Day At The Track
Search Results
49 to 64 of 121

WEST CORK, Ireland - Seamus Quill took the driving honours when recording two winners at the Corn Field Oval in Manch on Sunday. Va Reine Du Pont kicked off the brace for the Kenmare based reinsman. Blanpain Le Fol and last weeks winner Cupidon De Breteil made the running in the mile and a quarter trot. With four furlongs to trot Quill gave the winner the office and led the field.Turning for home the field began to close in but Va Reine Du Pont held on from Valiant Forgion in a blanket finish. Quill completed the double in the next a grade F E & D Pace. King Wills Arrival followed up on his win on the beach last week getting home a length in front of Fairdays Bret with Lyons Stallone a futher half back in third . Racing opened with a very smart performance from newcomer Earnies Umpire .Coalford Bruce made the running but Matt O Reilly took it up after the opening half mile and won in a manner that would suggest that a bright career is in front of him. This three year old son of Earned Income and Elizabeth Ann holds entries in both the Barney Joyce Memorial and the Oakwood Stud three year old grass pacing Championship and was bred by Tadhg O'Reilly. Meadowbranch Demon now an 11 year old recorded his 40th career win in the top grade pace. Cruise Howard led off the gate but was joined and passed by Rhyds Destiny in the opening half. Heading out on the final circuit Mike Kelleher edged Demon closer and on the back straight hit the front. Cruise Howard put in a late rally but "The iron Horse" was not for catching. "We normally wouldnt race him every week but he came out of his run in Inchydoney fine and we probably go for the free for all in Dundalk." commented winning driver Mike Kelleher. Rhyds Heartbeat owned by Angela and Martin Hurley was a trap to line winner in the Grade D & C Pace. On his home track, Donal Murphy set the winner alight early doors, and despite the best efforts of favourite Camden Corleone, this son of Hasty Hall was not going to be denied. Next week the action moves to Dunmanway for the first of the big Summer handicaps. The George Deane Memorial in memory of the former president of the ITHRF is the first leg in the handicap "triple crown" on the West Cork circuit and will probably have three heats and a grand final with a full supporting programme. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE G & G1 PACE 1st O'Reilly / Joyce EARNIES UMPIRE M O'Reilly 2nd J Shanahan COALFORD BRUCE M Kelleher 3rd S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE Owner DIST 2l 3l TIME 2.05.7 8 Ran LE TROT GRADE E D & C 1st F Quill Snr VA REINE DU PONT S Quill 2nd O Sullivan / Goggin VALIANT FORGION M Goggin Jnr 3rd J Shanahan CUPIDON DE BRETEIL M Kelleher DIST SH 1/2l TIME 2.50.4 6 Ran   GRADE F E & D PACE 1st F Quill Snr KING WILLS ARRIVAL S Quill 2bd J Shanahan FAIRDAYS BRET M Kelleher 3rd O'Reilly / O Driscoll LYONS STALLONE C O'Reilly DIST 1l 1/2l TIME 2.05.6 5 Ran   GRADE D & C PACE 1st 1A & M Hurley RHYDS HEARTBEAT D Murphy 2nd O Reilly / Hurley CAMDEN CORLEONE M O Reilly 3rd J Hill THE HITMAN M Goggin Jnr DIST 1/2L 1/2L TIME 2.07.8 5 Ran   GRADE B A & A1 Pace 1st - Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH DEMON M Kelleher 2nd - C O Brien CRUISE HOWARD T O Leary 3rd - J Shanahan RHYDS DESTINY L Kelleher DIST NK 2l 4 Ran        

WEST CORK, Ireland - It was a good day for father and son combination Mike and Luke Kelleher who both drove a winner on the opening day of the 2017 West Cork Harness racing season at Inchadoney Beach on Sunday.   Luke Kelleher, who drove his initial winner in Portmarnock a few weeks ago, steered his first winner in West Cork in the opening Grade G & G1 Pace on Panam Colt.   IB Coyote the 2016 VDM 2 year old fillies champion was all the rage to continue on her winning ways and was an early leader.   With two furlongs to pace Panam Colt began to close and hit the front in the last eighth of a mile to win by two lengths.   Meadowbranch Demon, so often the "cash cow" for the Kelleher Bros, delivered again in the top grade pace.   Cruise Howard and the winner set the pace and were joined by Wellfield Ghost at the two furlong pole.   The order remained the same entering the final quarter. Turning for home, Camden Corleone joined in, but Meadowbranch Demon was not for catching and held on from the fast finishing Rhyds Destiny with Wellfield Ghost staying on for third.   "He's just like Forrest Gump, just wants to run" said Kelleher about the winner.   The Le Trot for French bred trotters produced the best finish of the day.   Those in the know betting wise "lumped on" Tarnao Josselyn and looked to have got it right when he was produced in the final eighth of a mile to challenge newcomer Cupidon De Breteil, but Matt O'Reilly sat motionless on the John Shanahan trained bay and held on to win by a short head.   Only four went to post in the Grade D & C, but it was a real competitive affair where Western Dreamer held off challenges from all and sundry and the eleven-year-old enjoyed his day in the sun, holding off Rhyds Hearbeat.   Finbarr Quill Jnr , the "pin up driver" in West Cork, was seen at his best on King Wills Arrival in the grade F & E pace. Fairdays Bret set a quick pace but was reeled in by the inner with two furlongs to pace and won from the unlucky Lyons Stallone,   Next Sunday the action moves to the Cornfield Oval in Manch for the first grass meeting on the circuit.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS GRADE G & G1 PACE 1. Kelleher Bros PANAM COLT L Kelleher 2. Bill Donovan/IB Stables IB COYOTE D Murphy 3. J Payne GET ROCKIN M Payne DIST 2l 3l TIME 2.12.1 6 Ran   GRADE F & E PACE 1. F Quill Snr KING WILLS ARRIVAL F Quill Jnr 2. O Reilly/ O Driscoll LYONS STALLONE C O Reilly 3. J Shanahan FAIRDAYS BRET M Kelleher DIST 2l 3l TIME 2.12.4 5 Ran   GRADE D & C PACE 1. P J Cleary WESTERN DREAMER S Quill 2. A & M Hurley RHYDS HEARTBEAT D Murphy 3. O Farrell/Kelleher Bros BRYWINS PICASSO M Kelleher DIST 1/2l 1l TIME 2.13.4 4 Ran   Le Trot Grade F E D & C 1. J Shanahan CUPIDON DE BRETEIL M O Reilly 2. F Quill Snr TARNAO JOSSELYN S Quill 3. P Hill BRUTENOR Owner DIST SH 2l TIME 2.17.7 7 Ra   GRADE B & A Pace 1. Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH DEMON M Kelleher 2. J Shanahan/J Mycock RHYDS DESTINY L Kelleher 3. J Manning WELLFIELD GHOST Owner DIST C2l 1l TIME 2.09.3  

