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West Cork, IE - King Wills Arrival claimed another big handicap final when landing the West Cork Horse Owners Handicap at Dunmanway on Sunday. There were three elimination heats with two qualifiers from each going forward to the final. In the opening heat IB A Magician looked to have the race at his mercy but went off stride in the final eighth of a mile handing the race to Meadowbranch Matt with Best Talent filling the second qualifing spot. Heat two was all about Coalford Bruce who followed up on his win at Bandon to lead home The Hitman by four lengths. In the third and final heat Rhyds Panache with Chris O Reilly in the bike made a race winning move after four furlongs and was not for catching leading home King Wills Arrival by a length So on to the final .The Hitman and Meadowbranch Matt set the early fractions with Coalford Bruce just behind .The order reamined the same into the final three furlongs of the mile and a quarter trip.Turning for home Coalford Bruce hit the front but Oisin Quill produced King Wills Arrival with a perfectly timed run to land the spoils . "Since he had the wind operation last Winter he has really shown his true potential" Commented 16 year old winning driver Oisin Quill. "The saddle race at Ladies day in Portmarnock is next on his list "added winning owner Finbarr Quill. The Quills had a double on the day when Ariane Des Tithais landed the low grade trot .This one was driven by Finbarr Quill Jnr (The Calender Boy of Harness Racing in Ireland) Vigo De Bassiere enhanced his reputation as Irelands leading Trotter with a faile win in the high grade trot. Kieran Sheehy played with his three rivals taking up the running with three furlongs remaining and won by a flattering eight lengths . The sheehy family have a long association with the square gaiters and this looks one of the best they have owned Paul McInerney made the long trip from Co Clare a winning one when landing the Grade G & G1 Pace when Just A Promise a son of Fantastic Western set out his stall early doors and led home IB Felicity by three lengths. Next week racing moves to Gloun with a 2.30 start by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS Race One Heat One . 1.Meadowbranch Matt L Kelleher 2. Best Talent S Jennings Jnr 3. Moorside Captain J O Mahony DIST 2 3 TIME 2.36.1 Race Two Heat Two 1. Coalford Bruce T O Leary 2. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr 3. Rebel Rouser D Murphy DIST 4 1 TIME 2.35.3 Race Three Heat Three 1. Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. King Wills Arrival O Quill 3. Hail Spartacus P Hill DIST 1 3 TIME 3.34.5 Race Four 1. Ariane Des Tithais F Quill Jnr 2. Vallanzana S Quill 3. Silvano Bello D Murphy DIST 2 7 TIME 3.16 Race Five 1. Just A Promise P McInerney 2. IB Felicity D Murphy 3. Coalford Laurel M O Reilly DIST 3 SH TIME 2.39.7 Race Six 1. Vigo De Bassiere K Sheehy 2. Tarnao Josselyn S Quill 3. Tenor Meslos D Murphy DIST 8 6 TIME 3.09.7 Race Seven Final 1.King Wills Arriva O Quill 2. Coalford Bruce T O Leary 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST 1 4 TIME 2 33.5   Virus-free.

Finals day on the Bank Holiday Monday at Ballabuidhe saw some of the best renewals of both the Paddy Connolly Memorial and The Murphy/Hurley & White Grand Prix with superb finishes in both . The Grand Prix saw the eight qualifiers facing the start in the mile and a half contest. Fairdays Bret set the early fractions and led for the opening six furlongs .At this point Brtywins Starship took up the running with Brywins Picasso just off the pace .Down the back straight the field were as one and running room was tight. Turning for home Heather Breeze came through the eye of a needle to grab victory on the line a half of length in front of Brywins Starship with King Wills Arrival a further half back in third. The winner was driven by Sam Jennings from Leap who emulated his father James and uncle Sam who both won the Grand Prix in years gone by. The Paddy Connolly Memorial Le trot final was another epic .Un Boss led for a lap then Saxo De Maroncourt went to head of affairs .Brutenor then joined in to share the lead .On The final lap all eight finalists were in with a shout .Donal Murphy who came in for"the catch drive" on Vigo De Bassiere had weaved his way past all the traffic to grab the honors. The winner is owned by Kieran Sheehy from Baltimore whose family have been involved in harness racing in the region for three generations. Earlier in the day Aubade A Helene left the huge crowd gobsmacked after coming off a 100 yard handicap to ease to victory in the Consolation Le Trot final. Springhill Doyle took the consolation Grand Prix final with Meadowbranch Matt second. Country Cruiser second in Fishers Cross went one better in the Grade G Pace while IB Tweedy landed a gamble in the Grade G & G1 pace with Jamie Hurley in the bike .Hurley also trains Eve De Parc who took the three runner 4 year old trotters Angela Hurley and her late brother Tommy O Brien were both inducted to the Ballabuidhe Hall Of Fame All roads lead to Portmarnock Raceway next weekend for The Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend . by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS Race One 1.Eve De Parc D Murphy 2. Etolie Quick S Kane DIST 5 TIME 3.17.2 Race Two 1. Vigo De Bassiere D Murphy 2. Saxo De Maroncourt E Kane 3 Brutenor P Hill DIST 1 2 TIME 3.09.6 Race Three 1. Springhill Doyle M O Reilly 2 .Meadowbranch Matt O Quill 3.Rhyds Heartbeat D Murphy DIST 2 2 TIME 3.08.1 Race Four 1. Aubade A Helene P Hill 2. Silvano Bello D Murphy 3. Amite Briangault S Kane DIST 5 5 TIME 3.12.6 Race Five 1. IB Tweedy J Hurley 2. Cushentown Rocky J Manning Jnr 3. Coalford Laurel M O Reilly DIST 3 1 TIME 2.35.8 Race Six 1.Country Cruiser J Manning Jnr 2. Panarc K Myles 3. Full Of Grace J Boyle 3. DIST 11 8 TIME 2.37.6 Race Seven 1.Heather Breeze S Jennings 2.Brywins Starship R Kingston 3. King Wills Arrival O Quill DIST 1/2 1/2 TIME 3.06.0  

