Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 5 of 5
1

Having won a heat for the past 3 runnings and finishing second in last years grand final, Tommy Camden finally received a just and welcome reward when winning the top harness racicng event of the afternoon at Bells Field, Airth in Scotland last Sunday.   Trailing his 9 rivals 30 yards at the start, the Richard Haythornthwaite driven six year old gradually crept into contention before striking late to deny fellow heat winner Dontstoptheparty in the shadows of the post. Sponsored by the Northern Ireland Standardbred Association (NISA) , a coach load of their members made the ferry journey across the Irish sea to be on hand to present the winners trophy and celebrate with jubilant connections Shane & Claire Fletcher from Wolverhampton. Driver Haythornthwaite was visibly relieved in the winners enclosure having been narrowly denied in the final of the geldings previous start at Musselburgh stating that a big classic win was a long time in coming, but resulted a much deserved victory for the honest genuine No Pan Intended bred. Another classic event was held on the day when 5 colts lined up for the Bells Field 3 Year Old Championship and this ended in somewhat controversial circumstances. A visibly tiring Lose My Mind (Betterthancheddar) drifted off the rail in the home straight causing Oakwood Spur and Bobby Camden to take evasive action but in the subsequent stewards enquiry, the interference was deemed as unintentional and Lose My Mind kept the race, to the delight of connections the Gilvear family from Auchenbowie, Stirlingshire. Having first been staged in 2005, Bells Field has become one of the biggest and most prestigious harness racing meetings in the British Isles and with increased prizemoney year-on-year, this seasons renewal format of £1000 for each heat winner and £3000 for the overall winner of the final was adjudged to be a great success by all in attendance. Sponsors plus guests were treated to a 3 course lunch and complementary drinks in the specially erected marquee whilst a country and western band played late into the evening for all patrons. This type of hospitality is unparalleled in the UK and the hardworking Bells Field Committee are to be applauded for their efforts in ensuring that the meeting was such a huge success. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink  

Corbiewood, UK - On Friday 15th June, Corbiewood played host to the SHRC 3YO Derby divisions for colts & geldings and fillies, and it was the visiting Haythornthwaite Stable which dominated in both harness racing divisions. In the fillies race, Casimir Royalflush led out from pole position with James Haythornthwaite at the reins. Betting favourite Rhyds Sapphire (William Laidler) faltered as the duo battled for the early lead, leaving Casimir Royalflush clear to dictate from on top. The leader was then strongly pressed by Ayr Majorette (Brian Gilvear); then after seeing off that challenge was faced with a further challenge from Ayr Empress (Hugh O'Neil Jr Jr). Ultimately she had enough in reserve to draw away to a two length victory, with Shebesport (Gordon Gilvear) running on for a second by a nose from Ayr Empress. In the colts & geldings division which immediately followed, Oakwood Spur (William Drysdale) led out, with betting favourite DKs Happy Forever (Andrew Cairns) going off stride in the early stages. Oakwood Spur remained free to dictate the pace until challenged by both Crack A Smile (James Haythornthwaite) and DKs Happy Forever, who raced three wide as they crossed the line with a lap to go. Under a strong drive, Oakwood Spur held the inside line and shot three lengths clear, looking in command as he did so. However, turning for home, Crack A Smile began to chip away at the leader's advantage, eventually wearing him down in the stretch to take victory by a length. DKs Happy Forever finished third. Congratulations to owners Claire and Shane Fletcher who have won this race multiple times in previous years, including with Long Slow Kisses (2012) and Porcelain Seelster (2016). The other feature race on the card was the first leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series, which saw 8 of the 11 entrants face the starter. Saunders Hoochie (William Drysdale), fresh from her impressive win the week before, made full use of post position 1 to lead out. Millie May West (John Allan) faltered at the start and became detached, however as the field went through the half, they were tightly bunched. Another winner from the week before, Dynamic Ace (William Greenhorn) mounted the sole challenge to the leader as the field turned for home, however on this occasion it was not enough and Saunders Hoochie ran out a 1 1/2 length winner from Dynamic Ace. The youngest mare in the series, the 4 year old Victoria Camden (Grant Cullen), ran on well in the stretch to finish third. Earlier in the evening Starsintheireyes gave Grant Cullen the first of his driving double on the night, winning the maiden & novice combined event by 4 1/2 lengths from Ladyford Warrior (William Greenhorn). Grant's second win came from Tyler Camden in the Grade 2-4 event, with the visiting English horses All Good Hanover (Brian Gilvear) and Rhyds Hokey Cokey (Mick Lord) taking the minor honours. Justanotherday (William Greenhorn) was impressive on her seasonal debut when taking out the Grade 1 race with an all-the-way victory, showing a great turn of foot to lead out from the widest gate position. That's Life Again was an eye-catching second with Ryan Inglis at the reins, making his career driving debut. Richard Haythornthwaite added another win to his leading tally at the track with the fastest time of the night to boot when guiding Carol McPhail's Vyrnwy Smoke to an impressive victory in the re-run of the Grade 4 & 5 pace. Having been in the lead with a lap to go in the first running, an accident in the back field resulted in the race being stopped as driver Stuart Mackenzie hit the deck for the second time on the night. On the second go, Richard drove a replica race to win by half a length from Lady Mary (William Drysdale) in 2.02.36. Lady Mary is entered in the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series and will be a live chance in future legs based on that performance. The next meeting at Corbiewood will be Thursday 21st June featuring the second leg of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares Pacing Series. First race 7.30pm. by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink

