their patience proved lucrative in the end. That took Michael's tally to five winners on day one. Day two was more of the same for Michael with In the Ayr (trained by Bethan Kelly) and Meldoon taking out the first two heats of the Welsh Classic and Lyon's St. Mary taking out a division of the maidens taking the tally to an impressive eight wins but the best was yet to come. Ten pacers stepped on to the track for the Group 1 Welsh Classic final to the poignant sounds of Chariots of Fire. Happy Hands was the market leader but his 40-yard trail was too much to conquer, instead it was the four-year-old mare Meldoon (by new super sire Doonbeg out of the Real Artist mare Real Melody) who showed a tremendous turn of foot to kick clear of the field and secure O'Mahony his third final winner over the festival. Second went to Rhyds Passion (James Haythornthwaite) and third went to the impressive Llwyns Delight (Lee Price) who had to overcome a 50-yard trail. The three-year Dragon for colts and geldings was a very open affair. All Good Hanover (Lee Fletcher) was an impressive winner of heat one whilst recent Portmarnock winner Tarawood CJ (Grant Cullen) took out heat two, beating favourite Rhyds Rockstar (James Haythornthwaite). However come the final it was neither of these three who took victory, instead it went the way of No Brakes (Hasty Hall - Panama Canal) in the hands of Steve Lees with local hope My Buddy (Alan Jones) back in second. Due to the number of entrants in the two-year-old Junior Dragoness two heats were ran on the Friday with Lyons Rosella (Rhys Evans) and Greenhill Hanover (Mick Lord) taking out the two divisions. Greenhill Hanover (Mick Lord) took advantage of her plum draw in the final and went on to win by one and three quarter lengths from Brown Eyed Girl (Patrick Kane Jnr). The colts division may not have gone the way everyone anticipated with stablemates Matticulous and Merrington Movingup fighting it out at the finish with Movingup taking the spoils on this occasion. Two Le Trot races also took place on the Saturday. Equilea Du Hauty (Rhys Evans) made it four victories from as many runs and looks the one to beat in the three year old championship. Valseur Du Cygne (Rocker Laidler) made it another win on the Ceredigion soil in the aged division having won a similar event at the Ceredigion Trotting Club event held in July. by Kayleigh Evans, for the Tregaron Trotting Club