West Cork, IE - The elimination heats of the Paddy Connolly Memorial Le Trot and The Murphy/Hurley & White Grand Prix were the feature on the opening day of the Ballabuidhe Harness Racing Festival in Dunmanway West Cork . Once again it was 16 year old Oisin Quill who stole the headlines when the County Kerry native took two of the heats in The Grand Prix. Hail Spartacus a former winner of the event in 2016 set the ball rolling for the teenager .Brywins Starship led for most of the contest but Quill was only laying in the "long grass" and ponced with two furlongs to pace andf ran out an easy winner from the long time leader. Quill completed the double with similar tactics in the high grade heat. Fairdays Bret with Chelsie O Driscoll in the bike set a frenetic pace and was 4 lengths in front heading in to the last quarter all the while Quill on King Wills Arrival had moved through the field and led off the last corner to win by 2 lengths . Quill will drive King Wills arrival in the Bank Holiday Monday final for his dad Finbarr who owns the son of Cams Card Shark. It was a good all round for the Quill family as earlier in the day Tarnao Josselyn won the third heat of The Connolly /Le Trot . This was a thriller with Vigo De Bassiere looking all out a winner but he could not get past Tarnao Josselyn who is a veteran but running as good as ever. The younger generation of drivers are to the fore in West Cork at present and John O Mahony finally got the best out of Un Boss in the first Le Tot heat making all and never in danger and will be in pole position in the final. Luke Kelleher at 17 years of age was not to be outdone by the lads and took another heat of the Grand Prix on Brywins Picasso who seems to like the venue (He won heat and final here in 2017) . Saunders Picasso is another consistent type on grass and he just held off Heather Breeze in Heat 2 of the Grand Prix. The Kane siblings Sean and Emma fought out the second elinination heat for trotters with Emma leading all the way on Amite Briangault but Sean just nabbed her on the line on Saxo De Maroncourt with Brutenor edging in for second The warm weather brought out the crowds and we do it all again tomorrow Monday by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS Race One 1. Un Boss J O Mahony 2. Ariane Des Tithais S Quill 3. Brasilia Match S Kane DIST NK 10 TIME 3.12.6 Rcae Two 1. Saxo De Maroncourt S Kane 2.Brutenor P Hill 3. Armite Briangault E Kane DIST NK NK TIME 3.10.1 Rcae Three 1. Tarnao Josselyn S Quill 2. Vigo DE Bassiere K Sheehy 3. Aubade A Helene P Hill DIST HD 3 TIME 3.09.8 Race Four 1. Brywins Picasso L Kelleher 2. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr 3. Willf P Gilligan DIST 12 10 TIME 3.12.6 Race Five 1. Saunders Picasso M Goggin Jnr 2. Heather Breeze S Jennings 3. Rhyds Heartbeat D Murphy DIST NK 3 TIME 3.11.1 Race Six 1. Hail Spartacus O Quill 2 Brywins Starship R Kingston 3. Springhill Doyle M OM Reilly DIST 11 8 TIME 3.10.4 Race Seven 1. King Wills Arrival O Quill 2. Fairdays Bret C O Driscoll 3. Meadowbranch Demon L kelleher DIST 2 2 TIME 3.02.1             Virus-free.