WEST CORK, Ireland - The 2017 Harness racing season opens this coming Sunday, May 14th at the beautiful Inchydooney Beach venue just a few miles outside Clonakilty. This unique venue sees the Blue Flag Beach transformed into an amphitheatre for standardbred pacers and trotters. Once the tide makes its way out towards the Atlantic the track will be put in place and provides one of the finest half mile circuits any where in the world . With tidal conditions racing gets under way at 12.45 PM. Following on from the annoucncement of the major sponsorship deal for The Red John Memorial in August and the success of the French Trotters program, there is a real "feel good" factor to the sport for the coming season. Now to the equine stars. In recent years the top grade pacers have been a scarce commodity and this season the likely stars include Meadowbranch Demon, Cruise Howard and Rhyds Destiny, who will be joined by Wellfield Ghost, a winner in Portmarnock last week, the versatile Maithi Buachill, Sunnyside Kildare and the recently imported Rhyds Panache. As mentioned earlier, the imported French trotters have become very popular and along with the aged horses Sivano Be llo, Rocky Atout, Adagio de Cebe, and Alienka Darche just a few of new addition with the three-year-old french trotters imported to race in their own age group. Seven of these three-year-olds have been bought by West Cork/ Kerry owners and they bring a new freshness to our proogrammes . A lot of interest will be on the younger pacers who raced in aged racing last season . Among these are IB A Magacian, Lakeview Panam and Hillside Aurelious, who no doubt will improve in their four-year-old season. The Hitman, who won the George Deane Memorial last year, still looks ahead of the handicap and could be one to watch in the final handicaps during the year. Following the Inchydoney meet, racing returns to Fishers Cross on Sunday the 21st followed by the First ITHRF Association Day on the 28th. So all roads lead to the beach at Inchydoney on Sunday with a 12.45 PM  start time and as they, "Time and tide wait for no man" Details of fixtures, entries and news can be found on the ITHRF website www.harnessracingcork.com. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

Harnesslink’s Ireland correspondent, Tim Kelleher, has worked with prominent harness racing owner Bill Donovan, in presenting the following “history of Maven” story. Kelleher and the committee for the Red John Memorial Weekend in Cork, Ireland, August 19th and 20th, have worked out a wonderful sponsorship arrangement with Bill Donovan for the big weekend that includes the inaugural Maven Trotters Derby. Both the Red John Memorial Pace and the Maven Trotters Derby will each race in the final for a purse of $21,000, the richest races ever in the history of harness racing in Ireland. “It is so great that Bill Donovan has stepped up and is helping sponsor these races,” Kelleher said. “We look forward to having him with us in West Cork come this August, especially to present the blanket and trophy to the first winner of the Maven Trotters Derby. “Bill was gracious enough, Kelleher explained, “to agree to tell this story on the history of one of the greatest trotting mares ever, Maven.” Bill Donovan purchased her for $37,000 at the 2010 Lexington Sale. Her original name was "Bella Topona", which while it sounds nice, Donovan was horrified to learn it meant "beautiful rat" in Italian. Her dam was M Stewart and as everyone knows Martha Stewart is the Maven of the kitchen, that became her new name. Maven was on the small side and was slightly toed out as a yearling. Her sire, the Triple Crown winning Glidemaster, only had one crop to race and at the time of the sale, they were judged to be a mediocre bunch and generally were not well received. However, Maven had a great producing maternal family and that's what attracted Donovan to her most. In March of her two-year-old year, trainer Jonas Czernyson was challenged by this young filly in a battle of wills. Maven was simply not cooperating and was falling behind her contemporaries. Jonas believed she had the speed but he was at wit's end trying to get her to keep her mind on business and to stop fighting him. He decided to take her out of formal training and for the next month she jogged every day on a one mile straight training strip at the Sunshine Meadows facility in Florida. At the end of a month, he took her back to the regular training track and she jogged off like she was a seasoned performer. Now that she was cooperating, she advanced in her training and it soon became evident that she had a great deal of potential. After two less than spectacular qualifiers, she turned heads when she went out and won her first four starts, two of them in track record performances. Due to her behavior issues in March, she was lightly staked at two but went on to win 8 of her 11 starts that year, taking a record of 2,1:56f. In her three-year-old season's debut, a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows, she had the sport buzzing when she handily defeated the heavily favored, two-year-old trotting filly champion, Check Me Out. That race portended a great season ahead where the two battled each other for honors. A month later, in a thrilling and furious stretch drive, Maven just missed nipping her rival at the wire for a win in the $560,000 Goldsmith Maid. In early August, the Hambletonian Oaks Final was expected to be the showdown between these two fierce competitors. Check Me Out was coming to this classic event off a five-race win streak, including a win in her Oaks elimination the prior week. Maven was coming in off a four-race win streak that included the fastest Oaks elimination. Around the last turn, Check Me Out had the lead with Maven making her trademark first over move when Check Me Out made a break, came to the outside and interfered with Maven sending her too on a break. This was a most disappointing end to what was expected to be a stretch duel for the ages. Maven rebounded off that loss with a record breaking win in the Moni Maker Trot. That win was followed by four second place finishes. Many thought that Maven had lost her luster. Maven went off as third choice in the Breeders Crown for 3YO Filly Trotters. Most were expecting a win by Check Me Out to be her crowning achievement for the year. What they didn't expect was for Maven to hit another gear and blow right by Check Me Out to trot to an easy win over her highly-regarded rival. Maven ended the year with an easy win in the American National Stake, in Chicago. She was given the winter off to prepare for a much anticipated four-year-old season. Maven debuted in the first leg of the Miss Versatility series in late May. She won easy and followed that up with wins in the elimination and final of the Armbro Flight stake, then two more wins in legs of the Miss Versatility. She looked invincible, but as fate would have it, she experienced a bout of illness and bad luck, winning only one of her next four starts. The most stinging defeat came in the Muscle Hill Trot at Vernon, where she finished fifth to her stablemate, Dorsay. In her next start, the Miss Versatility Final over the half mile Delaware, Ohio track, Maven for the first time all year, Maven was not sent off as the favorite. Perhaps, as bettors had known her defeat in the Muscle Hill was due to a flat tire on her sulky, they may not have lost confidence in her. Driver Yannick Gingras was on a mission that day in Delaware. The prior year, he drove Maven in the Buckette 3 YP Filly Trot and was a heavy favorite. Her connections were expecting a world record performance. Well, there was a world record performance in that race, but it wasn't Maven's, as the Ron Burke trained speed demon Bluff was able to be rated by her first-time driver, Tim Tetrick, and after a moderate half, this speedy filly stole off while Gingras was overconfident and unhurried sitting in fourth. By the time Gingras got Maven rolling, it was too late and the stretch was too short. Bluff had three-quarters of a length on Maven at the wire and the teletimer showed 1:54 flat, a new world record for three-year-old filly trotters over a half-mile track. Remembering that race of a year ago, Gingras wasted no time and sent Maven right to the top, winging past the quarter in 26.4, a breather to the half in 55:4, Gingras stepped on the gas up the backside, flying past the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and then opening up and overpowering her competition to trot home in 28 seconds flat for an all age, all sex world race mile of 1:51.4h! This was truly one of the most remarkable trotting races ever. Maven's next start was a win in the Allerage Mares Trot at Lexington, followed by an easy win in her elimination for the Breeders Crown. In the Final, Maven swept to an easy win over a sloppy track. Maven's next race, was meant to be a major test. She was going to race against the boys for the first time. The question her Swedish born trainer was asking, could Maven handle the boys and would she be competitive in one of the world's greatest race, the Elitloppet, raced in Jonas Czernyson's native Sweden. Facing a field that included the 2012 Hambletonian winner, Market Share, as well as such outstanding performers as Uncle Peter, Mister Herbie, Guccio and My MVP; Maven took the lead past the half but could not withstand Market Share's stretch drive and finished a very credible second. After the race, Czernyson and Gingras conferred and it was decided Maven was indeed capable of taking on the world's best in Sweden the following May. It was decided Maven would make her five-year-old debut in the Miami Valley Distaff. After three qualifying races designed to tighten her for the challenges ahead, Maven faced a field of lady trotters and proceeded to leave them in her dust, as she went wire to wire in track record time, winning as she pleased. Driver, Yannick Gingras, wanted to give her another race before she shipped to Sweden, fearing three weeks between races and only one start might prove to be a disadvantage. Trainer Jonas Czernyson ruled otherwise. Maven made the journey to Solvalla. Sweden proud to represent the USA against a field of the world's finest trotters. Most fans do not realize what an arduous trip it is for a horse to make a transatlantic journey. A long flight, followed by a long ship via truck to a country where everything is seemingly different, not just the language. Water, feed, track surfaces and training methods are often different than what one finds at home. While it takes a human a day or two to shake off jet lag, it can take a horse up to a week or longer. Maven arrived in Sweden a week before the race and seemed to acclimate well to her new surroundings. Everything looked good for the race, until the draw. Maven drew the six hole in an eleven-horse field that included three trailers. The style of racing in Europe is much more aggressive than in the U.S. Gingras spent hours watching replays of prior Elitloppet races, as well as other races over the Solvalla track. The six-post position basically dictated a race on the outside for the whole mile and that's how it shook out. Maven was third over and around the last turn made a big three wide move that looked like it might carry her to victory but she tired a bit in the stretch and finished a very good third. She clearly was not at her peak going into the second heat and fought hard to finish sixth. Although her connections were disappointed, they were all very proud of the filly who certainly made an account of herself and proved she belonged with the world's finest. Upon her return to the United States, Maven was clearly not herself. The trip had definitely taken its toll and it was a month before Maven made an appearance. She was not herself and only won one race, an overnight, in her next seven appearances. Meanwhile, her owner Bill Donovan had decided to get out of the breeding business and announced he would be dispersing his Stirling Brook Farms broodmare band at the fall Harrisburg Sale. Donovan gave much thought to Maven and decided it would be a wise business move to offer her for sale as well. He thought her best races might be behind her and the fact he was getting out of the breeding business meant she should have a new home. Maven was entered in the Harrisburg Sale on the first of September. After two more lackluster performances, Donovan made a very controversial decision. He asked Ron Burke to take over training Maven. Burke had trained horses for Donovan for several years and had had good success. It was not unusual for him to change trainers when a horse was not racing well. Donovan had three dozen horses with nine different trainers. He reasoned Burke's different and tougher training regimen might "wake up" Maven. As it was, she would mainly be viewed as a broodmare prospect at Harrisburg. If Burke could win a race or two with Maven, then perhaps prospective buyers would recognize her future racing potential, as well. If that happened her value would increase. Jonas Czernyson was crushed by the move. Donovan gave him full credit for developing Maven and freely stated that Maven would never have been Maven, without Jonas's tremendous patience and training skills. There was a firestorm of criticism on the web about the trainer change. Donovan stood firm and issued a statement proclaiming that his operation was a business and this was totally a business decision, that was his right to make. The criticism continued but was soon silenced when Burke sent Maven to the Muscle Hill Trot at Vernon Downs. The stellar field included the 2013 Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician. Maven and Gingras wasted no time in moving around her major foe and never stopping to win the race in track record time. The sport's media declared that Maven was back, but in five days she would enter the sales ring at Harrisburg. A few days before the Muscle Hill, Donovan got a call from a Swedish sales agent. Would he sell Maven prior to the sale? Donovan replied he would for $400,000.00. The buyers wanted an assurance that the sale would be honored were Maven to win the Muscle Hill. Donovan agreed, but he wanted assurances the buyers would go through with the sale, even if she lost the race. It was determined that the money would be wired from Sweden on Friday, to arrive at Donovan's bank on Monday. The Muscle Hill was being raced Saturday. Maven won. The money was not wired and Donovan withdrew his sale price as the buyers did not live up to their agreement. Monday was the first day of the Harrisburg Sale during which the premier yearlings were offered. While the excitement surrounded these royally bred, it seemed everybody was talking about Maven. Indeed, one of the sport's top media outlets created the "Maven Derby" and offered odds on who the prospective buyers might be. Their headline blared, "Who will win the Maven Derby?" People were opining not only about who would buy Maven, but how much she would fetch. Donovan consigned Maven through Dave Reid's Preferred Equine Marketing agency. On the night before Maven sold, Donovan and Reid discussed what everybody else seemed to be talking about, how much and who. Reid bet Donovan a dinner that Maven would bring at least $600,000.00. They both agreed the most likely purchaser would be a patron of trainer Jimmy Takter. Saturday, early in the afternoon, Maven stepped into the sales ring. The best description of what happened next can be found in most every racing article, "Maven Sells for $750,000". Jimmy Takter took over training Maven for her new owner. Her first start was two weeks after the sale. Takter boldly chose to enter Maven in the Open Breeders Crown, instead of the Mares division which she had won the prior two years. Yannick Gingras drove Maven in 49 of her 52 starts in North America. No surprise, Gingras got the call on Maven from Takter. She won her elimination with flair and entered the $500,000 Final as the prohibitive favorite against nine male competitors. In the Final, Gingras moved her first over past the half and fought valiantly to the wire, finishing a game second behind the winner, Commander Crowe. Maven made one final start in the U.S., finishing a respectable fifth in the TVG Trot Final. Four weeks later, she was shipped to Europe for a winter/spring campaign on the continent. The immediate goal was to win the Prix D'Amerique, raced at Vincennes, France. Unfortunately, the post position gods were unkind and Maven drew the 14th post position. Shortly into the race, she made a break and finished back. Returning to Sweden, she redeemed herself in winning a stake race at Solvalla. Maven made a return to the Elitloppet in May and finished a strong second in the first heat. In the second heat, she tired and was seventh. Maven made her 16th start of her European campaign on July 28, 2015. After finishing sixth, she suffered some soundness issues. Jimmy Takter brought her back to the U.S. with the intention of resting her and then bringing her back to race. Maven did not train back sound and she was retired in March of 2016. Shortly after, she was bred to the superstar trotting stallion, Muscle Hill. There will certainly be a tremendous interest when the foal she's expecting in 2017 sells at the fall 2018 yearling sales. In 70 lifetime starts, Maven earned $2,005,369. With 31 wins, 14 second place finishes and 4 thirds. Her lifetime record is her world record performance over the Delaware track when she scorched that surface in 1:51.4h. In 2013, she was honored to receive the USTA's Dan Patch Award and Canada's Joe O'Brien Award as the sport's top older trotting mare. By Bill Donovan with Tim Kelleher

