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WALES, UK - Tir Prince is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Witherspoon as it’s new Racing Director. In view of the tracks commitment to push the sport forward, it was an easy decision to appoint such a well established member of the harness racing world to this position. Track management is very excited for the future of harness racing at Tir Prince. Below is a statement from Witherspoon himself. "As of 4th February 2016 I will be taking up a full time position with the Tir Prince Leisure Group as Racing Director & Business Development Manager. "This appointment hallmarks the commitment and investment of Adam Williams and the Tir Prince Leisure Group in the long term future of harness racing in the UK and I'm both honoured and delighted to have been offered this exciting opportunity. "As many of you know, I’m no stranger to Tir Prince or indeed to harness racing. I was present at the track on the opening meeting in 1990 and such is my enthusiasm for the sport Ive been to virtually every meeting held at the track since. "In 2011, I took on an entirely voluntary role in arranging and staging racing at Tir Prince from entry taking, through to handicapping, race scheduling andpromotional activities. I've always adopted a common sense yet professional approach in my interactions with owners, trainers and drivers and feel such a solid foundation established over the past 5 years will now be of immense benefit in taking Tir Prince to the next level. "It's widely acknowledged that Tir Prince Raceway is the premier harness racing venue in the UK and its my intention to extend the racing season by starting earlier and finish later in the year. "I also aim to make the track as user friendly as possible as I realise that without the entries and the public our facility cannot realise its massive potential. In summary I undertake to do everything I possibly can to support the owners, trainers and general public who follow the sport by staging as many race meetings as possible, byputting on qualifiers and work-out days by making the track available for workouts and by putting on races for all calibre and grade of horses for attractive prize money. "In order to allow me to do this I'm going to need your support by way of entries and attendance to the track throughout the season and I will be publishing a full calendar of proposed events in the coming days to enable you all to plan your season around these scheduled meetings. I believe that if we work together and cooperate we can succeed in heralding a bright new dawn for Tir Prince whilst buildinga badly needed sustainable future for our sport. Watch this space for further announcements in the coming weeks and I for one look forward to welcoming you all to Tir Prince as we embark on an exciting new era both for the venue and sport of harness racing in 2016 and beyond." From Tir Prince Raceway  

The Battle of the Big Guns series in 2015 attracted 12 of Great Britain and Ireland’s top pacers.  With six legs staged across five different tracks, varying in size, surface and distance, it was seasoned Free For Aller Stoneriggs Mystery who reigned supreme. The nine-year-old gelded son of Village Jasper out of the Todays Man mare, Stoneriggs Quality, was a worthy winner of this series and proved himself to be the top all-round pacer on these shores, winning four of the six legs of the series sponsored by the Standardbred Sales Company. Unlike his main rivals, Stoneriggs Mystery is bred from a British-bred mare, the broodmare sire being Todays Man, a son of the great Abercrombie out of the World Champion mare Silk Stockings.  However, the importance of North American bloodlines is evidenced once again in the form of his sire, Village Jasper.  Village Jasper won over $1 million in his sophomore season, including victories in the Breeders Crown and Confederation Cup. Stoneriggs Mystery is a truly international horse in terms of Standardbred breeding.  He combines some of the best North American bloodlines with the best British dam line of the past 25 years.  Both his dam and grand-dam were Open Free For All competitors, with Stoneriggs Quality being exported to race in Pompano Park, Florida. As mentioned, Stoneriggs Mystery was the anomaly in terms of breeding.  The runner-up in the series, Meadowbranch Josh, an eight-year-old gelded son of The Cammissioner, is out of the 1994 Harrisburg Sales purchase Churchill Queen (ex This N Matt, Matts Scooter-Inside Joke-Albatross).  Churchill Queen was purchased by N & S Lee of Churchill Stud, England; was trained at 2 & 3 by Steve Lees and competed at the highest level as a juvenile, but it is as a broodmare at Meadowbranch Stud, Ireland, where she has excelled.  The importance of modern bloodlines has shone through, with her offspring competing at the top level of UK harness racing for over 20 years.  These include: Meadowbranch Giglo (exported to race in Ontario), Meadowbranch Frank (exported to race in North America), Meadowbranch Liath (the fastest Standardbred mare in British and Irish history), and Meadowbranch Romeo (Famous Musselburgh Pace winner and competitor in the Inter Dominion qualifying series in 2015). The third placed horse, Stamp Hill, is a five-year-old stallion by Armbro Deuce out of the 2008 Harrisburg Sales purchase, Teatime Hall (Blissfull Hall-Town Tramp-Big Towner).  Teatime Hall was purchased by S Taff, and her first UK-born offspring, Stamp Hill, became the first two-year-old to break the two minute barrier, and in doing so set the British record for two-year-old pacers which still stands today.  Stamp Hill went on to win the Welsh Dragon Triple Crown at 2, 3 and 4; as well as one of the legs of this series at Wolverhampton Racecourse.  Teatime Hall’s second foal on UK soil (f. The Preacher Pan) recently sold at public auction for £10,000; not a bad return on a mare which cost $1,500, which proves that there is quality at both ends of the market at Harrisburg. Brywinsmagicpotion, the eight-year-old gelded son of Camotion out of the 2006 Harrisburg Sales purchase, Lifes Magic Girl (Life Sign-Buddys Girl-Troublemaker), finished fourth in the series and was runner up in the 2015 Inter Dominion qualifying series.  Brywinsmagicpotion has amassed £29,835 in a career spanning six seasons and has a lifetime mark of 1.56.  His victories include: the famous Musselburgh Pace final, the Billy Williams FFA, Aberystwyth FFA, a leg of the Inter Dominion qualifying series and the Meadowbranch Flying FFA Pace.  Once again not a bad return from a mare costing $6,000. The dam of the fifth placed horse, Ayr Regal (Hasty Hall-Ayr Queen-Albert Albert), also hails from a Harrisburg Sales purchase.  Ayr Queen is a daughter of Albert Albert out of the 2003 Harrisburg Sales purchase Dear Me (Laag-Gentle Miss-Adios Vic).  From limited starts, she won a major handicap final, before being retired to the breeding barn where she has cemented herself as one of the UK’s leading broodmares, winning the Breeders Crown Top Broodmare award two years in a row and being one of only two mares to field two competitors in this Big Guns Series (the other being Churchill Queen - Meadowbranch Josh and Meadowbranch Romeo).  The youngest competitor in the series, Ayr Regal is a four-year-old son of Hasty Hall, and in his short but successful career so far has amassed £30,220 and has competed and won at the highest level at 2, 3 and 4, including the Breeders Crown at 2 and 3.  His half-brother and fellow competitor, Ayr Majesty (Daylon Alert), has earnings of £18,770 and a lifetime mark of 1.57.9.  Together, they were the first siblings to compete against each other in the Crock of Gold final in 2015.  Dear Me, unlike Teatime Hall and Lifes Magic Girl, produced a filly foal following her purchase for $6,000; Ayr Standardbreds successfully raced the filly and then retained her, proving that purchasing from Harrisburg can be both a short term and long term investment, due to the strength of these North American bloodlines. On this occasion, it was Stoneriggs Mystery who was the champion.  It will be interesting to see if he can retain his title in the series next year with so many up and coming young horses who stem directly from Harrisburg or breeding linked to Harrisburg, hot on his heels. By Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink.com