West Cork, IE - "Moll an og agus tiocfaidh siad" The old Irish Phrase "Praise the young and they will flourish" certainly seems to be be the theme down here in Cork when another of our younger drivers Chelsie O Driscoll stole the headlines at the annual Fishers Cross races on Sunday . Having just got her licence to drive the 17 year old showed maturity way beyond her tender years when landing the the Grade F E & D pace . I Told You So set the early fractions but went off stride allowing Heather Breeze to lead .All the while O Driscoll on Rhyds Dilemma was "laying in the short grass" and pounced with two furlongs to race and ran out win by a length "Im over the moon its my first drive under rules and I drive the winner" said the delighted O Driscoll. "Once in a lifetime you get one like him" the words of Tim Kelleher after "The Iron Horse" Meadowbranch Demon took the top grade pace .Kestrels Dot Sammy set a blistering early pace .Heading into the final quarter Supreme Sunshine hit the front and looked a winner but Meadowbranch Demon flew up the home straight to collar the leader and get the verdict by a short head, " We bought him as a yearling and he has just simply been the best I ever owned and wears his heart on his sleeve a warrior who will not accept defeat. He will probably trail 60 yards in the Grand Prix in Ballabuidhe but we take our chances" added Kelleher one of the driving forces behind racing in the West Cork Region Moorside Captain after his win in the opening Grade G & G1 Pace for another young driver John O Manony will take his place in the handicap at his home venue in Ballabuidhe . Country Cruiser tried to make all but had to give second best to Moorside Captain in the final eighth of the mile. Hurry Up Abi added another win to her CV for the Manning Family from Limerick . She was nver headed in a bloodless victory The three runner Le Trot produced a great finish .Un Boss looked to have done enough leading all the way but was collared close home by Valiant Forgion with Mike Goggin in the bike Next weekend sees the two day Ballabuidhe Festival taking place in Dunmanway with The Paddy Connolly Memorial and Murphys Western Beverages Grand Prix as the features . by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS Race One 1. MOORSIDE CAPTAIN J O Mahony 2. COUNTRY CRUISER J Manning Jnr 3. SUNNYSIDE UNIQUE P Hill TIME 2.07.2 DIST 1 1 Race Two 1. RHYDS DILEMMA C O Driscoll 2. HEATHER BREEZE S Jennings 3. RHYDS HEARTBEAT P Hill TIME 2.05.1 DIST 1 1 Race Three 1. HURRY UP ABI J Manning Jnr 2. THE HITMAN MGoggin Jnr 3. FAIRDAYS BRET A McCarthy TIME 2.04.2 DIST 4 1/2 Race Four 1. VALIANT FORGION M Goggin Jnr 2. UN BOSS J O Mahony 3.AUBADE A HELENE P Hill TIME 3.12.5 DIST 1/2 2 Race Five 1. MEADOWBRANCH DEMON L Kelleher 2. SUPREME SUNSHINE J Boyle 3. KESTRELS DOT SAMMY J O Mahony TIME 2.01 1 DIST SH 4                       Virus-free.

West Cork, IE - Oisin Quill, who will celebrate his 16th birthday next week, will have fond memories of the 2018 Ballineen Harness Races where he drove his first classic winner in his fledgling career, capturing the Tommy O'Brien Memorial Handicap final at "The Cornfield Oval " in Manch on Sunday with King Wills Arrival . Hurry Up Abi set the early fractions from Brywins Starship and Saunders Picasso. Heading into the final half mile John Manning Jnr on Hurry Up Abi looked to have the measure of his rivals leading by four lengths, the final quarter pole the pack began to close in and Oisin Quill produced the winner and sprinted clear to win by 3 lengths from Brywins Starship who had beaten him in the heat. "We done an operation on his wind over the winter and that seems to have done the trick " said delighted owner Finbarr Quill. It was a goood day for the Quill family from Kenmare in County Kerry as earlier Tarnao Josselyn took the top grade trot. Vigo De Bassiere despite trailing the gate 60 yards was all the rage in the betting after two wins but he found the winner too good .Tarnao won the "Clockwise " direction trot last week in Portmarnock. "We have had some fun with this fellow and he is good going any direction" added Seamus Quill Two drivers drove doubles on the day. John Manning Jnr took the first handicap heat on Hurry Up Abi and then won the second division of the Grade G & G1 pace on Cushenstown Rocky. Luke Kelleher also drove a brace of winners .Meadowbranch Matt so often the bridesmaid went one better when today when taking the first section of the Grade G & G1 Pace. We made it two when "The Iron Horse" Meadowbranch Demon won the third heat in the handicap. Brywins Starship landed some tidy wagers in the second heat of the handicap under the reins of Richard Kingston . With all the young drivers winning (Quill Kelleher and Kingston) Donal Murphy had the honor of being the oldest winning driver on the day when taking the low grade trot on the ageless Silvano Bello When informed of this Murphy replied "There aint too may grey hairs on my head but these youngsters are ensuring a good future for the sport" The Ballineen Committee must be congratulated on another outstanding day . Next week the action moves to Fishers Cross a venue overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS Race One . 1. Meadowbranch Matt L Kelleher 2. IB Felicity D Murphy 3. Moorside Captain J O Mahony DIST 3 2 TIME 2.07.0 Race Two (Heat 1) 1. Hurry Up Abi J Manning Jnr 2. Saunders Picasso M Goggin Jnr 3. Best Talent S Jennings DIST 4 4 TIME 2.03.1 Race Three (Heat 2) 1. Brywins starship R Kingston 2. King Wills Arrival O Quill 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST SH 3 TIME 2.02.9 Race Four (Heat 3) 1. Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher 2. Supreme Sunshine J Boyle 3. Hail Spartacus P Hill DIST 6 2 TIME 2.02.4 Race Five 1. Silvano Bello D Murphy 2. Ariane Des Tithais S Quill 3. Un Boss J O Mahony DIST 2 2 TIME 3.10.2 Race Six 1. Cushenstown Rocky J Manning Jnr 2.Sunnyside Unique D Murphy 3. Western Ocean L Kelleher DIST 5 2 TIME 2.06.1 Race Seven 1. Tarnao Josselyn S Quill 2. Vigo De Bassiere K Sheehy 3. Brutenor P Hill DIST 2 4 TIME 3.08.7 Race Eight (Final) 1.King Wills Arrival O Quill 2. Brywins Starship R Kingston 3 Hurry Up Abi J Manning Jnr DIST 4 1 TIME 2.04.1    