WEST CORK, Ireland – The conditions and rules are posted for the Red John Memorial and the new Maven Trotters Derby that will be held August 19 and 20 in picturesque Cork. This special tribute to the late “Red” John O’Donovan in 2017 will see all records be broken with prize money in excess of €90,000. Horses competing in both events will be required to race in elimination heats Saturday, August 19 and then return Sunday, August 20 for the final. First nominations are due Monday, April 20. This year the Red John Memorial and the Maven Trotters Derby are being sponsored by USA’s Bill Donovan, the owner of the world champion mare Marven. For more information go to http://www.irishharnessracing.com/ . By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink The conditions and rules for both races are below: RED JOHN MEMORIAL CONDITIONS 1. OPEN TO PACERS BORN ON OR BEFORE 2013 2.  NOMINATION FEE €100 DUE BEFORE APRIL 20th       FIRST SUSTAINING PAYMENT €100 DUE BEFORE MAY 20th       FINAL SUSTAINING PAYMENT €100 DUE BEFORE JUNE  20th  SUPPLEMENT FOR LATE ENTRIES €2000 3. TO BE RAN UNDER IHRA RULES  4. HEATS AND FINAL TO BE RAN OVER 1 1/4 MILES  5. A MAXIMUM OF 8 ELIMINATION HEATS WITH A MAXIMUM OF 8 RUNNERS IN EACH HEAT WILL BE HELD AND RAN AS PREFERRED HANDICAPS 6. FINAL TO HAVE EIGHT QUALIFIERS AND RAN AS A HANDICAP   7. HEATS TO START AT IHRA HANDICAP MARK GRADE F. ENTRIES WHO FALL OUTSIDE THE HANDICAP WILL BE FACILITATED IN OTHER RACES AND THEIR NOMINATION & SUSTAINING FEES RETURNED. 8. UK HORSES WILL HAVE THEIR BHRC MARK TRANSFERRED TO IHRA MARK  9. IN THE EVENT OF LESS THAN 8 HEATS ONE HORSE TO QUALIFY FROM EACH HEAT WITH THE REMAINING QUALIFIERS GOING TO THE FASTEST   2nd PLACED HORSES. 10. IN THE EVENT OF ANY HORSE WHO HAS QUALIFIED AND DOES NOT RUN IN FINAL NO REPLACEMENT HORSE ALLOWED  11. PURSE MONEY FOR FINAL €20,000 ELIMINATION HEATS €1600 (ESTIMATED) 12. DISTRIBUTION OF FINAL PURSE    1st €10,000 2nd €5,000 3rd €2,000 4th TO 8th €600 EACH  DISTRIBUTION OF HEAT PURSES WILL DEPEND ON FINAL DECLARATIONS  13. CONSOLATION FINAL PURSE €5,000 SAME PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION AS FINAL 14. CONSOLATION FINAL FOR THE 8  SECOND PLACED HORSES FROM EACH HEAT  .IF LESS THAN EIGHT HEATS THE FASTEST THIRD PLACED HORSES TO QUALIFY . 15. A MAXIMUM OF TWO QUALIFIERS FROM ANY ONE TRAINER AND OR OWNER WILL RACE IN THE FINAL  16. IN THE EVENT OF INTEGRITY TESTING PURSE MONEY HELD UNTIL TEST RESULTS ARE PUBLISHED  17. HORSES NOMINATED MUST COMPETE IN THREE "BETTING RACES" IN 2017 IHRA/BHRC SEASON  18. THE RED JOHN MEMORIAL COMMITTEE DECISION WILL BE FINAL IN ALL MATTERS  THE MAVEN TROTTING DERBY CONDITIONS 1. OPEN TO FRENCH TROTTERS BORN ON OR BEFORE 2014 AND PART OF THE LE TROT SCHEME  2.  NOMINATION FEE €100 DUE BEFORE APRIL 20th      FIRST SUSTAINING PAYMENT €100 DUE BEFORE MAY  20th       FINAL SUSTAINING PAYMENT €100 DUE BEFORE JUNE  20th SUPPLEMENT FOR LATE ENTRIES €2000 3. TO BE RAN UNDER IHRA RULES  4. HEATS AND FINAL TO BE RAN OVER 1 1/2 MILES  5. A MAXIMUM OF 8 ELIMINATION HEATS WITH A MAXIMUM OF 8 RUNNERS IN EACH HEAT WILL BE HELD AND RAN AS PREFERRED HANDICAPS 6. FINAL TO HAVE EIGHT QUALIFIERS AND RAN AS A HANDICAP   7. HEATS TO START AT IHRA HANDICAP MARK GRADE F. ENTRIES WHO FALL OUTSIDE THE HANDICAP WILL BE FACILITATED IN OTHER RACES AND THEIR NOMINATION & SUSTAINING FEES RETURNED. 8. UK HORSES WILL HAVE THEIR BHRC MARK TRANSFERRED TO IHRA MARK  9. IN THE EVENT OF LESS THAN 8 HEATS ONE HORSE TO QUALIFY FROM EACH HEAT WITH THE REMAINING QUALIFIERS  GOING TO THE FASTEST   2nd PLACED HORSES. 10. IN THE EVENT OF ANY HORSE WHO HAS QUALIFIED AND DOES NOT RUN IN FINAL NO REPLACEMENT HORSE ALLOWED SEAON  11. PURSE MONEY FOR FINAL €20,000 ELIMINATION HEATS €2800 (ESTIMATED) 12. DISTRIBUTION OF FINAL PURSE    1st €10,000 2nd €5,000 3rd €2,000 4th TO 8th €600 EACH  HEAT PRIZE MONEY TO BE DISTRIBUTED AS PER IHRA/LE TROT PERCENTAGE  13. CONSOLATION FINAL PURSE €8,000 SAME PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION AS FINAL 14. CONSOLATION FINAL FOR THE 8 SECOND PLACED HORSES FROM EACH HEAT. IF LESS THAN EIGHT HEATS THE FASTEST THIRD PLACED HORSES TO QUALIFY. 15. A MAXIMUM OF TWO QUALIFIERS FROM ANY ONE TRAINER AND OR OWNER WILL RACE IN THE FINAL  16. IN THE EVENT OF INTEGRITY TESTING PURSE MONEY HELD UNTIL TEST RESULTS ARE PUBLISHED 17. HORSES NOMINATED MUST COMPETE IN THREE "BETTING RACES" IN THE 2017 IHRA /BHRC SEASON  18. THE RED JOHN MEMORIAL COMMITTEE DECISION WILL BE FINAL IN ALL MATTERS 