United Kingdom – The UK/Ireland’s leading trainer in 2015, Alexis Laidler, has been dealt an 12 month suspension from racing plus fines from the Stewards of the British Harness Racing Club (BHRC). On Saturday August 22, 2015 at Tir Prince Racecourse, a blood sample was obtained from the horse Merrington CheckM8. Following this sampling, the blood was tested by Laboratoire Des Courses Hippiques (LCH) where the substance Triamcinolone Acetonide was identified, reported and confirmed. The presence of this substance being in breach of Y18 of the BHRC Rules and Regulations. Mrs. Laidler informed the panel that the horse had been treated by a Vet, who had recorded such at the time in the passport, and due to various issues she had entered the horse to race without giving the horse the recommended withdrawal period. In addition to the 12 month suspension from racing, which began on September 20, 2015, Mrs. Laidler is to pay £1500 in fines, all costs to cover testing and hearing expenses and the horse, Merrington CheckM8, must pass a BHRC integrity test prior to being eligible to be entered for racing. The BHRC stated that the original six additional months of suspension that was originally reported in this story, was suspended and thus the suspension is for just 12 months.   Mrs. Laidler has been the leading trainer in the BHRC for the last eight straight years. In 2013 she became the first BHRC trainer to achieve over 100 wins in one season. She is married to William “Rocker” Laidler, who is the leading driver in the UK. According to William Laidler on Facebook, Alexis Laidler did appeal the decision but the Stewards denied the appeal. She will be eligible to return to racing in September 2016. By Steven Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

North Wales,UK - The final night of racing at Tir Prince for 2015 did not disappoint as race goers were treated to some thrilling finishes along with a few very classy performances. First up was the maiden / novice pace on paper it looked a very open contest and so it proved with Blue Top Gun coming late to win by a nose from a fast finishing Arts Desire with the always prominent Elysium Thunder a neck further back in third. Next up was the novice only pace, Coalford Ollie took it up early and tried to lead all the way he finally gave it up turning into the home straight as Andrew Cairns kicked on with Sherwood Bluey, James Haythornthwaiteand My Left Foot finally saw daylight and finished like a train up the inside but Bluey already had it in the bag and won by a length. The George Dixon Free For All Trot saw warm favourite Show Business lead from pillar to post from the plum draw of number one draw. Marc Elvin with Saphir De Brum tried his best to take the lead in a fast first half but Showbusiness was not for passing and he held them off well to land the spoils. Very Cornulaisse finished strong and nicked second spot from Saphir De Brum right on the line. Next up was the low grade handicap and The Apprentice showed he is coming of age with a commanding performance from the front. In Demand went well for Watson Harrop in second with Lyons Royal flush back in third. The Douglas Lewis Memorial Trot saw another great race with Soleil De Attaque prevailing under a cool drive from Paul Mather junior. Taken on by Mick Lord and Scorpio De Bulay Paul was happy to let him go before putting him to the sword in fine fashion in the home straight. Trendy Du Closet finished second with a tiring Scorpio De Bulay in third. The Stagbi Mares race saw a straight forward victory for Maid Of The West. Steve Lees led out from the five hole and the well backed favourite never gave her vociferous Irish followers a moments worry as she held off the very game Shades Of Grey by two lengths with Rhyds Night Nurse running on for third. In the Junior Free For All Next Generation kicked for home in the back straight but veteran Cutchall Hanover came out of the pack to lay down his challenge they eye balled each other as they turned for home and had a good old ding dong down the straight with Cutchall getting up to win by a nose. Blue Incredible was back in third. Then it was time for the one we had all been waiting for. Meadowbranch Josh tried to lead from the four hole and got very close to Stoneriggs Mystery on the first bend but the nine year old was sure footed and went on well. Then came Bath Lane JR was forced forward from his five draw and tried to take the lead but Mystery kept him at bay in a 27 first quarter, the battle continued to the half which was clocked in 57. Bath Lane remained parked right up until the three quarter pole then just as those further back began to make their moves Mick pushed the button and Mystery put the race to bed with Magicpotion a clear second and Ayr Majesty in third. A great nights racing to finish the season. I would like to personally thank everyone who supports the track sponsors owners trainers punters and bookies alike all part of the rich tapestry that makes TP the place it is. See you in 2016. by Eric Witherspoon  