WALES, UK - Last December, five lucky drivers from the UK and Ireland were given the opportunity to travel to Florida to compete in an amateur driving series against five US reinsmen. Now these five US drivers will be making the trip to Wales to see if they can reign supreme on British soil. Those standing in their way are recent Musselburgh final winning driver Richard Haythornthwaite, Wales & West specialist Jaimie Davies, father and son combination Patrick and Lee Morris and Irish contender Chris O'Reilly. These British and Irish contenders proved that we have some great talent having won the series in Pompano Park. The races will take place at both Tir Prince and Tanycastell and are set to be hotly contested events with the Americans hoping they can take home the bragging rights and the 'locals' looking to stand their ground on home turf. Tir Prince racing manager Eric Witherspoon spoke of his excitement towards having such a memorable race at the North Wales venue, "We are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event and look forward to seeing the guest drivers put their skills to the test in what looks a very competitive race. May the best driver win!" Here's a closer look at the 10 drivers who will be hoping they can land the spoils. Team America Ron Cuismano followed in his father's footsteps and began training and driving in the late 1980s. He was a regular driver throughout the 90s winning several New York Sire Stake races and Florida Breeders Stakes. He left the harness racing business altogether in 1999, but continued to follow harness racing. After 17 years away from the business he had the chance to join the Florida amateur drivers club an opportunity which would allow him to give back to the sport that he loves. Tony Dinges is a full time trainer and currently trains 25 horses at Tioga Downs. He got involved with harness racing as a child through his grandfather. His career highlight to date is training Tarver Hanover, a horse he also owned to win over $850,000. He has also been lucky enough to have a runner in the 2011 running of the world famous Hambletonian. Dein Spriggs is a real estate consultant who became involved in harness racing through his father William Spriggs and both he and his brother Steve have followed in their father's footsteps. Dein was USA Amateur Driver of the Year in both 2004 and 2005 and has had the opportunity to drive in American, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy and Spain and is no stranger to winning on international soil. He lists winning the 2005 CKG Gold Cup as his career highlight as he was able to share the experience with parents, daughter and brother. Jeff Schaefer is a full-time farrier and splits his time between Pomano Park in Florida in the winter and Tioga Downs in New York in the summer. He has had the opportunity to shoe a few champions like Horse of the Year in the USA and Canada Burning Point and Corleon Cosmos. He has been training harness horses since the age of 7 with his parents and started driving at 16 where he finished 2nd in the Junior Driving Championship. Jeff has already experienced harness racing in the UK and may have an advantage over his fellow countrymen having drove on the grass at Almeley last year. Dennis Whittemore has been around Standardbreds his whole life and started driving in the late 70's. He has owned horses since he can remember and it is a real family affair with his father, son and daughter all involved in the sport. Since taking up driving in 1977 he has won 117 races and over $167,000 in prize money. His most successful year came in 1982 where he won 18 starts and placed in 53 others. Team UK & Ireland Richard Haythornthwaite is a carpenter by trade who got involved with harness racing through his parents Alan and Teresa Haythornthwaite and the sport is very much in the family's blood. Richard is a regular at several tracks around the UK and has become the main driver for a number of owners. He has had some very high-profile winners and he names his success in the Vincent Delaney Memorial on Tyrion Hanover as his career highlight to date. Chris O'Reilly, another carpenter, started his affiliation with the sport as a young 13-year-old competing in saddle races. He then left the sport for several years and is perhaps the least experienced of the group as he only trains and drives his own horses. However, this did not affect him during the competition in America and he gave a flawless drive to win on his first ever attempt at driving a trotter, an experience which he states will be very hard to match. Jaimie Davies is one of the most utilised drivers on the Wales & West harness racing circuit and is the third generation of his family to become a driver. Although he only has one of his own in training he picks up outside drives every week and has become the go-to man for several trainers. Jaimie, who works on his family farm, was thrilled with his opportunity to travel to Florida and experience harness racing at its highest level. Patrick Morris, a shop fitter by trade, has been involved in harness racing for a number of years and got into the sport through his father. His partnership with Meadowbranch Josh provided him with some his most notable winners including heat and final at Tanycastell, a heat of the Big Guns Series at Appleby, a heat of the Crock of Gold and several Free For Alls including two 1.57 miles. Patrick enjoyed his experience in America so much that if the opportunity arose he would move there in an instant. Lee Morris is a full-time farrier. He is the main organiser of the event and was delighted to get the opportunity to drive at Pompano Park and although he didn't get a winner the experience of getting to drive around such an impressive track could only be described as "awesome" and an absolute highlight of his career. Lee however is no stranger to the winners enclosure and has won high profile races at Ceredigion with Lyons Stallone, Musselburgh with Blue Top Gun and a heat of the Crock of Gold with Meadowbranch Josh. With the first race scheduled for Tuesday night being an ultra-competitive event, excitement is building towards a great series. Good luck to all competitors and a huge congratulations to those who have worked tirelessly to make the event happen. From everyone in the UK and Ireland we hope the five USA drivers thoroughly enjoy the experience. We hope that this competition can increase in size and stature in the future to become one of the highlights of the UK harness racing season. by Kayleigh Evans      

The 3-year-old conditioned pace, kindly sponsored by the equine product manufacturer NAF, took place at the Allensmore track this past Sunday and was once again a tremendous success. The race was set up to give three-year olds who were perhaps overshadowed by the superstars in their age divisions the chance to win a quality race for substantial prizemoney. To be eligible for the event entrants must not won more than £150 in prize money at the time of nomination and the majority of horses came into the race as maiden or novices making it a very fair contest. With only four fillies remaining after final declarations conditions stated that the races would be ran as mixed heats with the fillies getting the preferential draws. Olivia Camden who has been progressing this season was a notable withdrawal on the day along with Kiwi leaving both Brywins Beachlight and Finley Wells to get the pole position in each of their respective heats. Hugh Menzies made the long journey from Scotland for the race and did not go home empty handed taking out heat one comfortably with Dynaramic in a time of 2.12.68. The first four from each heat would make it into the final meaning Ithon Orbit, Wye Joels Best and Lanehouse Yankee secured their place. The filly Brywins Beachlight was slightly unlucky breaking stride coming into the final bend losing all chance of making it into the top four. David Bevan’s only had Mahogany Oleg for a week but he proved to be a good buy for owner Alan Davies. He took up the running going around the first bend in heat two to lead the whole way in a time of 2.11.62, with Finley Wells in second place, Sper Buggy in third and Brywins Magicbeach taking the remaining spot in the final. In the all-important final Magohany Oleg showed some tremendous gate speed from an outside draw to lead Finley Wells into the first turn. Turning for home it was a battle up the straight between Wye Joels Best and Mahogany Oleg with the latter coming out on top in a thrilling finish. Third place went to Finley Wells with race favourite Sper Buggy in fourth. The race showcased some up and coming talent and there are certainly a few names to look out for in the future. The 3-year-old conditioned pace, kindly sponsored by NAF, took place at the Allensmore track this past Sunday and was once again a tremendous success. The race was set up to give three-year olds who were perhaps overshadowed by the superstars in their age divisions the chance to win a quality race for substantial prizemoney. To be eligible for the event entrants must not won more than £150 in prize money at the time of nomination and the majority of horses came into the race as maiden or novices making it a very fair contest. With only four fillies remaining after final declarations conditions stated that the races would be ran as mixed heats with the fillies getting the preferential draws. Olivia Camden who has been progressing this season was a notable withdrawal on the day along with Kiwi leaving both Brywins Beachlight and Finley Wells to get the pole position in each of their respective heats. Hugh Menzies made the long journey from Scotland for the race and did not go home empty handed taking out heat one comfortably with Dynaramic in a time of 2.12.68. The first four from each heat would make it into the final meaning Ithon Orbit, Wye Joels Best and Lanehouse Yankee secured their place. The filly Brywins Beachlight was slightly unlucky breaking stride coming into the final bend losing all chance of making it into the top four. David Bevan’s only had Mahogany Oleg for a week but he proved to be a good buy for owner Alan Davies. He took up the running going around the first bend in heat two to lead the whole way in a time of 2.11.62, with Finley Wells in second place, Sper Buggy in third and Brywins Magicbeach taking the remaining spot in the final. In the all-important final Magohany Oleg showed some tremendous gate speed from an outside draw to lead Finley Wells into the first turn. Turning for home it was a battle up the straight between Wye Joels Best and Mahogany Oleg with the latter coming out on top in a thrilling finish. Third place went to Finley Wells with race favourite Sper Buggy in fourth. The race showcased some up and coming talent and there are certainly a few names to look out for in the future. by Kayleigh Evans, for the Ceredigion Trotting Club