WEST CORK, Ireland - The Red John Memorial was set up in 2015 following the tragic death of "Red" John O Donovan in January 2015. John was only 27 when he passed away but was a life long supporter of Harness racing in his native Cork and far beyond. The 2015 Memorial was a one day event but in 2016 the Red John Memorial became a two day event with the main race of the weekend The Red John Memorial Handicap carried a total purse of  €5000. In 2017 all records will be broken with prize money in excess of  €90,000. The Red John Memorial weekend takes place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August. This year Lyre, approx 2 miles from the bustling town of Clonakilty, will be the venue for what promises to be the biggest ever harness meeting staged in the West Cork region. The venue is owned by Ger Hegarty who has long being involved in the sport and boasts a natural grand stand which gives race goers a panoramic view of this half mile all grass oval. Clonakilty is around an hours drive from Cork International Airport and is on the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way in West Cork. The Red John Memorial Handicap is for pacers born in 2013 or before, is of course, the feature of the weekend. The final which will be made up of eight qualifiers from elimination heats and will have a total purse of  €20,000 with a winners prize of €10,000 making it the richest handicap race in all of Ireland and the UK. The committee are indebted to Bill Donovan from Florida who has generously agreed to sponsor the event for the next three years .Donovan is president of a large trucking business based in Boston and has links to several more transport companies. His passion for standardbreds both trotters and pacers has put him in a position of one of the leading owners on the USA harness racing circuit. Bill has ancestoral links in Skibbereen and has forged strong links with the Murphy family from Baltimore through IB Coyote a mare jointly owned by Bill and the Murphy brothers Tadhg and Donal who won the prestigious Vincent Delaney Memorial two year old championship in 2016 and this was the catalyst for him getting involved in sponsoring the weekend. Bill has also sent a few of his own horses over from the USA to be trained and raced here in Ireland. Bill has also stepped in to sponsor "The Maven Derby" another handicap event this time for trotters born in 2014 or before. Maven was one of the greatest trotting mares ever to race in the USA and actually raced for a time in Etilop in Sweden. In 70 lifetime starts, Maven earned $2,005,369. With 31 wins, 14 second place finishes and 4 thirds. Her lifetime record is her world record performance over the Delaware track when she scorched that surface in 1:51.4h. In 2013, she was honoured to receive the USTA's Dan Patch Award and Canada's Joe O'Brien Award as the sport's top older trotting mare. This will be ran on the same lines as The Red John Handicap with eliminations and the grand final also for a total purse of €20,000. The Le Trot organisation from France are joint sponsors with Mr Donovan for this race which honours Maven, a horse owned by Bill Donovan. Bill says himself "Maven was a dream come true for me a mare of a lifetime but I have been blessed to have owned some great horses besides Maven including Ashleys Husband p,1.49.1 $250,736, Band Of Angels p,3 1.50 $487,150 , Bettor B Lucky p,3 1.50 $750,936 , Holier Than Thou p,3 1.50.1 $152,778 (World Champion) , Im On Cloud Nine p,3 1.54.2 $214,374 , Jolene Jolene p,2 1.52 $239,637 (World Champion) Lauderdale p,1.53.2 $386,189 , Medusa p,1.49 $432,012 Mistery Woman p,4 1.51 (World Champion) and Shared Past p,3 1.53 $416,606. "They have all given me so much success in harness racing and coming here to Cork to support the Red John Weekend gives me a chance to give something back to racing here where my fore fathers emigrated from many years ago " With the success of The Vincent Delaney Memorial in Portmarnock,The Red John Memorial weekend takes place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August which is the week after The Delaney weekend and it gives harness racing followers a week long of top class racing both in Dublin and here In Cork and The overseas visitors will be guaranteed a great time . Both The Red John and Maven Derby will see owners paying three sustaining fees of €100 per horse. The organisation of such a big event could not happen without the help of so many people and the harness racoing community here in West Cork are really pulling out all the stops to ensure this weekend will grow from humble beginings and become "The One" all owners and trainers want to win. "No matter what we ask of people putting up the track, sourcing stables for the visiting horses and garning sponsorship, there is always a positive outcome and without all this help such a weekend would not happen "said Micheal O'Donovan (brother of the late Red John) "What can we say, only Bill Donovan has put us in a great position with his generous sponsorship and I'm sure Red John will be looking down on us smiling on how big the weekend has become," added Caroline Collins of the Red John Committee. Following on from last year, Oakwood Stud will again sponsor the Three Year Old Grass Pacing Championship, which was a huge success in its first year. "Derek Delaney rang me last year and said why not try a three year old series which he and his brother James would sponsor, so we did and hopefully that grows just the way the VDM has." said Tim Kelleher of the committee "This year Derek rang and said they were again coming on board and to be honest we must mention all the rest of our sponsors from near and far who have been so generous " added Kelleher " We are always looking for new sponsors and The Clonakilty Chamber Of Commerce have been most helpful " The programme of events reads as follows THE RED JOHN MEMORIAL HANDICAP 1 ¼ MILES Heats €1600 (Estimated) Final €20,000 Consolation Final €5000 THE MAVEN TROT DERBY 1 ½ MILES Heats €2800 Final €20,000 Consolation Final €8000 THE OAKWOOD STUD IRISH 3YO GRASS PACING CHAMPIONSHIP Estimated prize fund €5000 THE PJI ENGINEERING FREE FOR ALL Estimated prize fund €3000 There will be a full supporting programme on both days with bumper prize money for all races. The on-line entry system will be available shortly as will details of Stabling and hotels. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink    