Tuesday night’s Billy Williams Memorial Free For All at Tir Prince for UK 7,500 features a mouth watering British/Irish harness racing showdown between UK nine year old superstar Stoneriggs Mystery and new kid on the block Bath Lane who inflicted Mystery’s only defeat in his last seven starts when dive bombing him late in a record 1:55.2 at the Delaney Portmarnock weekend just over a month ago. Arguably Britain’s toughest and most durable pacer of all time, Stoneriggs Mystery who’s won in excess of 35 races and more than UK 40,000, worked to take the lead away from Bath Lane in their only meeting and was cut down late in a brave effort. He’s since won at York then here in the Crock Of Gold Final, and followed up with an easy victory on the grass at Tregaron eleven days ago. Comparatively Bath Lane is only a baby at five but he’s come a long way in recent times - he was beaten in novice grade at Appleby only 15 months ago but now finds himself racing the elite. Barrier draws will play a big part bit but with eight on the gate here, Mick Lord and John Richardson’s pair can make their own luck. The wonderfully honest Brywinsnmagicpotion is a genuine upset chance and a win would be great consolation for his missing an Australian Interdominion trip on countback. With a strong undercard as well, Tir Prince’s season will end in a blaze of glory. Some big things are in the wind for the popular North Wales circuit – watch this space!! From Bill Hutchison       From: William Hutchison [mailto:hutchysays@me.com] Sent: Saturday, 5 September 2015 6:22 PM To: 'Bill Hutchison' Subject: FW: Stoneriggs Mystery Photo               From: William Hutchison [mailto:hutchysays@me.com] Sent: Monday, 20 July 2015 9:30 AM To: 'news@harnesslink.com'; 'steve@harnesslink.com' Subject: FW: Stoneriggs Mystery Photo               From: BHRC KLee [mailto:bhrc.office@yahoo.co.uk] Sent: Monday, 20 July 2015 9:21 AM To: Bill Hutchison Subject: Stoneriggs Mystery       Bill,           As requested.           Regards   Kirsty Lee   BHRC Secretary       BHRC, Ground Floor, Burlington Crescent, Goole, East Yorkshire, DN14 5EG   Tel: 01405 766877 Fax: 01405 955000 Email: bhrc.office@yahoo.co.uk   http://www.bhrc.org.uk       This e mail and any attachments are confidential and intended for the named recipient only. The content may contain privileged information. If it has reached you by mistake, you should not copy, distribute or show the content to anyone but should contact the BHRC at once.  

Making light of his wide gate seven draw Stoneriggs Mystery was a runaway winner of his second Crock Of Gold at Tir Prince on Saturday night. Speedster Meadowbranch Josh quickly found the lead as expected but was hammered by Ayr Regal and eventually took the trail. Mystery and Mick Lord were away swiftly and soon cruised to a spot outside the new leader, raced clear with a quarter to go and won by open lengths from Brywinsmagicpotion who made big ground from the rear, and an improved Sepia Sands who closed late after encountering traffic problems. Rain during the day and evening slowed the surface (which raced extremely well) and 1:59 was the time for the race. With wins and from five of his last six a narrow 1.55.2 defeat in Ireland, Stoneriggs Mystery has silenced any doubters (if there were any) and proved he’s the best horse we’ve seen in the UK for many a long year, if not, ever. Bill Hutchison

The spacious half mile oval at Tir Prince in North Wales will host it’s flagship race, the Crock Of Gold Final on Saturday night. Having qualified in multiple heats in the UK, an eight horse field will do battle with clear favourite Stoneriggs Mystery the one to beat. He sandwiched heat wins of the race on this track with a victory on the grass at Aberystwyth then went to Ireland where he had his colours lowered narrowly by Bath Lane after setting up a 1:55.2 track record. He then demolished his opponents in 1:56 at York last weekend. Inter Dominion star Brywinsmagicpotion will welcome a different opponent to Australian bound Meadowbranch D J and looks the likely danger. Astounding hasn’t had much luck since winning an Interdom heat at York and with a decent draw can cause another upset. Bill Hutchison  