Aberystwyth, UK - One of the highlights of the UK harness racing season is set to take place this Saturday and Sunday at the beautiful seaside location one mile south of Aberystwyth. The Ceredigion Trotting Club is renowned for providing top quality racing and this year is no different having attracted competitors from far and wide. 28 races are set to take place over the weekend and there are a number of highlights to look forward to. Saddle racing has seen a boost in support this year and world record holding jockey Alexis Laidler will start the likely favourite with Happy Hands on day one. Two trotting races also feature on the card on Saturday and Une Pebe will be looking to hold on to her title in the aged division for local trainer Mike Evans. Five heats will determine the runners for the all-important low-grade final on the Saturday and there are some top quality names to pick a winner from including recent Carlisle and Pickhall final winners Billy Wilk and Lakeside Paddy, the consistent It's My Check, local fillies Mattriach and Meldoon, the improving Lakeside Bono and Jack Swagger for the mighty Laidler team to name just a few. It is however Porterstown Stud's Triplicate who is likely to start the anti-post favourite having recently won the €8,000 Grendon Memorial in Portmarnock. The Dunne family have a high success rate at the meeting as do Meadowbranch Stud who take on Triplicate with Meadowbranch Ideal in the final heat. We could see a clash of the Irish titans on day one. A high point on day two will be the Free for All where six of the best pacers in the UK and Ireland go head to head. Porterstown Chris fly's the flag for Ireland, whilst the small but mighty Coalford Tetrick has captured hearts and will be the peoples favourite on the day but will either of them be good enough to overcome the all-conquering Miraculous? Four heats will be ran for the high grade final with the first two in each making it to the main event. In heat one Greentree Serenity takes a step up in class after her victory in the Appleby Spring final. Heat two sees last year's low grade final winner Sunglasses Ron take on Evenwood Sunofagun, the horse who gave Alexis Laidler her world record under saddle last weekend. Heat 3 pits some classy Scottish contenders against each other in Dreamfair I Say and Master Plan whilst heat four gives us Party At The Spa, Rewrite History and Jessie's Conquest. Whether you're an avid harness racing fan or just like a bet and a relaxed drink in the bar whilst watching these supreme equine athletes strut their stuff there is nowhere better to be this weekend than Rhydyfelin. by Kayleigh Evans, for the Ceredigion Trotting Club   