West Cork, IE - The West Cork Harness Racing season is in full flight and another one of the highlights takes place on Sunday 22nd July at Manch Raceway. Ballineen Race Committee have down through the years been one of the strongest groups on the circuit and once again hold their annual raceday at "The Cornfield Oval" in Manch which is located a few miles on the western side of Ballineen Village . "We are indebted to the Duggan family for the use of their land in Manch" says Martin Hurley of the Ballineen Committee . Martin along with wife Angela and Richard "Barney" Bradfield are the backbone of the committee . Last year they ran heats and final and the format will be the same this time round and this year it will be The Tommy O Brien Memorial Handicap. The late Tommy O Brien passed away 25 years ago and was a brother of Angela Hurley. " Tommy was involved in harness racing in West Cork all his life until he passed away in 1993 both as a member of Ballineen Race Committee and he also held the positions on the executive on the ITHRF and The Old Cork County Trotting Association and the Big Heats and Final of the handicap will honor him " said Angela Hurley "We are extremely lucky with our loyal sponsors from both Ballineen and its sister village Enniskeane and from others from both near and far"added Hurley. The qualifing heats will have purses of €600 with the Grand final for a purse of €1200 . There will be a full supporting program including The Le Trot for Trotters ,a saddle race and maiden paces . The action gets under way at 2 30 PM and the venue is located west of Ballineen just off the R586 and will be sign posted on the day Details of entries can be found on by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

WEST CORK, IR - Its being quite a week for Kieran Sheehy who is Stud Farm Manager at Moran Stud Farm who enjoyed success at Tipperary race course during the week and on Saturday evening Sheehy took the High grade Trot at Lissangle with Vivo De Bassiere .   Sheehy sent the nine year old to the front after half a lap and was never in danger easing to a 10 length victory.   Reclamation a three year old daughter of A Rock N Roll Dance showed she can handle all surfaces when landing the Grade F E & D Pace .A winner on the hard track in Portmarnock last week she followed up with a facile win on grass this week .Jointly owned by Bill Donovan from Florida and IB Stables in Baltimore she will be aimed at The M50 Skip Hire three year classic in mid July.   Tadhg Murphy who holds the trainers licence at IB stables had a smile as broad as the harbour in his native Baltimore when his son Eoin took the saddle race with Hail Spartucus.   Eoin a 14 year student has definitely inherited the family genes giving a polished performance on the winner who is owned by the Hill family owners of Hillside Farms.   John O Mahony and Luke Kelleher two of our up and coming drivers both got on the score sheet . O Mahony got Moorside Captain through "the eye of a Needle" up the inside of Panarc in the final eighth of a mile to take the G & G1 Pace.   The runner up driven by novice driver Kevin Myles will win soon but today was another learning curve . Meadowbrach Demon and Luke Kelleher are a formidable pairing and took the High Grade Pace. Rhyds Dilemma and then Supreme Sunshine both led but with 3 furlongs remaining Kelleher sent "The Iron Horse " alight and ran out a three length winner .   Heather Breeze and IB A Magican served up a titanic battle in the opener and the former was not to be denied winning by a head .   Dream De Broeuts has showed promise in his three previous runs and got the better of Un Boss in another photo finish.Once again a winning distance of a head for owner driver Patrick Hill .   Sunday 8th July is the next West Cork meeting in Drimoleague.   by Tim Kellerher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS Race One 1. Heather Breeze S Jennings 2. IB A Magician D Murphy 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST Hd 4 TIME 2.39.8 Race Two 1. Dream De Broeuts P Hill 2. Un Boss J O Mahony 3. Banialouka K Sheehy DIST Hd Dist TIME 2.55.9 Race Three 1. Moorside Captain J O Mahony 2. Panarc K Myles 3. Splash The Cash DIST 4 9 TIME 2.46.9 Race Four 1. Reclamation D Murphy 2. Brywins Starship R Kingston 3. Brywins Picasso L Kelleher DIST 1 1/4 6 1/4 TIME 2.38.9 Race Five 1. Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher 2. Supreme Sunshine J Boyle 3. Wellfield Ghost J Manning Jnr DIST 3 1 1/2 TIME 2.42.2 Race Six 1. Hail Spartacus E Murphy 2. Fairdays Bret C O Driscoll 3. Coalford Commander S Twomey DIST Dist 5 TIME 2.38.6 Race Seven 1. Vigo De Bassiere K Sheehy 2. Alineka Darche T Murphy 3. Bolero De La Fye D Murphy DIST 10 5 TIME 2.43.4