Wales, UK – The 25th anniversary of the Breeders Crown UK and Ireland featured a grand Silver Jubilee celebration of harness racing Tuesday with seven Championship Finals held at Tir Prince Raceway. Even Mother Nature helped in the celebration by clearing away the rain clouds by the early afternoon so by post time at 7 pm the skies were clear and the track was fast. The first Breeders Crown event was the two-year-old colt pace final and it started off with a bang as Meadowbranch Titus and driver John Richardson stuffed race favorite Miraculous (Patrick Kane, Jr.) into the two-hole after the two fought to the opening quarter in :29.1. Then Kane sent his top colt to the front before the half mile in 1:00.9 and then thought they might have been home free going to the three-quarters in 1:32.1. But no one told that to No Stoppin and driver William “Rock” Laider as they came first-over to nearly collar the race leader. As they came down the stretch, Miraculous was able to dig in again and hold off Meadownbranch Titus to win by a half-length in 2:03.5 with No Stoppin a close third. Sired by Arts Conquest and trained by Sally Teeboon, Miraculous is owned by S. Arnie Flower. Miraculous was named because her dam, Another Mattie, was supposedly infertile. Due to a large number of entries, the Breeders Crown Championshop final for two-year-old pacing fillies was divided into two divisions. The first division saw Gabriella Camden and driver Hugh Menzies go right to the front and never looked back, winning by three open lengths over Reeds Scarlet (Mick Lord) and Frisco Roller (Andrew Cairns) in 2:05.8. The daughter of Pro Bono Best is trained by Wm Hamish Muirhead and is owned by Patrick Anderson. In the second division, Jessie’s Conquest and driver/trainer/owner Marc Thomas Jones would not be denied a trip to victory to the winner’s circle as the led from start to finish in 2:05.1. The pocket sitting Meadowbranch Queen (John Richardson) tried coming after Jessie’s Conquest around the final turn but Jessie’’s Conquest just kicked in another gear to win with ease by two and one-half open lengths. The Breeders Crown three-year-old colt final was thought to be another easy triumph for the top colt Titanium and owner/driver Vicki Gill, but no one told that to J Ms Hallstar and driver Mick Lord. After an early battle for the lead, J Ms Hallstar was in control with Titanium sitting right on their back through fractions of :30.2, 1:02.3 and 1:32.7. Gill then pulled the pocket to mount their challenge coming down the stretch, but Titanium started to bear out and J Ms Hallstar held tight and soundly won by two and one-half lengths in 2:01.5. Titanium was second with Rhyds Gambler (Rock Laidler) third. Sired by Hasty Hall, J Ms Hallstar is trained by Sheelagh Lord and is owned by Jim Murdock.  That victory was just the start for the driver/trainer duo of Mick and Sheelagh Lord. In the very next race, Mick and Sheelagh Lord returned to the winner’s circle with Rhyds Art as he wired the field in the Breeders Crown final for four-year-old mares in 2:03.8. After a brief dogfight for the lead to the opening quarter mile with Wellfield Ruby (Sarah Allen), Rhyds Art then led the rest of the way, winning by four open lengths for the West Riding Partnership. Camden Claire (Andrew Cairns) with Wellfield Ruby third. The gustiest and fastest performance of the night came in the Breeders Crown Championship Final for four-year-olds. Rhyds Design and driver Alan Haythornthwaite tried for the early lead but was nearly denied by The Apprentice (Marc Thomas Jones) as they sped to the fast opening quarter of the night in :28.2. Once thought to be settle on the front end as the came to the half mile pole in :59.5, Rhyds Design was then faced with another challenge as Camden Tino (Gavin Murdock) started up first-over and began grinding their way towards to the front. By the three-quarter mile marker in 1:29.6, Camden Tino was still on the move despite being parked out since before the half mile. They were able to wear down Rhyds Design and then hold off a late charge by Imjustalittleguy (Richard Haythornthwaite) to win by a half-length in 2:00. Rhyds Design was third. Also trained by Gavin Murdock, Camden Tino is sired by Yankee Lariat and is owned by Eamon Crane. The most action of any of the Breeders Crown Championship races came in the last event of the night for three-year-old fillies. After a brief battle for the early lead, Madison Camden (Andrew Cairns) held control with Someone Like You (Alan Haythornthwaite) in the pocket and Intensity (Marc Thomas Jones) first-over at the opening quarter mile in :29.8. Then at the half mile in 1:01.8, it became an early cavalry charge as Shesgotanattitude and John Richardson did the unthinkable and came three-wide around the turn leading to the backstretch. But the move turned into a winning one as Shesgotanattitude cleared to the lead by the three-quarters in 1:31.7. But three-wide moves were not done in the race yet. Meadowbranch Millie (Noel Ryan) also came three-wide with Frisco Frisk in the mix as they came down the stretch. Richardson was able to keep Shesgotanattitude game to the wire, winning by a half-length in 2:03.6 with Meadowbranch Millie second and Frisco Frisk third. “It was really a great night,” said David Wilson, Chairman of the Breeders Crown UK and Ireland. “We had a good crowd, great racing and no rain. What more could you ask for!” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Dublin, Ireland - Harness Racing returns Saturday at Portmarnock Racetrack this weekend with a seven race programme of events in celebration of the arrival of Jacques Chartier and a French delegation responsible for the introduction of the popular “Le Trot” initiative into Ireland. The card opens with an 8 runner Grade F le trot free-for-all contest whereby all runners are similar in terms of ability with no stand-out performers in the line-up. Of these ADAGIO DU CEBE is a tentative choice as he has been placed on numerous occasions without actually getting his head in front in 2015, but this is his best chance so far of securing a red rosette. The ultra consistent Tamalou Perrine should run a big race whilst Valse De Fourches is another to consider here. Next up is a Grade D/E/F le trot Handicap and again this is a wide open affair. URBANO DE SELLES is chosen here based on his performance last week at the venue. He crept into contention on that occasion over a mile and was finishing with a flourish so the extra circuit should play into his hands this time around. Viking De Layon was a recent Annaghmore winner whilst Valliant De Guehm is another who comes into calculations with 2 visits to the winners enclosure under his belt already this season. Venus De Zenith is consistent and could spring a surprise at very rewarding odds. An evenly matched field of 8 face the starter in the Grade C&D le trot handicap and all eyes will be on the rapidly improving VALLANZANA here. She is in top form at present and can continue on an upward curve at the expense of Simosa and San Merite who are solid choices to make the frame at least. Tsar De Caio is very talented yet most frustrating and would be a comfortable winner if managing to put in a clear round, but he has broke stride in recent weeks and ended his chances with these mistakes when looking to play a part in the finish. Nine go to post in the Grade C&B le trot handicap where SAPHIR DANCIA is chosen to follow up on last weeks easy victory with another facile success. Billy Roches charge seems to have hit form in recent weeks and will be difficult to peg back if managing to get into an early lead. Rohen De Thirons, Scoops Team and Sioux Touli have all been placed this season without troubling the judge whilst Typhee couls be the one who troubles the selection most having won at Annaghmore on his last start showing tremendous speed and determination. The grade A&B le trot handicap is another intruiging contest with Alan Richardsons VICHY DE MOEM sure to start a warm order favourite. Hes been massively impressive in his races so far this season and his march to the top tier doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. If there is to be a challenge to Vichys expected dominance this will come in the form of Vivament Dimanche who has a similar profile to the selection with multiple wins this season or Vincent De Goehl who has won at Annaghmore on his seasonal debut and wont go down without a fight. Munster raiders Tornao Josselyn and Volcan Erem look to have place chances at best. Arguably the best ever le trot race to be ever held in Ireland, the Grade A/A1/A2 handicap is the penultimate race on the card and pitches all of the best French imports in together in a no-holds-barred contest to determine the ultimate champion in this division. Tiffany Monesto is a multiple winner and track record holder whilst Secret De Star is another who has demonstrated his likeness for the winners enclosure this season. Both however face their sternest test to date here. Solene De Bannes was an eye-catching runner up last week to STAR DE FRUTIER but enjoys a 10 yard pull in the handicap pull with his arch nemesis this week. This may not be enough to stop Star De Fruitier and she is selected to win again and stamp herself as the best in this class. Track promoters stopped short of staging a historic “all trotting” programme on the evening and will feature a single free-for-all pacing race hoping to send punters home on a high. This is no ordinary pacing event but heat 2 of the Inter Dominion Series whereby the overall points winner of 4 heats will be guaranteed a place to represent both Britain and Ireland in Perth Australia in the $1 million dollar finals in November. Victor of the opening heat at York in a track record MEADOWBRANCH DJ renews rivalry with the second and third placed on the day Briwyns Magic Potion and Meadowbranch Romeo but as in all top class free-for-alls the draw will be paramount on the day. Nevertheless, a hand-timed 1:56 performance last week at Portmarnock puts Meadowbranch DJ firmly in the driving seat and it appears as if Briwyns Magic Potion and Meadowbranch Romeo look set fair for the minor placings in an expected carbon copy of the York heat. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink.com Inter-Domonion Preview by Bill Hutchison Tomorrow, Saturday, sees the second heat of the UK/Ireland Inter-Dominion series, this time at Portmarnock Raceway.  A totally different affair will take place this time over the mile trip (York was at 1½ miles and three weeks ago) and barrier draws will be vitally important - although in the six horse field, all should be close enough if good enough. Meadowbranch DJ won by ten lengths at York and sharpened for this with his five length second from 50 behind here last week where the winner ran 1.57.5 from the front and he’s certainly the one to beat. Brywinsmagicpotion was luckless when second at York and comes off  a brave parked out second to Stoneriggs Mystery at Tr Prince last week. Meadowbranch Romeo wasn’t quite at his peak last time when third, but went well here last week when runner up from the 70 metre handicap. Sepia Sands was luckless from a bad draw at York but after impressively winning heat and final at Aberstwyth since, he’ll be at the top of his game. Saunders Mach 3 was the eyecatcher of the first heat when a brave fourth after racing wide for the last five furlongs – forget his subsequent failure on the grass at Aberystwyth. Wellfield Official wasn’t flash at York but hasn’t been disgraced in two placings since. My tips – Meadowbranch DJ to beat Brywinsmagicpotion and Sepia Sands. by Bill Hutchison, for Harnesslink.com