Tregaron Trotting Club kicked off the 2017 grass season with an 11 race card on Sunday 14th May.   Amongst the programme was the Senior Welsh Dragon, the first group one race to be staged on the UK. The group race initiative was put forward by the master of the microphone Darren Owen to follow in the footsteps of our international counterparts. The race certainly did not disappoint. 2016 BHRC horse of the year Miraculous made his first ever trip to Tregaron and was sent off the market leader, but it was Party At The Spa in the hands of Alan Haythornthwaite who held off all the challengers to take the spoils.   The performance on Sunday sparked memories of Sportstrick who won the same race in a similar fashion for the same connections in 2016. Like so many races the draw played a vital part and it was from the first turn that Alan and the son of Dragon Again gained the advantage.   Both Lakeside Bono (drawn 2) and Party At The Spa (drawn 3) left hard out of the gate to gain advantageous positions on the rail leaving Miraculous (drawn 6) further back than he may have expected. Miraculous put in a gallant effort in defeat and the run provided him with some grass racing experience, having only raced on the surface twice before the event. The most thrilling finish of the day came in the Preferred Free For All. The small field of five started off at a blistering pace with Stamp Hill leading early. The only mare in the race, Shades Of Grey, bit the bullet with a lap to go and sat in the death seat on the outside of the leader. Fool Around tucked in behind the pair also looked in contention but it was the fast finishing Coalford Tetrick who swooped the field to grab victory.   This bargain purchase certainly has been a horse of a lifetime for connections and he will now go to Tir Prince next Saturday night to attempt to break the UK mile and a half record. The Spring Handicap final went the way of Llwyns Delight and Lee Price. The five year old son of Share The Delight seems to be improving with age and he now heads to Appleby to try and emulate the success of his half brother Bon Jasper in the handicap final.   Laneside Lotus put in two good performances for her new owners finishing a close second to Llwyns Delight in both the heat and final. Third went to the consistent Woodstone Jingo in the hands of Julie Phillips. Others winners on the day were Rhyds Passion (Patrick Kane Jnr), My Buddy (Alan Jones), No Joking (William Laidler), Im Immpartial Too (Joel Richards), Jack Swagger (William Laidler), Blytheview Peterpan (Jaimie Davies) and Lakeside Paddy (David Bevan).   by Kayleigh Evans  

The Four Shires harness racing club three year old conditioned pace returns for a second year. This time in a different venue over the top half mile turf circuit at Allensmore. Once again the leading equine product manufacturer NAF have returned with their generous sponsorship. A huge thanks must be given to NAF and it is fabulous to see a high profile company getting behind the event again. This conditions race was set up to give three year olds with winnings of £100 or less on the 28th of February the opportunity to race for a substantial pot. With prize money in excess of £2,000, the record amount of nominations show that this event is here to stay. Twenty four colts and geldings have nominated along with nine fillies. The majority of the nominations are unknown quantities and are yet to grace the racetrack, which makes it more of a challenge for the ante-post odds compilers but also adds extra excitement to the event. An interesting entrant in the colts division is the John Howard owned, Sam Howard trained Sper Buggy. This father son pairing have had great success in two and three year old events in recent years with the likes of Rhyds Rainbow and Tyrion Hanover. This son of Dragon Again raced as a two year old which could be an advantage in a race of this nature. Dynamic and Cash Hall are two others who catch the eye. These Scottish based entrants must have shown something to connections for them to consider making the long journey to the Hereford track. Marc Jones will be hoping lightening can strike twice and repeat last year's victory of Rockin Mambo with Father Ted who is a full brother to last year's 3 year old filly of the year Jessie's Conquest. Marc also has a nice prospect in the fillies division with his unraced filly Strictly Mambo who is a half-sister to Rockin Mambo A number of the nominees are related to proven performers here in the UK and will be hoping they can follow in the footsteps of their siblings. The sustaining fee is due by 28th March and the event takes place on Sunday 9th July Full List of nominees Colts/Geldings 1. American Hustle (The One Night Pan/American Beauty) G. Thomas 2. Arthur Camden (Arts Conquest/Rosie Croix) R. Richards 3. Brywins Magic Beach (Star on the Beach/Saunders Magician) E. Frieze 4. Cash Hall (Kikikolt/Yoko Hall) H. Muirhead 5. Dynamic (Wingsong Dynamite/Call My Bluff) H. Muirhead 6. Father Ted (Arts Conquest/Apopka Denise) M. Jones 7. Frisco Stringer (Rogue Hall/Lifeisjustadream) P. Davidson 8. Greenhill Gus (Preacher Pan/Serefina) M. Thomas 9. Hasty Heights (Hasty Hall/Alpine Heights) I. Davies 10. Ithon Orbit (Yankee Lariat/Dai's Dream) C. Lewis 11. Ithon Osprey (Yankee Lariat/Ithon Indigo) H. Evans 12. Lanehouse Yankee (Yankee Lariat/Apache Silk) C. Morgans 13. Mahogany Charmer (The Preacher Pan/Mahogany Dream) J. Dyer 14. Mahogany Mario (Mahogany Import/Mahogany Shark) D. Wakefield 15. Mahogany Oleg (Preacher Pan/Mahogany Breeze) D. Isaac 16. Morning Breeze (Star on the Beach/Brywins All American) E. Frieze 17. No Respect (Pro Bono Best/Decode) N. Wilson 18. No Trouble (Hasty Hall/Art n Soul) P. Preston 19. Ozzy (Yankee Lariat/Donisthorpe Lucky) P. Dyer 20. Red Art (Arts Conquest/Real Deal) H. Evans 21. Taylor Made (Pro Bono Best/Classy Princess) K. Wakefield 22. The Lion King (Doonbeg/Carousel) H. Evans 23. Sper Buggy (Dragon Again/Dune Buggy Hanover) J. Howard 24. Wye Joels Best (Pro Bono Best/JV's Jiffy) R. Richards Fillies 1. Artess (Arts Conquest/Rhyds Rhythm) R. Cooper 2. Ayr Voyage (His Alibi/Unforgotten) R. Walker 3. Brywins Beachlight (Star on the Beach/Brywins Starlight) J. Wright 4. Ceirion Vickey (Kikikolt/Ceirion Velvet) C. Davies 5. Finley Wells (Well Said/Emily Car) C. Cooke 6. Hurry Up Abi (Kikikolt/Maddi) J. Manning 7. Kiwi (Kikikolt/Mahogany Jet) B. Richards 8. Olivia Camden (Pro Bono Best/Yankee Jiffy) L. New 9. Strictly Mambo (Ponder/Mambo Western) M. Jones by Kayleigh Evans  