WEST CORK, IE - Rhyds Panache took out the first big handicap of the season The George Deane Memorial at a sunny Dunmanway on Saturday evening. Three heats saw two qualifiers going forward to the grand final HEAT ONE Rhyds Heartbeat set all the fractions in the opening heat .Donal Murphy sent the veteran to the front and led until the final corner.Here the chasing pack closed in and Western Dreamer got up on the line to beat Heather Breeze and Springhill Doyle in a blanket finish HEAT TWO Earnies Umpire was all the rage in the betting ring .Hurry Up Abi off the plum one draw went to the front early and was not for catching with Earnies Umpire running on to claim the second qualifing slot with The Hitman third HEAT THREE Rhyds Panache was quick at the start to lead from Hail Spartacus.Heading out on the final circuit the field had closed in on the leader but Chris O Reilly let out an inch of rein and eased to a 7 length winning margin from Hail Spartacus with Supreme Sunshine third FINAL Hurry Up Abi was again quick from the start and was follwed by Earnies Umpire and Heather Breeze . The order remined much the same until the final quarter where Rhyds Panache was st alight and won going away from Hurry Up Abi. 6 lengths the distance . "I think he needed the run on the beach and ran well in Dundalk so I was confident of a big performance today" said winning owner /trainer and driver Chris O Reilly about the nine year old son of The One Night Pan "He take a hit in the handicap for today but we tak our chances in The Red John Memorial next weekend" O Reilly added and himself and Red John were workmates and life long friends . Waxies Dargle broke his Maiden tag for Mike Shanahan in the G & G1 Pace . The pair led after the firts circuit and were not for catching Cupidon De Breteil took the le Trot race. Himself and Avetot traded blows for most of the contest but the latter went off stride in the final 100 yards to hand the race to the winner. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS George Deane Memorial Heat One 1. Western Dreamer PJ Cleary 2. Heather Breeze S Jennings 3. Sprighill Doyle M O Reilly DIST 1 1/2 TIME 2.12.2 Heat Two 1. Hurry Up Abi J Manning 2. Earnies Umpire M O Reilly 3. The Hitman M Goggin Jnr DIST 3 1 TIME 2.08.1 Heat Three 1. Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. Hail Spartacus P Hill 3. Supreme Sunshine J Boyle DIST 8 1/4 TIME 2.05.6 Final ! Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 2. Hurry Up Abi J Manning 3 Earnies Umpire M O Reilly DIST 6 11/2 TIME 2.04.3 Race 5 1. Waxies Dargle M Shanahan 2.Moorside Captain J O Mahony 3. Shanes Income D McCarthy DIST 6 3 TIME 2.14.8 Race 6 1. Cupidon De Breteil F Quill Jnr 2. Avetot D Murphy 3. Un Boss J O Mahony DIST 8 20 TIME 2.19.7 Next weekend the Red John Memorial Festival weekend takes place in Lyre Clonakilty with racing on Sat and Sun First Race both days 2 PM start .

WEST CORK, IE - Sean Kane drove two winners at Annaghmore on Saturday and repeated that feat with another brace at the opening meeting of the 2018 West Cork harness Racing season at Inchadoney Beach on Sunday.   Brasilia Match a winner in Portmarnock a few weeks ago followed up with another victory in the Grade F & E Trot. Kane sent the winner to the front from the off and despite a late challenge from Un Boss he was never in danger and stayed on to win by 1 3/4 lengths . His driving double came in the finale The High grade trot . This time Kane employed the same front running tactics aboard Uldiem Alfa and was never for catching holding off Tarnao Josselyn for a 5 3/4 length winning margin Kane who is retained driver for Moorside Stables is enjoying a rich vein of form in the early season and the four hour drive back to their Naul base in County Meath will be made shorter by their winners . Racing opened with a four year old trot and here Denis O Reilly got a well over due win on his Empereur Souverain . O Reilly led off the number on slot and was never in any sort of danger eventually winning by 6 3/4l lengths from Eve Du Parc "He was very unlucky not to win in Portmarnock a few weeks back and done everything right today.We head to Dundalk for the big PMU meeting on the June weekend" explained winning driver Denis O Reilly . Reclamation opened her three year old campaign with a facile victory in the Grade G & G1 pace . This daughter of A Rock N Roll Dancer led from the start and was not over extended by Donal Murphy .She is owned by the Florida based Bill Donovan and The Murphy Bros and the plan is to race her in all the big three year old races both in Ireland and The UK and will most likely be shipped back to the US at the fall of the year. Canadian visitors Carla Selig and Kathy Byrne were on hard to make the presentation . King Wills Arrival justiofied good market support in the saddle race . Coalford Bruce and Hail Spartacus battled it out early but at the 3/4 pole Oisin Quill went through the middle of the two pace setters and ran out an easy two length winner. Earnies Umpire (Earned Income / Elizabeth Ann) followed up on his win in Portmarnock last Sunday with a victory that would suggest that he could be a very smart type .His eight length win from Pan Cam Drift was most impressive " We think he could right to the top and we will aim him at The Red John Memorial Handicap and then The big Handicap at The Grendon Memorial weekend" were the thought of winning owner Tadhg O Reilly The Iron Horse Meadowbranch Demon showed scant regard for his three rivals in the High Grade Pace.Running off a thirty yard hard handicap driver Luke Kelleher made his move down the back straight and passed with ease and "sat back in the armchair " on the run to the line "Hes just simply the best we ever had and at 12 years of age he seems to be enjoying himself .We give him ma week or two off and plan after that" winning owner Mike Kelleher said of this son of The Commissioner . Next Sunday is George Deane Memorial Day in Dunmanway with heats and finals for pacers By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslinl RESULTS Race One 1 Emperaur Souverain D O Reilly 2 Eve Du Parc D Murphy 3 Extase Des Epines L Kelleher Distance 6 3/4 6 Time 3.21.6 Race Two 1 Reclamation D Murphy 2 Riverdance Hanover L Kelleher 3 Moorside Captain S Kane Distance 21 1/4 7 1/4 Time 2.10.1 Race Three 1 King Wills Arrival O Quill 2 Coalford Bruce M Shanahan 3 Hail Spartacus E Murphy Distance 5 2 Time 2.06.5 Race Four 1 Brasilia Match S Kane 2 Un Boss J O Mahony 3 Dream Des Broeuts Distance 1 3/4 1/4 Time 3.23.8 Race Five 1 Earnies Umpire M O Reilly 2 Pan cam Drift L Kelleher 3 Brywins Starship R Kingston Distance 8 2 Time 2.07.5 Race Six 1 Meadowbranch Demon L Kelleher 2 Rhyds Panache C O Reilly 3 Kestrels Dot Sammy J O Mahony Distance 3 3/4 1/4 Time 2.08.1 Race Seven 1 Uldiem Alfa S Kane 2 Tarnao Josselyn 3 Aubade A Helene Distance 5 3/4 38 1/2 Time 3.17.3  