WEST CORK, Ireland - Poster girl Deirdre Goggin rode a double at her local track when road trotting made a welcome return to Goleen on the tip of the Mizen peninsula after a hiatus of six years on Sunday. The road, which stretches along the Dauch Causeway, is a setting of real beauty with the tide from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, nestling in under the Causeway Bridge at the Northern side of the course . The meeting of the"Big Two" of road trotting Rhyds Ponder and Maitha Buachaill reads 4 to 0 to the latter before today and he had to take a 20 yard handicap for those wins. Goggin set Rhtds Ponder alight from the start and led through the opening two turns. Heading to the third turn the advantage was five lengths to Meadow Branch Kiki with Maitha Buachaill back in fourth. Approaching the final turn, Goggin on Rhyds Ponder, began to turn the screws on her rivals and flew off the last turn and was not for catching with trotter Tactician Du Lys snatching second from Maitha Buachaill.  After dismounting her horse Goggin was carried shoulder high into the presentation area by the partisan local crowd. Earlier the huge local crowd roared Deirdre home on Saunders Paris in the Grade C.  This looked a tough one to call with Rhyds Artist also well touted in the betting ring, but Saunders Paris made light work of her rivals careering away to win her fifth of the season by six lengths. "Home is always the place to win and Paris is owned by my father Micheal and I am so proud to win here," said the modest Goggin after the race. Jamie Hurley still the leads the jockeys championship after recording a double Sunday. IB Tweedy in the grade E was sent to post at prohibitive odds and was never in danger giving owners "The One For The Road Syndicate" their fourth win of the year. John Woodland made the four hour journey from Limerick with Coalford Hardy a winning one. Jamie Hurley was on board to lead from the start and despite the late intentions of Big Jim held on by three lengths. This was the first winner for owner trainer Woodland, who is based in Limerick City. Jamie hurley now stands on ten winners one ahead of Deirdre Goggin on nine . Racing opened with an a win for Rock On Jo Jo on his tarmac debut. Matthew O Reilly allowed Van Helsing and Shanes Income battle it out early and sent Jo Jo to the front after the final turn to win by four lengths. Old Chapel in Bandon is the next meeting on Sunday 26th March with the All Ireland Championships which were cancelled last week re scheduled for Sunday April 2nd. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS NOVICE The Lobster Pot Bar Cup 1. M O'Reilly ROCK ON JO JO Owner 2. McCarthy/ Daly SHANES INCOME A McCarthy 3. M O'Brien VAN HELSING P O Brien GRADE E The Fastnet Bar Cup 1. One For The Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 2. P Kane RETURN OF THE MAC M O'Reilly 3. G O Callaghan TROOPERS HARMONY M Goggin Jnr GRADE D The O Mearas Bar Cup 1. J Woodland COALFORD HARDY J Hurley 2. G Kane BIG JIM T O'Leary 3. G Cooke WESTERN BEACH D Goggin GRADE C The Twins Memorial Cup 1. M Goggin SAUNDERS PARIS Deirdre Goggin 2. P Manning SPRINGHILL JAZZ D Brickley 3. R Joyce BEAUTYS HARMONY M O'Reilly THE CAUSEWAY CLASSIC GRADE A & B The Frank & Anna Goggin Memorial Cup 1. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 2. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O'Leary 3. Hegarty/ Hurley MAITHA BUACHAILL J Hurley  

WEST CORK, Ireland - Due to high winds and heavy rain the Owenahincha Road Trotting races which was to feature the All Ireland Road trotting Championships had to cancelled . With the track close to the Atlantic ocean at this beautiful venue the swirling winds were blowing at such speeds (130 km per hour was recorded at 11am) the committee took the sensible option to cancel the races as the ocean swell along with the heavy rain were encroaching on the tarmac . It is a huge disappointment for the organisers who had pulled out all the stops to ensure a great day . The ITHRF along with the promoters are organising to re fix the meeting Next Sunday the action switches to Goleen the most westerly venue on the circuit and on a fine Summers day one can almost see the East Coast of the USA . Details of entries will be published on www.harnessracingcork.com by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