Two talented British harness racing drivers will be having their first race day drives in New Zealand, at the Ashburton harness racing meeting today. Brothers Richard and James Haythornthwaite are from Barnoldswick in England and are on the New Zealand leg of a two week trip, that yesterday saw them take in the atmosphere of a New Zealand Cup at Addington. Last week they were in Australia at the Melbourne Cup and also had a taste of Australian harness racing at Melton last Saturday night, where James drove Beach Boy Adios to eight place in one race and Richard had a drive behind the Matthew Craven trained Craving A Smile in another. James Haythornthwaite a former top class rugby league player has driven over 80 winners since he began driving four years ago and today at Ashburton he will be taking the reins on The Director in Race 5 and also Live To Tell in Race 6. Richard Haythornthwaite has more than 150 wins to his credit and today he will drive Red River Lochhee in Race 6 The brothers are sons of the legendary trainer/driver Alan Haythornthwaite who represented Britain in the World Driving Championship in 1999. Read more about the Haythornthwaite family in Harnessing the family passion in the UK   Harnesslink Media      

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 English and the Irish invaded Pompano Park on Saturday night (December 10) in the British-American Amateur Driving Challenge and, after a very competitive three race “brawl,” the invaders paced and trotted off with the hardware and the only saving grace for the American harness racing contingent was a“North American” from Canada. With Britain's Richard Haythornthwaite and Cork County, Ireland's Chris O'Reilly hitting the winner's circle in the first two events, it was Canada's Shane Arsenault providing the American contingent their only saving grace with a triumph in the final race. The final tally was 86 to 67 with the "Brits" drawing first blood when Haythornthwaite captured the first event by giving the pacer Cabo Real a "splendid" drive to win in 1:55.3. Four Starz Alex, driven by Dein Spriggs, finished second, 2 1/2 lengths away, while P L Dangerous, with Billy Muggleston in the bike, third. Digam was fourth for Jeff Schaefer while  Clive Hanover, driven by England's Patrick Morris, rallied to get the final check in the 10 horse field. Haythornthwaite sent Cabo Real sprinting off the wings and took the field through an opening panel of :27.4 before yielding to Spriggs' charge, Four Starz Alex, who then posted fractions of :56.1 and 1:26.2 before Cabo Real took command turning for home and widened his margin to the wire. In a post race interview, a jubilant Haythornthwaite said, "I understand that the five post is the best one to leave out of and I did just that and the horse responded bloody well.  "I got the perfect journey after that and he just took off when we entered the stretch straightaway for the finish. "I've had some good one over in England like Rhyds Rainbow and Tyrion Hanover, but this is the fastest I have ever been in a race." Owned by Russ Guardino along with trainer Joe Sanzeri, Cabo Real,a six year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere, won for the sixth time this season in 30 starts and sent his lifetime earnings to $77,161. As the 3 to 1 third choice, Cabo Real paid $8.40 to win. Ireland's Chris O'Reilly took round two of the competition by guiding the classy trotter A Crown For Lindy to a well rated and handy 1:59.3 win, his margin 3 1/4 lengths over the pocket sitting Global Power, driven by Mitchell "Sky" Walker. The Budster was third for Dein Spriggs while Blueridge Empire finished fourth. Insider Access, last in the 10 horse field after an early miscue, finished fifth for Patrick Morris. A Crown For Lindy, a 10 year-old son of Cantab Hall trained by Mark Winacott for owner Don Campbell, posted panels of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:30.1 before a :29.2 sprint home sealed the deal. In the winner's circle after the race, O'Reilly related, "where I am from, we don't have too many meetings (days) to race a year--just 10 or so--and we race on the turf, so this was a bit different for me. Of course, it's the fastest mile I have ever been in and it was my first time ever driving a trotter!" It was the trotter's fourth straight win and a milestone 50th win career-wise. He's banked $402,963 lifetime. Despite his impressive credentials coming into the action, A Crown For Lindy was not the favorite but, rather, second choice in the wagering at 5 to 2 and paid $7.20 to win. Canadian Shane Arsenault saved face for the North American contingent by taking the finale with his own Demand An Answer in 1:58. This four year-old son of Angus Hall bided his time in fourth through some hot panels of :29, :57.3 and 1:27.3 set by Big Package, handled by Haythornthwaite, through the opener, and JLS Too Hot Taj, off at 71 to 1 and driven by Lee Morris, before finding a seam turning for home and taking the "shortest route" to the wire to win by three-parts-of-a-length over JLS Too Hot Taj with Big Package next. Rush N Supreme finished fourth while B Cor Thomas finished fifth after pressuring the leader around the final bend. Demand An Answer won for only the second time this semester and fifth time career-wise. Despite have only two wins now, Demand An Answer is enjoying his best season in terms of earnings, which now are $30,585. In the winner's circle, a somewhat muddied up Arsenault said, "he's been up in Canada the last few starts and James McDonald, Doug McNair and Scott Coulter--great drivers--couldn't get him to the winner's circle. It took an amateur to do it!" There was a lot of jostling going on and I stayed out of that. I found some room on the inside and took the shortest route home. That was it!" Demand An Answer was sent off as the fifth choice on the tote-board and paid $17.80 to win. In presenting the hardware symbolic of victory, Florida Amateur Driving Club President Dein Spriggs remarked, "This was a great competition and everyone worked hard to make this happen, especially Jeff Schaefer, who really was the catalyst for this event. "We appreciate the wonderful gentlemen from England and Ireland for crossing the ocean to be with us and make this the grand event it was. "We hope this is the first of many in future years!" Racing continues on Sunday night with Panocchio back in action and after his sixth straight win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace. Duc Dorleans, Alta Jerome, Sing For me George, Blue Hour Power, Abreathofreshart, Whogoes first and Pointsman are expected to provide plenty of competition. In the "better for the bettor" department, Sunday's racing card has a trio of carryovers--the Pick-5, Pick-6 and the Super Hi-5 with the latter the largest at $12,494. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

1 to 5 of 5
1