WEST CORK, IE - The 2018 West Cork Harness Racing season opens on Sunday next at the beautiful Inchadoney Beach at 3.30 PM Described by the purists of the sport as one of the best venues to be found anywhere in the world Around 1pm on Sunday The Great Atlantic Ocean tide will be begin to turn outwards and a hippodrome for harness racing will begin to uncover at this Blue Flag Beach (An award only given to the cleanest beaches in Ireland) . Committee members will then mark out the track ,a temporary judges box will be driven on to the beach and at 3.30 racing begins A seven race program is on offer with a mix of three pacing races ,three races for trotters and one saddle race . "Everyone helps setting up the track owners ,drivers and even the race day officials "added Donal Murphy " Its a race against time in every manner firstly setting up the track then getting through the card and finally taking down the track and of course timing all the races " according to Timmy O Donovan a member of the ITHRF (The Irish Trotting and Harness Racing Federation) one of the clubs which make up the Irish Harness Racing Club. " With South West winds due lunch time on Sunday the beach should be at its very best with a half mile oval "coming out of the sands" it is one of our show piece meetings and I have sun glasses ready for the good weather which is forecast" said O Donovan This scribe through the medium of social media had contact from Canada from people who "had it on their bucket list " to make it to the famous beach and will be guests on the day and will enjoy the famous West Cork hospitality . So 3.30 pm at Inhadoney Beach is the place to be and remember TIME NOT TIDE WAITS FOR NO MAN! By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

WEST CORK, IE -The harness racing community in West Cork has always been generous when it comes to looking after local charities. Following the record breaking Red John Memorial Festival of harness racing in Lyre last August, the committee made a presentation recently to Cork University Hospital Charities Committee. "We feel that it is important to look after those who may need medical help and CUH was our chosen charity this year." said Caroline Collins, treasurer of the RJM. "In 2018 we are going local with Bantry Pallative Care the charity "added Collins. Harness racing received a massive boost recently with the government funded Indecon report into the industry published and following on that report the government have announced funding of a five year strategic plan giving the sport a chance to grow further. The West Cork season opens at Inchadoney Beach on May 13th with the Red John Memorial Festival pencilled in for Sat 16th and sun 17th June at Lyre. By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink      

WEST CORK, IE - Nominations for the 2018 Red John Memorial Pace ,The Maven Trotting Derby and the Oakwood Stud Irish Three Year Old Grass Pacing Championships closed recently and once again the biggest Grass Festival in Ireland has attracted bumper entries . 65 pacers have been nominated for the Red John Memorial Pace. 2018 sees a change in format for the pacers with a high grade and low grade heats and finals with entries from the UK among that number. The Maven Trotting Derby has attracted 55 French bred trotters . Nine three year olds are nominated for their aged grass pacing championship. Both the Maven and Red John Memorial have Florida based Bill Donovan as the main sponsor. Bill has traced his roots to Skibbereen and has forged a formidable alliance with the Murphy Brothers of IB Stables where he has sent some US bred pacers to be trained by the famous Harness Racing Nursery which is located on Innisbeg Island between Skibbereen and Baltimore deep in the heart of West Cork . Caroline Collins of The committee takes up the story. "Last year Bill Donovan came on board as our main sponsor and after a record breaking meet last year we wanted to make the festival even better .So we looked at the pacers format and came up with having a high and low grade format thus ensuring as many horses could have a shot at winning . We are delighted to have got 65 entries which all going well means four low grade heats and four high grade heats with two qualifiers going forward to each to form two eight horse finals. The Maven Trotters derby has seen a 30% increase in entries(40 last year to 55 this term) and we are delighted especially for Bill as this final honors Maven one of the finest trotters to grace Harness Racing all around the world who was owned by Bill . We have a small committee in name but come June all the harness racing community come on board. The track is owned by Ger Hegarty who over the Winter has carried out improvement works on both the track and spectator facilities and we will be ready to welcome people from all over Ireland and The UK .We are also blessed to have Gretta Cormican a brother of Ger and her army of stewards to help out for the weekend. As another great man said "Failure in our eyes is not an option" added Collins in a recent interview. The committee will be making a presentation to Cork University Hospital with proceeds from last year and will offically launch this years Festival later this month. So reserve the 16th and 17th June for the Red John Memorial Weekend Festival of harness Racing. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   