United Kingdom – Next Tuesday, July 28, the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland will hold the ninth edition of the climatic harness racing season showcase at Tir Prince Raceway in West Wales with an estimated nine classic races for 2, 3 and 4-year-old pacers. And in honor of the occasion, the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland has debuted a brand new website for the prestigious race series. Www.breederscrownukandireland.com is up and running with a masterful website. Nearly every page features magnificent photographs of harness racing. Its gallery section has photographs from each of the Breeders Crown’s held since the inaugural in 2007. There is history about the race series, special profile pages of the stallions whose progeny are eligible to the series, latest news and reports, race conditions, eligible horses and much more. The website was redesigned under the director of Breeders Crown UK & Ireland’s David Wilson, who has been at the forefront of promoting harness racing in the UK for many years. He is also the CEO of the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland. “The old website was not flashy enough,” said Wilson. “We wanted to jazz it up some, make it extra special and I was introduced to Scotia McCombie, who owns www.palegallery.com. She did not know anything about harness racing and I know nothing about website designs. I just know what I like. So I let her have the reins and she has done a superb job. “Scotia also redesigned our logo for 2015,” Wilson said. “And she came about with a bonny design. We leaked it out prior month and I am very pleased with all the complements we have received. “Now the proof will be with the horsemen and race fans,” Wilson explained. “We will want to hear from them about the new site, the pros and the cons as we want to make it as best possible and helpful for everyone. “I also hope that everyone has made their plans and are coming to Tir Prince next Tuesday,” Wilson said. “We are working on putting together the best edition of the Breeders Crown ever seen in the UK and I hope all the horsemen and women in Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland will come out for this special night of racing. It will be grand event for sure.” From the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland

The following is a preview by Bill Hutchison of the likely starters in the ninth annual Breeders Crown UK & Ireland on Tuesday, July 28 that will be held in Wales at Tir Prince Raceway. Post time is 7:00 pm for the special race program. Races 1 and 2 - 3YO Fillies – Final Race 9 The lightly raced Irish trained pair Shesgotanattitude and Meadowbranch Millie fought out the finish of the BHRC Sires Stakes at York recently with victory going to the former in 1.59.6. They look the yardstick yet again and if the race is divided as is likely, the Flanagan/Richardson team should have a two-pronged chance in the final. Ruby Sparks is racing well and has claims, with the query runner being last year’s two year old Crown winner Madison Camden, who didn’t fire at her only appearance this year. Race 3 – 2YO Colts Miraculous has raced three times for a York Sires Stakes win over Ontop Big C and Meadowbranch Titus sandwiched by a seconds on this circuit to Party At The Spa. With that fellow not in this series he looks the one. Dangers are Ontop Big C and Meadowbranch Titus along with an improving No Stoppin and Scottish youngster Jacks Red, who’s been impressive at Corbiewood. Races 4 and 5 – 2YO Fillies Meadowbranch Queen is two for two, winning on his debut at York, then following up on that same circuit with a 2.02.7 seven length victory in the Sire Stakes. She’ll find this harder but is definitely the one to beat. Rhyds Snowbird was a strongly supported debut winner here  beating a gallant Gabriella Camden at Tir Prince ten days ago and both are well in the mix along with Jessies Conquest, who smashed them here first up, then won in regulation fashion at Aberystwyth before disappointing at York last time behind this favourite. Race 6 – 3YO Colts Impossible to bet against Titanium here, but just watch this marvellous youngster in action. He’s won eight of eleven the past two season and unbeaten in four starts this term with his the back-to-back heat and final York Championship victories in 1.56.8 and 1.56.7 at York a month ago, wich was  a sight to behold. This fellow wouldn’t be out of place in the Little Brown Jug and he’ll beat these by a far as Vicki Gill so desires. Betting without, the clear second pick is JM’S Hallstar in front of Rhyds Gambler. Race 7 – 4YO Mares Rhyds Art has been the benchmark for the fillies of this age group and is back to her absolute best, coming off easy victories in the Sire Stakes at York and here at the latest meeting and giving the boys a thrashing. She’ll win for sure! Speedy young mare Wellfield Ruby looks a strong runner-up chance along with Fresh Ayr who hasn’t yet reproduced her good form of last season. Race 8 - 4YO Stallions and Geldings Four pretty much equal chances here with the draw most important. Ayr Regal is aiming to be the first horse to sweep this series after victories as a two and three year old, and his recent form says he can do it.  He was a terrific second here to Stoneriggs Mystery in near track record time just a month ago and he did plenty when narrowly beaten in the York 4YO Championship. He was a little disappointing behind Imjustalittleguy there after that, then battled on okay when third here last week to Rhyds Art. Imjustalittleguy had his consistency rewarded with a Saturday Final win at Aberystwyth then won the Sire Stakes at York when aided by a brilliant drive from Richard Haythornthwaite. Camden Tino was at the forefront of these youngsters last season and recently was an impressive Aberystwyth heat winner for his new Irish connections. Rhyds Design had been below his best before an eye-catching second to Rhyds Art here last week. by Bill Hutchison, for Harnesslink.com 

Abergele, Wales - Britain's best harness racing pacer, Stoneriggs Mystery, completed his own hat trick when unextended to lead most of the way in a Crock Of Gold/Battle Of The Big Guns heat at Tir Prince last Saturday night, beating a gallant Brywinsmagicpotion, who sat parked. The great program completed a huge night for driver Mick Lord and Sheelagh Lord, who snared four of the nine races. Before a big holiday crowd, Stoneriggs Mystery highlighted a top card that included North Wales Championships for three and four year olds and a pair of Vincent Delaney prep races for the two year olds. The night started well for "Team Lord" when Desert Rose made it three for three this season in the opener; Rhyds Art beat the boys by a space in the 4YO Championship then Shaba Hanover annexed the 3YO Fillies Championship, beating heavily supported Irish filly Carmel Camden. In the Colts 3YO division Rewrite History made it eight from nine with a hollow victory while the Vincent Delaney Memorial prep races were won by the exciting young colt, Party At The Spa and debutante filly, Rhyds Snowbird. A great spectacle, the Oakwood Stud sponsored greys only FFA pacer was won narrowly by Wellfield Ghost by a slim nose over the great mare, Shades of Grey, while Wildcats Supeme led all the way in the Trotters FFA. All eyes will be on Portmarnock, Dublin next Sunday with the second Inter Dominion heat; York Raceway on Saturday and Tir Prince hosts the ninth edition of the Breeders Crown the following Tuesday night. By Bill Hutchison, for Harnesslink.com RESULTS FROM TIR PRINCE: R 1-Gds 1/3 1.Desert Rose M.Lord 2.Merrington CheckM8 W.Laidler 3.Hendre Bob M.Evans 2:03.7 R 2-Trot 1.Wildcats Supreme P.Mather 2.Scorpio De Bouley G.MacLean 3.Solicitor I.Pimlott 2:05.1 R 3-FFA Pace Greys 1.Wellfield Ghost S.Allen 2.Shades Of Grey J.Haythornthwaite 3.Coalford Chief A.Cairns 2:01.5. (Nose) R 4-2Yo Fillies Prep 1.Rhyds Snowbird R.Hayrhornthwaite 2.Gabriella Camden H.Menzies 3.Porcelain Seelster A.Haythornthwaite 2:04.6 R 5-2 Yo Colts Prep 1.Party At The Spa A.Haythornthwaite 2.Miraculous P.Kane 3.Ayrosmith W .Greenhorn 2:02.9 R 6:-4 Yo Ch 1.Rhyds Art M.Lord 2 Rhyds Design A.Haythornthwaite 3.Ayr Regal P.Kane 2:00.8 R 7-3Yo Fillies 1.Shaba Hanover M.Lord 2.Carmel Camden P.Kane 3.Shanana Hanover R.Haythornthwaite 2:02.5 R 8-3Yo Colts/Gels 1.Rewrite History G.Gilvear 2 Sports Trick A.Haythornthwaite 3 J M's Hallstar M.Lord 1:59.8 R 9-FFA 1.Stoneriggs Mystery M.Lord   2.Brywinsmagicpotion A.Haythornthwaite  3.Ayr Majesty O.Kane 1:58.6