Ceredigion, UK - With the start of the Tregaron festival 2015 just hour's away, harness racing horsemen and women will be making the journey over the mountains or across the Irish Sea to the picturesque town of Tregaron. Many of us were eagerly watching our computer screens earlier in the week to see what decision the committee would make regarding the fixture and following a meeting on Monday evening they chose to cut down to two days and stay in Tregaron. Now as I write this the sun is shining and we are all hoping Tregaron will be as fantastic as ever! The two major finals of the weekend will consist of five heats which will be run as open preferred handicaps with the top two from each heat moving into the final. On Friday Mikey Camden (one of 15 entries for top trainer Alexis Laidler) draws well in heat three of the Strata Florida and has won on the track before and could provide the team with yet another Strata Florida winner. Also on day one is the big guns free for all featuring recent Crock of Gold winner Stoneriggs Mystery. Can Brywins Magicpotion overhaul the champ or will it be another victory for Mick Lord's stable star? As expected there are a number of top names in the heats for the Welsh Classic. Top Irish contender Poterstown Chris makes the journey for the Dunne family but can he overcome his wide draw and get the better of his other Irish compatriots Heart of Steel and Dean's Alibi, or will it be local I'm Immpartial Too, who hasn't been seen yet this year, who grabs the spoils. Imjustalittleguy has already won in excess of £7,000 this year so far and has the plum draw in heat 5. Can he add some more money to his pot and give Richard Haythornthwaite another major final winner. This year sees three trotting races at Tregaron, including two divisions of the 'Le Trot' series and the Tregaron Trot. All three of these will be run on Saturday so that's the day to be there for the square going enthusiasts. One of the highlights at Tregaron is the Dragon Series. Friday see's the 2 year olds do battle with separate divisions for the colts and fillies. Jessie's Conquest has bags of speed and will be the bookies favourite but Tregaron will be cheering home Rhyds Nightlife for Club treasurer Dewi Lloyd-Davies. Brenda Dean has not graced the racetrack at Tregaron for a number of years and her entry Kick On in the colts division could spark a bit of interest as its unlikely that she made the long trip simply to make up the numbers. Again there are two divisions of the three year olds on the Saturday. The Irish campaigner Carmel Camden travels to Tregaron on the back of another win at Portmarnock and a good draw here could see her leading from pillar to post. Her main dangers come from the northern raiders particularly Shaba Hanover for the mighty Mick Lord. It's difficult to look past Coalford Tetrick in the colts division especially after his performance at York a fortnight ago. So the clocks counting down and the excitements building, with so many top class races Tregaron is definitely the place to be this weekend! by Kayleigh Evans, for the Ceredigion  