WEST CORK, Ireland - For road trotting followers all roads lead to Owenahincha on Sunday next the 5th of March for the staging of the 2017 All Ireland Road Trotting Championships . The venue is just off the the N71 just on the Eastern side of Rosscarberry. Owenahincha boasts a blue flag beach and is a top tourist attraction for holiday makers during the Summer season . Although a tiny hamlet in off season during the peak season the population swells to over 2000 with Hayes Holiday parks holding the majority of the visitors . The rack is a testing run from Castlefreake Cross on the Sothern side past the hoilday park and Ocean View hotel to Owenahincha bridge on the Northern side of the venue. Spectators gather on the natural Grand stand on the Sand Dunes which run down to the Atlantic Ocean (Next stop west is the USA) It is one of these places only God himself could have designed . But at approx 4 PM next Sunday it will be All Reland time at the seaside Maitha Buachaill will start as favourite in the classic .He has won all of his four outings this season and looks the one thay all have to beat . Owned by Ger Hegarty and James Hurley this former grass specialist will be ridden by Jamie Hurley a second season jockey . Rhyds Ponder the 2106 champion is back to defend his title which he won in Old Chapel .Owned and trained by Ned Forbes he finished second to Maitha Buachaill on there four meetings this season but won in Dunmanway wherehis great rival was absent . Top female jockey Deirdre Goggin will once again team up with Rhyds Ponder Tactician Du Lys an imported French trotter takes on the pacers once again .He isowned by County Meath based Ger Kane but is trained locally by Jeremiah O Mahony in Dunmanway .His last run was in Dunmanway where he only went down to Rhyds Ponder after a titanic battle. "Cool Hands"Timmy O Leary gets the leg up on this imposing type. The enrty of Rhyds Destiny has really thrown new light on the race. This former track and turf specialst will be having his initial run on tarmac but trainer John Shanahan is no stranger to winning the classic .The owner of Lakeview Stud in Leap Shanahan has often being dubbed "Mr All Ireland" with Fidlin ,Dream Maker ,Hilos Pride .Eastwood Florist,Perfect Dream and Bodeen all former winners . Destiny is owned by Shanahan in partnership with Derbyshire UK dairy farmer John Mycock. David Brickley has been the stable jockey for the firm but has his own Meadowbranch Kiki listed as an entry so riding arrangements need to be confirmed. Kiki has been a model of consistency all year but will start as anoutsider . Racing on Sunday has a 2 30 start time with details of entries on www.harnessracingcork.com by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink  

WEST CORK, Ireland - Harnes racing jockey's David Brickley and Jamie Hurley both rode two winners on the day while Rhyds Ponder returned to winning ways in the featured Grade A & B Pace that were the headlines on a bitterly cold but dry day at the annual Dunmanway Road Trotting Races on the Killbarry Road . Brickley, the former multiple champion jockey, started off the day guiding The Red Rebel (a winner on Memorial Day in Skibbereen) to victory in the Novice Pace. On The Other Side was sent off a warm favorite and sat in behind Fame Earned to the first turn. Both horses over shot the turning point and this allowed The Red Rebel and jockey Van Helsing to go clear with The Red Rebel eventually going on to win by 2 lengths with eight lengths back to On The Other Side. Young Deano, a dashing grey pacer, has finished second on three of his four tarmac outings and this time put it right on the day, taking an ultra competitive Grade D and gave David Brickley his second win of the day . The winner and Millers Boy, ridden by Ciaran Brickley (a brother of David), were at the head of affairs for most of the contest .At The final turn Young Deano had edged in front in the "Battle of The Brothers" and ran out a three length winner from newcomer Coalford Hardy with Millers Boy staying on to finish third. Jamie Hurley has been racking up the winners in his second season on the road and added two more on the day. IB Tweedy wont get an easier assignment all year when landing the Grade E at prohibitive odds. IB Tweedy was sent to the front after a furlong and the six length winning margin could have been a lot more with Return Of The Mac putting in its best performance to date to finish second. Ryds Artist has been mixing it with the big boys in the top grade but was down in the handicap today in the Grade C, but came up against the unbeaten Saunders Paris who was having her first outing in higher company today. Both market principles were prominent at the opening turn. There was drama at the second turn where Deirdre Goggin got unseated from Saunders Paris leaving Rhyds Artist clear and this gave Jamie Hurley his second win of the afternoon. Thoughts then turned to the fallen jockey and horse, but thankfully both returned unscathed. Deirdre Goggin is made of stern stuff and following the compulsory check over by the Medical Staff, sat back on Rhyds Ponder in the grade A . With his arch rival Maitha Buachaill an absentee, "Ponder " got back to winning ways but not before a great battle with Tactician Du Lys. The imposing French bred trotter really served it up to the 2016 Horse of the year and it was only in the final furlong that Rhyds Ponder got the better of Tactician, winning by four lengths. The All Ireland Road Championships are next on the menu in three weeks time at Owenahincha and we will preview that next week by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE A & B (The George & Monica Deane Memorial Cup) 1. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 2. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O Leary 3. D Brickley MEADOWBRANCH KIKI Owner GRADE C 1. L O Brien RHYDS ARTIST J Hurley 2. J Manning SPRINGHILL JAZ D Brickley GRADE D 1. D Brickley YOUNG DEANO Owner 2. J woodland COALFORD HARDY J Hurley 3. C Brickley MILLERS BOY Owner GRADE E 1. On For The Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 2. P Kane RETURN OF THE MAC M O Reilly 3. G O Callaghan TROOPERS HARMONY M Goggin Jnr NOVICE 1. D O Callaghan THE RED REBEL D Brickley 2. M O Brien VAN HELSING P O Brien 3. D McCarthy ON THE OTHER SIDE Marie Moloney    

WEST CORK, Ireland - A double on the day for David Brickley, Saunders Paris and Maitha Buachaill maintain their unbeaten run and Hillside Mustang made it two wins on the bounce were the headlines from the annual Skibbereen Memorial Day on Sunday. Brickley kicked off his brace of winners with a hard fought win on The Red Rebel in the opening Novice pace .This one had a length to spare over Van Helsing. The double was completed in the very next race the Grade C. Here Brickley set the pace on Meadow Branch Kiki who he owns jointly with John Shanahan. Coming off the final turn he had a four length advantage and despite a late rally from Springhill jazz this son of Kikicolt held on to win by a length with Beautys Harmony a further two lengths back in third.   Saunders Paris has been a revelation in her debut season on the tarmac and the fine run continued in the Grade D.  Gadgie Pan and Young Deano disputed the running for the opening mile .Approaching the final turn Deirdre Goggin eased this daughter of Play With A Full Deck to the front and went on to win by four lengths.   Old rivals Rhyds Ponder and Maitha Buachill crossed swords once again in the Grade A . The scoreline read 3 - 0 to Buachill from their the e previous meetings and he had to give a twenty yard handicap to his five rivals.   Rhyds Ponder set all the early fractions from trotter Tactician Du Lys .Maitha Buachill remained in touch .Turning for home Rhyds Ponder looked as if he might upset the favourite.   In a titanic battle to the line both horses gave their all with Maitha Buachaill just getting up on the line for a half a length victory with Tactician Du Lys four lengths back in third.   Hillside Mustang followed up on his Ballygurteen victory with another impressive performance in the Grade E. This son of Harmony P led from the start to beat IB Tweedy who was having his first outing since being upgraded from the Novice Grade. Jason O Reilly rode the winner for the Cuigear Racing Syndicate and steps up to grade D next time.   Our next meeting takes place in Dunmanway on Sunday 12th February.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   RESULTS NOVICE (PAT HURLEY MEMORIAL CUP) 1. D O Callaghan THE RED REBEL D Brickley 2. M O Brien VAN HELSING P O Brien   GRADE E (THE PADDY AND JASON KANE MEMORIAL CUP) 1. Cuigear Racing HILLSIDE MUSTANG J O Reilly 2. On For The Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 3. G O Callaghan TROOPERS HARMONY M Goggin Jnr   GRADE D (THE JOE & MARTIN BENNETT MEMORIAL CUP) 1. M Goggin SAUNDERS PARIS Deirdre Goggin 2. D Brickley YOUNG DEANO Owner 3 .C Brickley MILLERS BOY Owner   GRADE C (THE GERARD COLLINS MEMORIAL CUP) 1. Brickley/Shanahan MEADOWBRANCH KIKI D Brickley 2. P Manning SPRINGHILL JAZ Deirdre Goggin 3. R Joyce BEAUTYS HARMONY M O Reilly   GRADE A & B COMBINED (THE TIM COOPER KELLEHER MEMORIAL) 1. Hegarty / Hurley MAITHA BUACHILL J Hurley 2. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 3. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O Leary