Abergele, Wales – There will be a familiar face on the racetrack at Tir Prince on Tuesday, July 28 for the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland as the “Dragon Man”, harness trainer/driver Graham Lewis, is returning home from the USA and ready to compete. “I actually arrive in Dublin, Ireland early morning that Tuesday,” Lewis said, “then I will take the ferry to Wales and be back home just in time to rest up and drive that night at Tir Prince. And what a great night to return home with the Breeders Crown races that evening.” Graham Lewis is known as the “Dragon Man” for on his race colors is a huge red dragon on his chest. Originally from Wales, Lewis grew up around harness racing and with his father he got started at an early age in the business. He went on to become a driver in the UK and then headed over to America, driving at Roosevelt Raceway against the best drivers in harness racing. Lewis loved racing in America and after moving their full time in 2000, has gotten his American Citizenship. In 2007 he came back home and represented the UK at the Moscow International Driving Championship and finished second among the 21 countries represented. And where did the Red Dragon come from?  “The flag of Wales is a red dragon, which dates back to King Arthur,” Lewis explained. “The Red Dragon told King Arthur that he would win over the White Dragon. As a result, King Arthur used the Red Dragon as a symbol for Wales. It became a symbol of longevity, to never give up, and for good to prevail over evil. I want to represent my home country by wearing the symbols of our flag, so I created a set of driving colors with a red dragon on them.” These new colors earned Lewis the nickname, “Dragon Man.” Lewis won the very first race he wore his new colors in. It took place at Plainridge Racecourse, where the announcer, Lenny Calderone, first coined the nick name during a race call. According to Lewis, “It stuck ever since.” “I already have some friends contacting me,” Lewis said. “So I am pretty hopeful that I will be able to get some drives on Breeders Crown night at Tir Prince. And then it’s off to Corbie Wood in Scotland, York in England and then back to Dublin, Ireland for the Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend at Portmarnock. I’ve got a pretty busy schedule but am so excited about coming back home again. “I hope to drive at tracks all over the UK this summer and fall,” Lewis explained, “and then head back to America for the winter and spring. Then do it all again the next year. “I would like to represent the UK in the next world driving championship, “Lewis added. “I have a lot of work to do to become eligible and hope that this year will be a staging point for new and exciting things to come.” Lewis is also organizing and seeking sponsors for a special memorial race for his father, Douglas Lewis. The race will be held at Tir Prince on Tuesday, September 8. “Although I came to America to follow my dream,” Lewis said. “It seems the dream has brought me back to Wales.” From the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland

Abergele, Wales - Tir Prince Raceway in Wales celebrates 25 years showcasing the sport of harness racing this season and continues to mark its silver jubilee with a unique “greys only” contest to be held at the venue this coming Saturday July 18th. Eight runners have declared for this novel event which has captured the imagination of harness racing enthusiasts in both Britain and Ireland. The race is being sponsored by Derek and James Delaney's Oakwood Stud in Ireland. Early ante-post favourite for the race is Wellfield Ghost representing South Wales owner Roy Sheedy who has hit the target 12 times including a win as recently as last week in a high class heat at Aberystwyth. Second favourite is the 8 year old Blue Incredible trained and driven by Jason Podmore. A renowned track specialist at Tir prince the grade 7 handicapper is toughness personified being the winner of 14 races and 23 placed efforts. American Gangster likely to prove popular with holidaymaker punters who will place their bets purely on looks alone and hes currently amassed 5 wins in his career so far including a recent win at Allensmore on June 21st. Yorkshire man Andrew Cairns’ travels Coalford Chief down to the Welsh venue and although only 6 years old, hes made 12 visits to the winners enclosure so far in his short career. The only female in the line up so far is the aptly named Shades Of Grey and her connections Shane & Claire Fletcher will fancy her to whip her male counterparts into submission. Imported from the USA as a foal the grade 9 mare hasn’t added to her tally of 9 lifetime wins in 2015 with her best finishing position so far this campaign being a 3rd at Tregaron. The Irish raider Oakwood Outlaw by Armbro Operative could prove to be the fly in the ointment to them all, however. The 9 year old was actually bred by the race sponsors the Oakwood Stud and is now in the care of top reinsman Alan Wallace. Although the grade 5 has yet to get his head in front this season hes been a runner up twice recently and seems to be hitting top form at just the right time. Ayr Hero and Cool Night Ayr complete the eight strong line-up and with 15 career wins racked up between them both are worthy contenders to land the spoils on the night. It is hoped that the Foreclosure Platinum Free For All for greys only becomes an annual event at the track and promoter Eric Witherspoon has also highlighted that Saturday evenings programme is jam-packed with classic races so a great nights racing is guaranteed at Tir Prince. Also on the program Saturday will be a filly and colt division of the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Prep races, also sponsored by Oakwood Stud. This is the first time there has been both a filly and colt division. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink.com