All eyes will be on Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin, Ireland this weekend when a world record attempt will take place on the final day of the 2013 harness racing season. The mile record for pacers under saddle of 2:00.0 has stood since 1998 when Darla Conklin rode Highly Rated to victory in Northfield Park USA. Five pacers will go to post in a daring attempt to lower this record which was sparked by Meadowbranch Romeo’s 2:01.5 effort back in September but on that occasion the race was a handicap with Romeo having given his field 50 yards of a handicap start. Off level free-for-all terms this coming Sunday, the 16 year old record must now be in serious jeopardy of falling provided the weather stays kind on the day. Its not surprising that Meadowbranch Romeo is all set to go to post a warm favourite for the contest having built up a strong rapport with first-season rider Sean Watson over the past few months.  Meadowbranch Romeo will have it all to do to beat Doonbeg however and his rider Shanice Gallagher has been working out with the diminutive Canadian bred in stellar mile times at Portmarnock in recent weeks. Doonbeg is currently a world record holder himself (over tracks less than half-mile round) in 1:53.7 and there wont be a dry eye in the stands if he can sign off the end to his career with yet another record in the bag. The striking grey Oakwood Outlaw is also a strong contender and having won its last start under saddle rider Mary Kane will be all out to upstage both Doonbeg and Romeo and hopefully secure the record for the fairer sex. Adding to the line up is Scottish lass Lauren Moran who flies in to partner Total Secrecy and with a win under her belt at the Corbie Wood venue last Sunday with Ayr Pandemic the multiple saddle race winner in 2013 has vowed to take the prestigious bronze trophy, and the record, back to the highlands. Mary Kate Foran completes the line-up with Riverside Hall and although she's the only mare in the line-up the US bred is not just there to make up the numbers boasting sub 2 minute form at the venue over the past two seasons. The event has captured the imagination of harness racing enthusiasts worldwide in recent weeks with interest from the US, Canada and as far afield as Australia all anxious to see if the Irish can rewrite the history books in a “David versus Goliath” triumph over the bigger nations in the sport. Darla Conkin (now Frakes) the current record holder has been in touch to wish all the participants well and will be “on-line” from the states to see if her record is still standing by 5pm this coming Sunday. The Guinness Book Of World Records have been contacted in relation to the event and have been invited to oversee the attempt which has been sanctioned by the governing body for the sport in Ireland, the Irish Harness Racing Club. You Tube video of current record holder Highly Rated http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI606YOXo3s   By Thomas Bennet  

All eyes will be on Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin, Ireland this weekend when a world record attempt will take place on the final day of the 2013 harness racing season. The mile record for pacers under saddle of 2:00.0 has stood since 1998 when Darla Conklin rode Highly Rated to victory in Northfield Park USA. Five pacers will go to post in a daring attempt to lower this record which was sparked by Meadowbranch Romeo’s 2:01.5 effort back in September but on that occasion the race was a handicap with Romeo having given his field 50 yards of a handicap start. Off level free-for-all terms this coming Sunday, the 16 year old record must now be in serious jeopardy of falling provided the weather stays kind on the day. Its not surprising that Meadowbranch Romeo is all set to go to post a warm favourite for the contest having built up a strong rapport with first-season rider Sean Watson over the past few months.  Meadowbranch Romeo will have it all to do to beat Doonbeg however and his rider Shanice Gallagher has been working out with the diminutive Canadian bred in stellar mile times at Portmarnock in recent weeks. Doonbeg is currently a world record holder himself (over tracks less than half-mile round) in 1:53.7 and there wont be a dry eye in the stands if he can sign off the end to his career with yet another record in the bag. The striking grey Oakwood Outlaw is also a strong contender and having won its last start under saddle rider Mary Kane will be all out to upstage both Doonbeg and Romeo and hopefully secure the record for the fairer sex. Adding to the line up is Scottish lass Lauren Moran who flies in to partner Total Secrecy and with a win under her belt at the Corbie Wood venue last Sunday with Ayr Pandemic the multiple saddle race winner in 2013 has vowed to take the prestigious bronze trophy, and the record, back to the highlands. Mary Kate Foran completes the line-up with Riverside Hall and although she's the only mare in the line-up the US bred is not just there to make up the numbers boasting sub 2 minute form at the venue over the past two seasons. The event has captured the imagination of harness racing enthusiasts worldwide in recent weeks with interest from the US, Canada and as far afield as Australia all anxious to see if the Irish can rewrite the history books in a “David versus Goliath” triumph over the bigger nations in the sport. Darla Conkin (now Frakes) the current record holder has been in touch to wish all the participants well and will be “on-line” from the states to see if her record is still standing by 5pm this coming Sunday. The Guinness Book Of World Records have been contacted in relation to the event and have been invited to oversee the attempt which has been sanctioned by the governing body for the sport in Ireland, the Irish Harness Racing Club. You Tube video of current record holder Highly Rated http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI606YOXo3s   By Thomas Bennet  

Alexis Laidler’s set out with a goal at the beginning of the 2013. Her aim was to be the first person to train 100 winners in a season. For many that would seem like an impossible task but the Laidler camp had a strong team of horses. However, to succeed it would require hard work and hours of travelling over six gruelling months. The key to realising the dream was a good beginning, which they got, Alexis had trained twenty-five winners by the end of the first month of racing. Throughout the season, it has been a rarity not to see the team at a race meeting and they have travelled across the UK and back to get to their current tally of 87 training wins. Among her host of winners this year are a number of feature races including the Appleby Spring final, the Famous Mussleburgh Pace, the Junior Dragoness and the Little Welsh Dragon. The previous record for training wins stood at 77 so even if Alexis does not reach the goal she has already made history with the number of wins she has trained this year. Each year since being licenced, Alexis has been able to record a new personal best. As the season comes to a close, with a maximum of six meetings remaining, the chance to reach 100 wins is diminishing but knowing team Laidler they will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of history. Whether or not they succeed in reaching the magical ton, they have made a tremendous effort again this season and continue to raise the bar for all harness racing throughout the UK and Ireland. by Kayleigh Evans for Ceredrotian  