WEST CORK, Ireland - This Sunday the Road Trotting action takes place in Skibbereen where the annual Memorial Day has become one of the biggest meetings on the Winter Tarmac racing season. Already the crowds have flocked to the three race days already held. Drimoleague , Durrus and Ballygurteen have already entertained bumper crowds and that should be echoed this coming Sunday . The fixture also coincides with an annual tour of harness racing fans from Dublin ,Scotland ,Wales and England who have been travelling to "Skibbz" for over 25 years. "Christmas is for the ladies and the kids but Skibbereen is for the men" explains Thomas Bennett who has been a stalwart at the fixture for many years. A six race program is planned with cups dedicated to former trotting greats on offer for all races. These include The Tim Cooper Kelleher Memorial in memory of the former trotting bookmaker whose son Tim Junior continues the business on the Cork circuit. Paddy Kane and his son Jason from Dublin are also remembered with the large volume of Dublin visitors sponsoring their memorial race. Jack Pat Collins , Micheal O Driscoll and Pat Hurley were all members of the Skibbereen Committee and though they have departed us will be fondly remembered with a cup honoring each of them fot three of the races. A new addition this year is the Joe And Martin Bennett Memorial Cup. The Bennett family have supported racing in West Cork for many years and Martin was a regular Skibb visitor until his death a few years ago. So to the equine stars on display. Maithi Buachaill unbeaten so far this year carries a 20 yard handicap against his old foe Rhyds Ponder in the grade A . Tactician Du Lys an imported french trotter looks to make it four from four in the Grade B and already the talk on the street is his clash with the big boys in the Grade A when he joins them. Saunders Paris is another with a 100% record and looks for another win in the Grade D. IB Tweedy with wins in the Novice grade at Drimoleague and Ballygurteen moves to the grade E race where his unbeaten record will be tested by last weeks winner Hillside Mustang. A lot to look forward to .The venue is located on The Marsh Road with ample parking at the Mart complex a 30 second walk from the course. Action gets underway at 2 PM. Details of entries will be available on www.harnessracingcork.com by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

WEST CORK, Ireland - Jamie Hurley took the riding honors riding a first and last race double IB Tweedy in the opener and Maithi Buachaill in the finale of the Grade A trot at the annual Ballygurteen road trotting races on Sunday. Maithi Buachaill was looking for his third win on the bounce in the Grade A. Here he locked horns with his old rival Rhyds Ponder, who has finished second to him in their previous two outings . As always Deirdre Goggin set the fractions on Rhyds Ponder leading at the three turning points but Hurley did not let his arch rival get too far away and overtook her with three furlongs to go. Rhyds Ponder to his credit, battled back but Maithi Buachaill was not for catching and eventually had four lengths to spare. IB Tweedy had earlier impressed in the Novice. Here Hurley sent the winner to the front after two furlongs and never looked in any danger of defeat and will race in Grade E the next time out. Saunders Paris has swept all before her in her two previous outings and despite the step up to Grade D, this daughter of Play With a Full Deck continued to impress, making light work of her five rivals to record a six length rompn .Deirdre Goggin was in the plate and "Paris" is owned and trained by her father Micheal. Tactician Du Lys also remains undefeated this term.This imposing French bred trotter made his debut in the Grade B a winning one. When Favorite Democrat made a mess of the opening turn and was pulled up, this left Rhyds Artist with a commanding lead nearing the final turning point.  "Cool Hands" Timmy O'Leary had cut the advantage on the leader and coming off the sand at the last turn swept to the front to win by eight lengths. Already the talk has started of Tactician Du Lys taking on the big boys in the Grade A . The large partisan local crowd roared on Hillside Mustang to victory in the Grade E Race. Owned by the five strong Cuigear Racing syndicate, this son of Harmony P was given the office by Jason O'Reilly to lead home Big Jim by five lengths. David Brickley's season has been slow by his terms, but he got the ball rolling with a win on Meadowbranch Kiki in the Grade C, who had a titanic battle with race favorite Lakeview Walter eventually getting up to win by a head . The next meeting is the annual Memorial Day in Skibbereen on Jan 29th by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS NOVICE (Donal McCarthy Memorial Cup) 1.One For The Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 2. D McCarthy ON THE OTHER SIDE Marie Moloney 3. McCarthy/ Daly SHANES INCOME Grade E (Denis Dullea Memorial Cup) 1. Cuigear Racing HILLSIDE MUSTANG J O'Reilly 2. G Kane BIG JIM T O'Leary 3. C Brickley MILLERS BOY Owner Grade D (Jeremiah Keohane Memorial Cup) 1. M Goggin SAUNDERS PARIS Deirdre Goggin 2. R Joyce BEAUTYS HARMONY M O'Reilly 3.H Bennett WELLFIELD DAMIAN Marie Moloney Grade C (William O Donovan Memorial Cup) 1. Shanahan / Brickley MEADOWBRANCH KIKI D Brickley 2. R Joyce LAKEVIEW WALTER M O'Reilly 3. P Manning SPRINGHILL JAZZ Deirdre Goggin Grade B (Sean McCarthy Memorial Cup) 1. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O'Leary 2. L O Brien RHYDS ARTIST Grade A (Paddy Keohane Memorial Cup) 1. Hegarty / Hurley MAITHI BUACHAILL J Hurley 2. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 3. N Forbes MOUNTAIN DEW LAD J O'Reilly                                                          