Abergele, Wales – “To say I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to the UK and Ireland is an understatement!” Says Harnesslink’s Steve Wolf, who is preparing for a two and one-half week working vacation that will encompass Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland. “This trip will be fantastic,” Wolf said, “From Portmarnock Racetrack in Ireland to the Breeders Crown at Tir Prince in Wales, then Corbiewood in Scotland, York Racetrack in England and back to Ireland for the Delaney Memorial. What an adventure this will be.” Wolf will gear up for the tour at Tir Prince Raceway in Wales and report on the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland which is strictly for British and Irish bred horses. The Breeders Crown UK & Ireland takes place on Tuesday, July 28 with divisions for two, three and four-year-old pacers. “This is shaping up to be the best Breeders Crown ever in the UK,” Wolf said. “There are top horses eligible in every division. I’d have to say if the weather is good, there will be some track records set.” Look for some likely youngsters in the Breeders Crown that could win the Vincent Delaney Memorial the following week, as the last three winners have raced in the Breeders Crown before heading off to Ireland. This is the tenth season for the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland, that travels to different tracks each year. They have a tough task this season in the Vincent Delaney Memorial as the American opposition is greater than it has ever been including 3 RocknRoll Hanover’s, 1 Dragon Again, 1 Well Said, a Western Terror and one Santana Blue Chip. Wolf will be speaking to the chairman of the BHRC and seeing what their plans are for the coming years. He will be speaking with David Wilson, CEO of the Breeders Crown, on how the breeding of British and Irish horses are faring against American imports, and what their plans are for the future. He will be visiting the site where Noel Simpson built the ill-fated Prestayn Raceway in 1963, speaking to people who were there and listening to their views on why it did not succeed. Two of harness racing’s great journalists will be meeting for the first time when Wolf will speak with Bill “Hutchy” Hutchison with regard to the Inter Dominion heats in the UK & Ireland and the future for the trotters in the UK and Ireland. Hutchison, originally from New Zealand, has been in the UK off and on for thirty years writing and promoting harness racing. “This will be an intense trip,” Wolf said, “I look forward to the challenges in helping promote harness racing in the UK and Ireland. When people have such passion for our sport, I want to be able to share that for all my readers. “The growth of harness racing in the UK & Ireland,” Wolf said, “has been tremendous the past few years and their future is very bright. It will be great to tell their story to the rest of Standardbred industry world-wide.” From the Breeders Crown UK & Ireland  

Abergele, Wales - Tir Prince Raceway celebrates 25 years showcasing the sport of harness racing this season and continues to mark its silver jubilee with a unique “greys only” contest to be held at the venue on July 18th. Never staged before in the British Isles, this novel event dubbed the Foreclosure N Platinum Free For All is being sponsored by the Oakwood Stud to herald the arrival from the USA of their new stallion, Foreclosure N, who holds a 1.48.4 mile record and has covered over 40 mares so far this season. The free for all has already attracted worldwide media interest and entries have started to flood in from Ireland, England and Scotland in addition to the locally trained Welsh runners who all want to grab a piece of history. Just like their Thoroughbred counterparts who took national hunt hero Desert Orchid to their hearts, harness racing fans love to see a majestic grey pacer in full flow and with entries still open at the time of writing, speculation is rife as to which of the following household names highlighted below will turn up on the night to thrill the crowds. Early ante-post favourite for the race is Wellfield Ghost representing South Wales owner Roy Sheedy, who has hit the target 12 times including a win as recently as last week in a high class heat at Aberystwyth. Now a grade 9, he is ably partnered in races by Sarah Mould and the combination will be fancied to show their rivals a clean pair of heels on the night. The eight-year-old, Blue Incredible, trained and driven by Jason Podmore is a renowned track specialist at Tir prince. The grade 7 handicapper is toughness personified being the winner of 14 races and 23 placed efforts including a five  straight victory streak back in 2013 culminating in a grade final win at Aberystwyth in July of that year English hope Jack Frost is also likely to prove popular with holidaymaker punters who will place their bets purely on looks alone, being virtually white in colour and partnered by leading lady driver Victoria Gill. A grade 7, hes currently amassed 10 wins in his career so far including two grand final victories whilst also demonstrating his current rude health with a second at York on May 5th in 2:00 and then a comfortable win at Appleby on May 25th. Another big improver right through the 2014 season was Yorkshire man Andrew Cairns’ Coalford Chief and although only 6 years old, hes made 12 visits to the winners enclosure and came of age in no uncertain terms last September when he landed the Joe Murdock Memorial Open Final at Scottish venue Corbie Wood. Hes been lightly campaigned and not won so far in 2015, but it would be foolhardy to write him just yet. The only lady in the line up so far is the aptly named Shades Of Grey, and her connections, Shane & Claire Fletcher, will fancy her to whip her male counterparts into submission on the night. Imported from the USA as a foal, shes getting better with age and ran out a game winner of the George Bell Memorial grand final in Scotland in 2014 making it 9 wins in total and almost £9000 in prizemoney won so far. Now a BHRC Grade 9 she hasn’t won so far in 2015 with her best finishing position a 3rd at Tregaron on the opening meeting of the season. The Irish raider Oakwood Outlaw could prove to be the fly in the ointment to them all, however. The 9 year old was actually bred by the race sponsor, Oakwood Stud, and is now in the care of top reinsman Alan Wallace. Although the grade 5 has yet to get his head in front this season hes been runner up in his last 2 starts and seems to be hitting top form at just the right time. The Foreclosure N Platinum Free For All greys only race remains open for additional entries right up until 7 days before the unique contest and hopes are high that some other grey pacers will emerge up through the ranks to line up in this most unusual field of standardbreds. Recent Aberystwyth winner Ayr Pleasure, Coalford Showtime, Ayr Fella and South Wales hope Krakatoa are some other performers that spring to mind so a full field of 10 greys is a distinct possibility as the mobile starting car pulls away at Tir Prince on July 18th. by Thomas Bennett

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