Search Results
1 to 16 of 18

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  

Tir Prince racecourse promised a fantastic night of harness racing and they delivered it in abundance on Saturday, July 20. They opened proceedings with a maiden pace won by Mick Lord and Oakview Monarch. This led us nicely into the Crock of Gold heats. Stoneriggs Mystery lined up as favourite in heat one, with Irelands other big hope Meadowbranch DJ second favourite. However, Trefor Morgans had prepared his horse Meadowbranch Josh tremendously for the race. Following a tough two wide trip for the whole race he looked like he may not be able to stick with the big boys but he dug deep and held them off to the line. Forafewdollarsmore and Fool Around lined up in heat two. Rhys hit the lead but it was Forafewdollarsmore who finished the strongest to take the victory. In the STAGBI future broodmares pace, Baby Rosa worked hard to get to the front, however it was William Laidler who timed his run to perfection to give Southside Affection the victory. It looked like it might not be Rhys Evans’ night but his victory would come in time. Ladyford Indianna looks to be back in form, winning the three-year-old fillies division in fine style in the hands of Shane Lee. The colts division was a harder fought affair. 2013 has given us perhaps the best group of three-year-old colts we have seen in a long time. They were splitting the victories between them during their two-year-old careers. In a driving finish Stamp Hill took the victory from Chinatown Kolt with Ontop Girl Charmer in third. In the high grade preferred Lyons Eryl Hall gave Andrew Cairns a victory on the night. This unpredictable individual was on form on Saturday night to win in 2.01.2. The low grade preferred was a race where a couple of the runners incurred mishaps causing problems for others. Porterstown Road took up the running to avoid any further problems and it was game over from there. Road strolled to victory in the hands of Jonathan Dunne. Steve Lees had his turn in the winner’s enclosure following a victory in the Trot free for all aboard Caminetto. Now let us return to the main event of the night, the Crock of Gold final. Eight horses lined up on the gate, the first three from the heats plus the two fastest losers Rhyds Five Star and Passit. The draw was the all-important factor: Fool Around 1, Meadowbranch Josh 2, Ayr Mission 3, Meadowbranch DJ 4, Rhyds Fivestar 5, Passit 6, Forafewdollarsmore 7 and Stoneriggs Mystery 8. With the draw set and the free running Meadowbranch Josh drawn two, Rhys Evans chose to take the trail for a period of the race. The race-winning move came at the half when Rhys managed to come off the rail to trail Meadowbranch DJ. This gave him the ideal tow to the front from the eventual runner up DJ. This also left favourite Forafewdollarsmore 3 wide for the second circuit of the race. DJ entered the home straight in front and the gap came for Rhys in front of a tiring Forafewdollarsmore. Once Meadowbranch DJ was passed, the race was over and all there was time for was the victory salute, a tremendous drive. No longer the joker in the pack, Fool Around is now the ace of the free for all deck. by Kayleigh Evans    