The York Standardbred sale took place on Saturday 5th October. Fifty lots were due for sale with twenty-four of them yearlings. Mick Welling’s Camden Stud had drawn plenty of attention before the sale. Many of his yearlings were the first British crop from his imported American mares. The one that enticed the crowds was lot 13 Alexander Camden (Cambest/Lola). Lola, an Artsplace mare had already left two full brothers to Alexander Camden in the states, Canyon Wind (1.48.8) and Paragon (1.50.2). His quality breeding attracted a number of buyers. The hammer went down at £38,000 with David Morton the highest bidder. This sales price was a new record for a British Standardbred sale. The previous highest price was £24,000 for Rhyds Five Star (Hasty Hall/Tonda Star) at the Builth sale in 2008. Alexander Camden was only the start of a tremendous sale for Camden Stud. Lot 16 Mickey Camden (Camluck/Electrical Art) sold for £23,000 while lot 22 Tommy Camden (No Pan Intended/House Flight) sold for £26,000. Other high prices were £13,000 for Carmel Camden (No Pan Intended/Pan Culottes) and £10,000 for Eli Camden (Pro Bono Best/Anthology). Camden Stud put fourteen lots up for sale, only two were not sold. Mick Welling’s total earnings for the day reached £130,000. Twenty-five horses were sold in the sale for £139,835, with an average price of £5,593. This was a huge increase on 2012 where twenty-two horses were sold for £44,375 with an average of £2,017.    by Kayleigh Evans for Ceredrotian

The York Standardbred sale took place on Saturday 5th October. Fifty lots were due for sale with twenty-four of them yearlings. Mick Welling’s Camden Stud had drawn plenty of attention before the sale. Many of his yearlings were the first British crop from his imported American mares. The one that enticed the crowds was lot 13 Alexander Camden (Cambest/Lola). Lola, an Artsplace mare had already left two full brothers to Alexander Camden in the states, Canyon Wind (1.48.8) and Paragon (1.50.2). His quality breeding attracted a number of buyers. The hammer went down at £38,000 with David Morton the highest bidder. This sales price was a new record for a British Standardbred sale. The previous highest price was £24,000 for Rhyds Five Star (Hasty Hall/Tonda Star) at the Builth sale in 2008. Alexander Camden was only the start of a tremendous sale for Camden Stud. Lot 16 Mickey Camden (Camluck/Electrical Art) sold for £23,000 while lot 22 Tommy Camden (No Pan Intended/House Flight) sold for £26,000. Other high prices were £13,000 for Carmel Camden (No Pan Intended/Pan Culottes) and £10,000 for Eli Camden (Pro Bono Best/Anthology). Camden Stud put fourteen lots up for sale, only two were not sold. Mick Welling’s total earnings for the day reached £130,000. Twenty-five horses were sold in the sale for £139,835, with an average price of £5,593. This was a huge increase on 2012 where twenty-two horses were sold for £44,375 with an average of £2,017.    by Kayleigh Evans for Ceredrotian

On the 27th October at Portmarnock Trotting track there will be an attempt to break a world record. The record in trouble is the fastest pacing mile under saddle on a half-mile track. It is thought that the current record stands at 2.00.0 and was set in 1998 by Highly Rated ridden by Darla Conklin at Northfield Park in Cleveland, Ohio. The record attempt has been fuelled by Chantal Sutherland-Kruse’s recent time trial which set a new North American trotting under saddler record on a five-eights track. She rode DW’s NY Yank to break the record in 1.59.0. Saddle races are popular at the Dublin track and there are a number of able horses and jockeys. One of the likely entries will be Meadowbranch Romeo and jockey Sean Watson. At the start of September the pair clocked a time of 2.01.1 off a trail of 50yards to win by 12 lengths. This sparked the desire to attempt the world record as Romeo’s ‘post to post’ time could have bettered the record that day. Track connections are urging competitors from across Britain and Ireland to enter the race and make it a more competitive field.   The Guinness book of records have also been contacted. Entries will be out shortly.      by Kayleigh Evans for Ceredrotian