WEST CORK, IE - Deirdre Goggin was the star of the show on her home road in Goleen when riding a treble at the beautiful Causeway venue on Sunday last. Two of the winners were for her brother Micheal. In the grade A & B Pace Rhyds Ponder set the early fractions leading to the first and second turns heading to the third turn Goggin sent Saunders Paris to the front and from here to the last turn they were in command. They were roared home by the local partisan crowd and were four lengths in front at the finish . Saunders Picasso another Goggin trained inmate was making his road debut and ram out an easy winner in the grade E Pace. This time the winner was in front from the start and when Van Helsing made a mistake at the second turn Picasso was clear and won easily. The third leg of the Deidre Goggin treble came aboard Gadgie Pan in the Grade C & D . This one has had a few niggling problems during the season and put them behind him today winning in good style . Fair Enough who was placed third in the All Ireland was back to Grade C today and with Matt O Reilly in the Saddle jumped off in front and were not for catching. "I gave him a week or two to recover but I will run him during the Summer"' said Chris O Reilly owner of the winner. Kentucky Finale has found a few smart Novices a bit too good for him over the last few runs but looked a different horse today disposing of his only rival Captain Morgan in the opening Novice Pace. He will also be kept going for the turf season . So Goleen brought the curtain down on the Winter season . The turf season opens in Cork on Sunday 20th May at Inchadoney Beach . Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin will open on Easter Sunday. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink Goleen Road Trotting Races Results. Race 1: Novice Trot. 1st: Kentucky Finale, T. O' Leary. 2nd: Captain Morgan, D. Goggin. Race 2: Grade D Trot. 1st: Gadgie Pan, D. Goggin. 2nd: Blackfield Jenny, M. O' Reilly. 3rd: On The Other Side, T. O' Leary. Race 3: Grade C & D Trot. 1st: Fair Enough, M. O' Reilly. 2nd: Fairdays Bret, D. Goggin. 3rd: Meadowbranch Romeo, T. O' Leary. Race 4: Grade E Trot. 1st: Saunders Picasso, D. Goggin. 2nd: Shanes Income, M. O' Reilly. 3rd: Van Helsing, P. O' Brien. 4th: Ballyhill Jimmy, T. O' Leary. Race 5: Grade A/B Trot. 1st: Saunders Paris, D. Goggin. 2nd: Rhyds Ponder, T. O' Leary. 3rd: Rhyds Dilemma, M. O' Reilly.            

WEST CORK, IR - Maitha Buachaill claimed the 2018 All Ireland Road Trotting Championship before the biggest crowd seen at Skibbereen in many years on Sunday. With the defection of Rhyds Ponder due to injury the winner was a warm order in the betting ring. Fair Enough and Saunders Paris set the early fractions with Fair Enough making the opening two turns in front. At the second turn Saunders Paris got a poor turn as did Tactician Du Lys. Heading for the final turn it was a three way battle up front between Paris Buachaill and Fair Enough. Off The final turn Fair Enough was just in front and looked to be a winner . Entering the final furlong the three runners were as one stretched across the tarmac and it was Maitha Buachaill who edged to the front to win by two lengths from Saunders Paris with Fair Enough two lengths back in third . The crowds flocked onto the road to applaud all the horses who gave their all in a classic renewal of the race. Joint owner Ger Hegarty was carried shoulder high as was jockey Jamie Hurley. "Since I was a boy I dreamed of this day and winning the All Ireland, Today the dream came through. It was a team effort by winning jockey James Hurley (co owner) and all the Hurley family. We will enjoy tonight and the ride back home In Lyre." added Hegarty in the winners enclosure. Deirdre Goggin, jockey on runner up Saunders Paris commented. "She gave her all but to be fair we were beaten by the better horse on the day." Jamie Hurley rode two winners on the afternoon, having earlier guided Hillside Aurelius to victory in the Grade E . Shanes Income took the opening Novice Pace. Anthony McCarthy was in the plate and the pair ran out easy winners. Sunnyside Kildare returned to winning ways in the Grade D. Timmy O'Leary waited with this son of Bear Dance, taking up the running at the final turn and ran out a four length winner. Rhyds Dilemma gave a polished performance in the Grade B & C .Hillside Mustang led for most of the contest but was reeled in by the winner with three furlogs remaining and won going away. The Skibbbereen committee must be complimented for hosting the event and were blessed with fine weather and a bumper crowd. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS Race 1: Novice Trot. 1st: Shanes Income, A Mc Carthy. 2nd: Moorside Captain, T O' Leary. 3rd: Kentucky Finale, D. Goggin. Race 2: Grade B & C Combined. 1st: Rhyds Dilemma, D. Goggin. 2nd: Hillside Mustang, J Healy. 3rd: Meadowbranch Romeo, T O' Leary. Race 3: Grade D Trot. 1st: Sunnyside Kildare, T O' Leary. 2nd: IB Tweedy, J. Hurley. 3rd: Gadgie Pan, D. Goggin. Race 4: Grade E Trot. 1st: Hillside Aurelius, J. Hurley. 2nd: Blackfield Jennie, J. Healy. 3rd: Fairdays Bret, A. Mc Carthy. Race 5: All Ireland Saddle. 1st: Maitha Buachaill, J. Hurley. 2nd: Saunders Paris, D. Goggin. 3rd: Fair Enough, M. O' Reilly. 4th: Tactician Du Lys, T. O' Leary      