WEST CORK, Ireland - Champion jockey Deirdre Goggin and "Cools Hands" Timmy O'Leary rode two winners each while Maithi Buachaill took the featured Grade A & B Pace following up on his win in Drimoleague .Those were the headlines from the annual New Years Day road trotting fixture at Durrus before a near record holiday crowd. The sun shone but temperatures never rose above 6 C, but close finishes kept the huge attendance on their toes all day long. 2016 champion jockey Deirdre Goggin kicked off her brace of winners in the Grade D on GADGIE PAN who disappointed in Drimoleague but today that prior run was forgotten as Goggin saw off last weeks winner BEAUTYS HARMONY by three lengths with WELLFIELD DAMIAN a further two lengths third . SAUNDERS PARIS has been a top class lady on the turf and has taken to the tarmac in the same fashion and made it two wins from two starts for the Goggin clan from Goleen. The nearest track to Goleen heading West would be Yonkers Raceway in the USA. This was the second winner on the day for Deirdre. "Cool Hands" Timmy O'Leary, who stood himself down at Drimoleague with flu certainly hit form this afternoon with a brace of winners for his retained Jer O'Mahony Stable. In the opening Novice Pace FAME EARNED opened his account. This son of Earned Income and Fame Again ran green on his debut last week but was a different prospect today, seeing off ON THE OTHER SIDE and THE RED REBEL in a blanket finish. The winner is owned again by Jer O'Mahony and Caroline O'Brien from Dunmanway. TACTICIAN DU LYS another O'Mahony stabled runner is an imposing French bred trotter and once again was too good for his pacing rivals CAMDEN CORLEONE and LAKEVIEW WALTER in the grade C. O'Leary over took "Corleone" with three furlongs to race and next time steps up to the Grade B (which is four furlongs further) but he looks blessed with stamina in abundance and may continue his winning run. The top Grade A & B really set the pulses racing for the large attendance. Commentator Brendan Goggin set a great pre race atmospehere and the race lived up to that billing . RYDS PONDER as is usual set a quick pace through the opening twelve furlongs .Victory beckoned for the leader but Jamie Hurley was waiting patiently on MAITHI BUACHAILL (the Irish for thats the man) taking up the running with three furlongs remaining and winning by three lengths. Speaking in a post race interview Hurley was full of praise for the winner who is owned by his father James along with Ger Hegarty, "He's a gent to train and all going well he go to Ballingurteen in two weeks and we take our chances!" added Hurley. The next meeting takes place at Ballingurteen Sunday 15th Jan at 2pm. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink RESULTS GRADE A & B (The Timmy Daly & Cottage Table Cups) 1. Hurley / Hegarty MAITHI BUACHILL J Hurley 2. N Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 3. N Forbes MOUNTAIN DEW LAD J O'Reilly GRADE C (The P J Barry Memorial Cup) 1. G Kane TACTICIAN DU LYS T O'Leary 2. Hurley / O Reilly CAMDEN CORLEONE J O'Reilly 3. R Joyce LAKEVIEW WALTER M O'Reilly GRADE D (The John O Sullivan Memorial Cup) 1. N Forbes GADGIE PAN Deirdre Goggin 2. R Joyce BEAUTYS HARMONY M O'Reilly 3. H Bennett WELLFIELD DAMIAN M Maloney GRADE E (The Charles Cremin & Jack Connolly Memorial Cup) 1. M Goggin SAUNDERS PARIS Deirdre Goggin 2. D Brickley YOUNG DEANO Owner 3. Cuigear Racing HILLSIDE MUSTANG J O'Reilly NOVICE (Jan Goregrimes Memorial Cup) 1. O Mahony / O Brien FAME EARNED T O Leary 2. D McCarthy ON THE OTHER SIDE A McCarthy 3. D O Callaghan THE RED REBEL D Brickley      

WEST CORK, Ireland - Jamie Hurley took the top jockey honors riding two winners at the opening of the 2017 Road Racing season at Drimoleague on St Stephens Day. Reenascreena based Hurley took the featured Grade A Pace on Maithi Buachaill and the Novice Pace on IB Tweedy. In the Grade A, 2016 Horse of the Year RHYDS PONDER, was installed as favorite and set his usual brisk pace and led for the opening ten furlongs of the two mile contest. Then he was joined by MAITHI BUACHAILL, who led at the the final turn with four furlongs to the finish and the two battled it out from there to the finish as MAITHI BUACHAILL stayed on top to win by 6 lengths. RHYDS PONDER lost nothing in defeat in finishing second. The winner is owned by Hurleys father James and Ger Hegarty. Early in the day Hurley had a facile win aboard IB TWEEDY, who is owned by The One For The Road Syndicate, which comprises of Hurley ,James O'Driscoll, Richard Kingston and Karl Mitchell. IB TWEEDY is a four year old and looks a bright prospect for this season. Champion jockey Deirdre Goggin got on the score sheet aboard SAUNDERS PARIS for her father Micheal. She led from the start of this mile contest and had three lengths in hand on YOUNG DEANO. David Brickley teamed up with his retained Lakeview Stud ti take the Grade B. RHYDS TRIXTER looked to have stolen a march on his rivals, but Brickley on DEMOCRAT slowly reeled in his rival to win by two length.The winner is owned by Derbyshire UK owner John Mycock. TACTICIAN DU LYS, a multiple winner last winter, took an ultra competitive Grade C with regular jockey Timmy O'Leary sidelined with the flu, Micheal Goggin, Jr. came in for the spare ride on this imposing French Bred trotter and beat LAKEVIEW WALTER and MEADOWBRACH KIKI. BEAUTYS HARMONY was friendless in the betting ring in the Grade D, but put his five fancied rivals to the sword, winning by six lengths for joint owners Richard Joyce and Matt O.Reilly. The action switches to Durrus on New Years Day with racing on "The Boggy Road " starting at 1 45 PM. RESULTS GRADE A (Tommy McCarthy Memorial Cup) 1. Hurley / Hegarty MAITHI BUACHAILL J Hurley 2. Ned Forbes RHYDS PONDER Deirdre Goggin 3. Niall Forbes MOUNTAIN DEW LAD GRADE B (P J Daly Memorial Cup) 1. Shanahan /Mycock DEMOCRAT D Brickley 2. L O Brien RHYDS ARTIST J Hurley 3. G Kane URI GELLER M Goggin Jnr GRADE C (Joe O Sullivan Acorn Life Cup) 1. Kane / O Mahony TACTICIAN DU LYS M Goggin Jnr 2. R Joyce LAKEVIEW WALTER M O Reilly 3. D Brickley MEADOWBRANCH KIKI Owner GRADE D 1. Joyce /O Reilly BEAUTYS HARMONY M O Reilly 2. N Forbes GADGIE PAN J O Reilly 3. H Bennett WELLFIELD DAMIAN Marie Moloney GRADE E 1. M Goggin Snr SAUNDERS PARIS Deirdre Goggin 2. D Brickley YOUNG DEANO Owner 3. G Kane BIG JIM T O Leary NOVICE 1. One for the Road Syn IB TWEEDY J Hurley 2. O Mahony / O Brien FAME EARNED T O Leary 3. D O Callaghan THE RED REBEL P O Brien by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

Only four sleeps to Santa Claus as millions of kids around the world are waiting patiently. For die hard Road Trotting fans they have a little longer to wait, only an extra night, for the start of the 2017 Winter Road Racing season in West Cork. Drimoleague on St Stephens Day has hosted racing for over 130 years. Only twice in those 130 years has racing been cancelled .Firstly in the 1950s when the dreaded Foot and Mouth Disease was present in Ireland and again in the early part of this century when a foot of frozen slow covered West Cork. Fast forward to this Monday and the tarmac on the Eastern side of this village will play host to beating hoofs and the smell of sulphur lifting off the famous half mile stretch of road from the village heading East to the old Creamery. Many purists believe this road is the Holy Grail of road trotting. Looking at the road from ground level it can be very deceiving. From the outside turning point the horses race down a slight incline but approximately 200 metres from the finish there is a lung bursting rise to the finish. 26 horses will race in six races with Memorial Cups for each event remembering locals from the village who have left us. RHYDS PONDER the reigning road racing champion returns from the Summer break to try and emulate last seasons unbeaten run .He will face stable companion MOUNTAIN DEW LAD and MAITHI BUACHILL in the Grade A pace. In the grade B event newcomers SPRINGHILL JAZZ and DEMOCRAT will lock horns with URI GELLER an imported trotter from Sweden and the consistent RHYDS ARTIST. In the Grade C another trotter TACTICIAN DU LYS takes on pacing rivals MEADOWBRANCH KIKI and another debutant CAMDEN CORLEONE. The Grade D looks between IB RAPIDO and HILLSIDE DARTANIAN while in the grade E race SAUNDERS PARIS ,GADGIE PAN and BIG JIM should be the principals in an open looking contest. The Novice Grade sees IB TWEEDY going to post as favourite for "The One For The Road Syndicate" who as their name suggests will celebrate if successful. The action gets under way at 2 PM. By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink  

49 to 64 of 121