On the 27th October at Portmarnock Trotting track there will be an attempt to break a world record. The record in trouble is the fastest pacing mile under saddle on a half-mile track. It is thought that the current record stands at 2.00.0 and was set in 1998 by Highly Rated ridden by Darla Conklin at Northfield Park in Cleveland, Ohio. The record attempt has been fuelled by Chantal Sutherland-Kruse’s recent time trial which set a new North American trotting under saddler record on a five-eights track. She rode DW’s NY Yank to break the record in 1.59.0. Saddle races are popular at the Dublin track and there are a number of able horses and jockeys. One of the likely entries will be Meadowbranch Romeo and jockey Sean Watson. At the start of September the pair clocked a time of 2.01.1 off a trail of 50yards to win by 12 lengths. This sparked the desire to attempt the world record as Romeo’s ‘post to post’ time could have bettered the record that day. Track connections are urging competitors from across Britain and Ireland to enter the race and make it a more competitive field.   The Guinness book of records have also been contacted. Entries will be out shortly.      by Kayleigh Evans for Ceredrotian

The Christopher Dunne Memorial weekend took place at Portmarnock on the 7th and 8th of September and featured some top quality racing including the memorial three year old race worth €10,000 to the winner. The weekend commenced on the Saturday with two heats for the three-year-old event and four heats for the Red Mills handicap final. The heats would determine the runners for the main events the following day. A number of British entries made the journey to Ireland and it was the Sally Teeboon trained Ayr Majesty who was favourite in the betting along with Porterstown stables American import Sepia Sands. The two would face each other in their heat but at the finish it was Alan Haythornthwaite and Frisco Fiddler who were victorious. The Haythornthwaite trained son of Arts Conquest seems to like the track at Dublin, having won the Ladbrokes Vinceny Delaney two-year-old event the previous year. John Richardson won the other heat with Glenys Jones’ Kikikiolt gelding Chinatown Kolt. The first three from each heat plus the two fastest losers would make the line-up for the final. Eight horses went to post in the penultimate race of the weekend, the Red Mills handicap final. Alan Haythornthwaite qualified two horses for the final and opted to drive Stuttgart leaving son James on Rebus, who faced a tough 60-yard trail. The fast pace was set by the two gate runners Coalford Cabrini and Stuttgart. Rebus remained at the tail of the field of the field until the back straight the final time where he moved out to follow Rhyds Boots. In the home straight four horses were in contention of winning with Rebus just getting up to beat Rhyds Boots by a short head with Coalford Cabrini in third and Stuttgart in fourth in a thrilling finish. The final race of the day was under way and Steve Lees pushed for the front aboard Ontop Girl Charmer, Sepia Sands was able to slot in behind him with Ontop Wye Preach back in third. Chinatown Kolt, Meadowbranch Ash and Ayr Majesty followed with Frisco Fiddler caught on the outside. They remained in this order until the bell where Chinatown Kolt his move with Meadowbranch Ash in hot pursuit. Ash and John Richardson made their move at the right time at the three quarter going three wide and causing Ayr Majesty to go wider still. Ash and Girl Charmer eyeballed each other turning in the final time but it was Ash who was finishing the strongest. He surged home to win by four and a half lengths in a time of 1.58.5. Second place went to stable mate Chinatown Kolt with Sepia Sands in third. This victory topped a fantastic weekend for Meadowbranch Studs’ flagship broodmare Churchill Queen. She is not only the second dam of Meadowbranch Ash but the dam of Meadowbranch Romeo (12 length winner of the saddle race in 2.01.1 coming off a 50 yard trail) and Meadowbranch Spark (10 length winner of the C Class driver race in 1.59.2). by Kayleigh Evans  

Harness racing in the UK is very much a family sport and this is seen at its best with the Haythornthwaite family. The hard working family put their all into the sport and their efforts paid off with a weekend to remember with victories in three different countries. The weekend started in Wolverhampton, England on Friday 16th August. Harness racing returned to the all-weather galloping track at Dunstall Park. Trainer Teresa Haythornthwaite rallied to get horses on the track not only for her husband Alan but also for her two sons Richard and James, who have both chosen to follow in the family trade of harness racing. It was Alan who made it in to the winners enclosure first with the five-year-old mare Shades of Grey. Having seen how its done Richard soon followed with a win on Colonel Mustard, a horse who has come on immensely since joining the yard. Alan aboard Mahogany Fame had a hard fought battle to the line in race 7 and was awarded the victory in the photo finish. We moved to Boughrood, Wales on Sunday. This time the one in the winners enclosure was Pam Haythornthwaite, sister to Alan. She steered Charlie Pan to victory in heat one of the mile and a quarter event to secure her place in the £2,000 final. He lined up as the odds on favourite in the final and proved too good for his opposition winning by four lengths. Meanwhile James had made the trip to Portmarnock, Ireland. William Flannigan’s Meadowbranch Stables qualified five horses for the final and James got the call up on Meadowbranch Ash. The catch drive proved lucrative as his steered the three-year-old colt to victory in a surprise win.   by Kayleigh Evans image by Graham Rees - Victory number one in the weekend to remember  

1 to 16 of 25