We are just days away from undoubtedly one of the best races staged in the British Isles. The Crock of Gold pits the best against the best to leave one horse at the top of the podium at the end of the evening at Tir Prince Race Course in North Wales, UK. The Laidler stables bring four horses into the race. The best of these is 2012 champion Stoneriggs Mystery. Following a poor performance in the European pacing classic he has some ground to make up, however everyone is entitled to a poor day at the office aren’t they? He has too much speed and class not to be a live contender in the final shake up. Rumours were flying around that we may get to see the mighty little horse and people’s champion Doonbeg at Tir Prince this Saturday. Unfortunately, he will not be gracing us with his presence but a qualifier at Portmarnock last Sunday clocking two minutes will surely mean his return is imminent. However, Porterstown stables have the luxury of another top class contender. Forafewdollarsmore is a former Crock of Gold Champion. The Dunne family stole the show at the recent Ceredigion fixture and have every chance of doing it again on Saturday night. John Richardson knows how to win a Crock of Gold. He’s been there done that with Forafewdollarsmore and Kikikolt. This year he lines up Meadowbranch DJ. Up until a month ago he was seen by many as a young pretender but his British record breaking performance in the European Pacing Classic at York announced him on the big stage. Do not disregard the luck of the Irish. Let us not forget the Ceredigion contenders. Trefor Morgans will be hoping that Meadowbranch Josh can step up in class and take on the big boys this weekend. This will be one of the toughest fields Josh has had to face but he has speed to burn, a good draw could leave him in a strong position. Rhys Evans takes Home Habana and Fool Around into the race. Home Habana has faced this strong competition before. He has plenty of ability and can put in a good run when you least expect it. Fool Around has clocked the fastest time of the season so far, 1.56.0 at Amman Valley last weekend. His performances this season have placed him firmly in the running for this event. Could he be the first Welsh trained winner of the Crock of Gold? It is not only the Crock of Gold we have to look forward to. Tir Prince has put on an action packed, top quality card of racing. Can Ladyford Indianna return to winning ways in the NWSA three-year-old fillies division? 2013 has given us a tremendous group of 3-year-old colts and geldings. They were passing the victories between them during their juvenile year and the draw will be crucial on Saturday night. Baby Rosa will face a more challenging second line draw in the STABGI Future broodmares. Different tactics will need to be adopted by young driver Rhys Evans now that he cannot use her electric gate speed to his advantage. The Free For All Trot has attracted a top quality field. Throw in a maiden and two open preferred handicaps and you have what is set to be a fantastic night of harness racing!  by Kayleigh Evans  

What a night it was for harness racing’s Ceredigion connections at Amman Valley, UK on 13th July. Ronnie John’s Lakeside Alert opened proceedings with a one and a half-length victory in race one. This set the precedent for Ceredigion throughout the night. Ronnie quickly followed with another win in race 2. His homebred Lakeside Pan justified his favouritism to win in the hands of Jaimie Davies. Next it was the turn of the Evans family from Tregaron. First to the winners enclosure was Huw Evans aboard the highly fancied Fool Around. The undoubted superstar of Welsh harness racing made light work of defeating his four rivals in a life time best of 1.56.0, in the process setting a British seasons record. We moved on to the two heats of the S4C Welsh Cup. Annwen Evans hit the lead early in heat one and proved too difficult to defeat, strolling to victory and securing her place in the final. Brother Rhys Evans lined up Luck Matters in the following heat. He opted for similar tactics and led from start to finish in another sub two-minute mile. In race six it was Mike Evans from Penuwch to have his turn in the winner’s circle. Rhyds Dilemma ran down Rhyds E-Type in the shadows of the post to give the three-year-old his first career win in a respectable time of 2.00.8. The main event, The Welsh Cup, saw nine pacers line up, all on the gate. Gareth Price and Hilltop West Art secured the lead and he looked the one to beat. However, the gutsy mare Luck Matters dug deep to chase him to the line. The two fought to the finish with no one sure of the winner. After what seemed like an eternity the judges finally decided on a result - it was a dead heat! In what is surely a first for Ceredigion racing the Cardis took home the red rosette in each of the seven races they competed in. by Kayleigh Evans

What was supposed to be the highlight of the harness racing calendar, the Tregaron three day festival was due to take place over the weekend, however heavy down pours left committee members with no option but to re-locate to the all-weather track at Amman Valley to save the meeting.

Respected Australian commentator Matt Hill will call at the Tregaron three-day festival in Wales from August 24-26. He will work alongside Darren Owen who has been part of the BBC's Grand National team for the past eight years and is a Tregaron harness racing regular.

A fabulous day was had by all at Taycastell on Sunday last August the 5th. It was brilliant weather, a fantastic atmosphere and superb harness racing throughout the day.

Tir Prince promised a night of fabulous Welsh harness racing and they certainly managed that. Ten races in total with the main event one of the most prestigious races in United Kingdom harness racing - the Crock of Gold.

1 to 16 of 18