WEST CORK, IR - Road trotting fans from all over Ireland and The UK are set to flock to The famous "Marsh Road" on the outskirts of Skibbereen for the 2018 renewal of The All Ireland Road Trotting Championships this Sunday, January 28. The local committee are pushing the boat out this year with the annual "Memorial Day" hosting road trottings biggest prize The "All Ireland". Along with the purse of €1800, the winning connections will carry away The Tim "Cooper" Kelleher Memorial Trophy in memory of the founder of the Kelleher Racing Stables and "Cooper" was one of the leading bookmakers in harness racing before his untimely death in 1995 . This years renewal has attracted entries and below is a guide to their form MAITHA BUACHAILL Is the oldest horse in the race .A former multiple winner on turf and track has taken to the tarmac code and last year won five of his six starts . A winner in Drimoleague he finished second In Durrus before returning to winning ways in Ballygurteen . He is jointly owned by Ger Hegarty (Owner of the splendid Lyre Raceway home of the Red John Memorial ) and James Hurley who also trains him . Jamie Hurley is his tried and trusted Jockey and will start as favorite. RHYDS PONDER Is the arch rival of Maitha Buachaill and their battles both this season and in 2017 will go down in the folklore of this sport which is unique to West Cork.He finished second in Drimoleague and came out on top in Durrus and finished third in Ballygurteen . With usual jockey Deirdre Goggin riding Saunders Paris no confirmation of who will take the ride for owner /Trainer Ned Forbes. Loves to be in front and the Marsh Road holds no prisoners with a slight uphill pull to the finish can he last out . TACTICIAN DU LYS This French Bred trotter has been a consistent type last year but seemed to loose his way at the start of this year but put that behind him last time in Ballygurteen only finishing two lengths behind Maitha Buachaill. The tough two mile trip in Skibb will suit this imposing type who is owned by Ger Kane from County Meath and is trained by Jeremiah O Mahony in Dunmanway."Cool Hands" Timmy O Leary gets the ride and if any of the leading lights were to falter he could be there to pick up the pieces SAUNDERS PARIS This regally bred filly has worked her way up the ranks and will take her chances against the "big guns" for the first time .Deidre Goggin had the most difficult decision to come off Rhyds Ponder in favor of "Paris" but this filly is the apple in the eye of the Goggin family from Goleen with her brother Micheal the owner and trainer. She loves the front and distance should not be an issue as she won in Ballygurteen over the maximum trip. Would be a popular winner FAIR ENOUGH Has been a revelation since joining Chris O Reillys yard from the Newtown Stud in October Second on his debut in Drimoleague he has recorded wins in Durrus and Ballygurteen albeit in lower grades .Will be having his first run over two miles but seems to have the staying power and may be the one to upset the big names .Matthew O reilly will take the ride Cups to honor Jack Pat Collins , Pat Hurley, Martin and Joe Bennett, Gerald Collins and Paddy & Jason Kane will be on offer for winners of the other four races on the day. First race takes place at 2:30 pm. Details on by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

WEST CORK, IR - The annual Memorial Day harness racing meet in Skibbereen has proved one of the biggest meeting on the Winter Road Trotting Circuit and this year the event takes on an even bigger significance as the famous Marsh Road venue on the outskirts of "Skibb" will host the 2108 All Ireland Road Trotting Championships the blue riband of the Road Racing season. Committee member Donal Murphy takes up the story. "Memorial Day here in Skibbereen has always had a high profile and this year we felt that staging the All Ireland would further enhance this great meeting. So an application was made to the governing body and our request was granted." Murphy said. "The Marsh Road has always been a venue to attract the crowds and the annual influx of harness racing fans from Dublin ,Scotland ,Wales and the UK has added a real international flavor to the day . To be fair we have a great committee here and our sponsors are loyal to us."added Murphy. The talk all season has been the meetings of Maitha Buachaill and Rhyds Ponder and last week Tactician Du Lys came between the two arch rivals in his best run so far this year. The emergance of Saunders Paris and a real contender has really wet the appetites of followers of this sport which is unique to West Cork . Entries for the classic close next Sunday night at 9:00 pm and there will be a full preview early next week by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink      

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