Day At The Track
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A great first nights racing at Tir Prince Raceway on Saturday. The weather was kind if a little cold and Jeerpan took the opener for Peter Mather passing the longtime leader TJB in the straight to record an emotional victory for the family. Yesterday would have been Ephie Mathers 89th birthday and Jeerpan was his horse making the win very poignant. In the second race Chinatown Samuel made great use of his post one draw to lead out, but Jim Mcinally felt that things weren't happening fast enough and took it up in the straight to record a :58 half. Chinatown Samuel then went again but his lead was short lived as Alan Haythornwaite put Sports Trick in pole position in the back straight and favourite backers were counting their money as this son of Sportswriter looked all the world the winner. Coming round the final bend a young Scotsman named Grant Cullen, who'd travelled hundreds of miles, came out of the pack with Camden Casper and cruised down the straight to take the spoils in 2:02, a very fast time for a maiden at Tir Prince. Camden Casper is trained by Paul Cullen and owned by Robert Rowam. They drove six hours from Scotland and drove home a worthwhile winner. Race 3 saw Mikey Camden score a bloodless victory leading out from the two post with Rocker never looked in danger on this £25k purchase, pulling away in the final quarter to win impressively. Other 3 year olds take note as Mikey Camden is all grown up and ready to roll. Race 4 saw the Laidler’s record a quick fire double as Serrano Hall duly obliged. Coalford Glory was the longtime leader and looked to have Serrano parked out wide at the 3/4 pole but she came again showing real toughness to win. Merrington Motion was the strongest fancy of the night, but Tir Prince is the hardest mile in the UK and Ireland and the murderous pace she set in her opening fractions meant she was there to be shot at in the home straight. Enter Rebus and this horse just loves to come off the pace and got up on the line to the delight of the bookies and to the few people who Thomas Bennett told to have a punt at 10/1! Enter the trotters and John Ball sponsored the race and Mick Lord came to drive despite not having a single horse at the meeting so how many clues did the punters want? Despite this, Camminetto, now owned by Derek Delaney, was odds on favourite from a 40 yard trail, however once Vireo De Regen broke going away, Popcorn was quickly into the lead and never surrendered it winning comfortably. Then it was the grand finale and a heat of the 2015 Crock Of Gold. Meadowbranch Josh showed immense gate speed to lead out, Fool Around tried to challenge but Meadowbranch Josh was not for giving up the top spot. Once he hit the half in a minute the writing was on the wall for the others, and in truth nobody looked interested in trying to pass him as he maintained his lead in the back straight before pulling away around the home bend. Brywinsmagicpotion ran into second and will undoubtedly improve for the run whilst Ayr Majesty finished 3rd. A great race to top off a great evening and thanks to everyone that came out. It was the first meeting in nearly 2 years and was well attended and the feedback we've had has been good. See you on the 20th of June for the next night of racing. By Eric Witherspoon

ABERGELE, UK - Harness Racing fans all over the world love to see a grey pacer in full flow and none more so than the people of Great Britain and Ireland who intend on paying homage to these strikingly beautiful Standardbreds by featuring a novel “greys only” free for all event at Tir Prince Raceway in Wales on July 18th. Sponsored by Oakwood Stud in Ireland, who are currently showcasing their new stallion, Foreclosure N, this eagerly awaited event will be called the Platinum Free For All and some ever popular household names have already thrown their hats into the ring to take part in this contest, the first of its kind ever held in the UK or Ireland. Early ante-post favourite for the race is the locally trained Blue Incredible. Conditioned by Jason Podmore, Blue Incredible is renowned for his toughness and is 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 campaign. Another Aberystwyth grand final winner, Wellfield Ghost, is also being aimed at Platinum Free For All and the 2014 victor is a big improver over the past 12 months with 11 wins and has only been out of the money 3 times in 26 lifetime starts.  Jack Frost is also likely to prove popular with punters, being virtually white in colour at this stage of career but with 8 wins under his belt, including 2 grand finals at Wolsingham and Appleby, he showed he can still be equally as potent on the hard tracks as well as on grass tracks with a 1:59.2 record. Another big improver right thru the 2014 seas was the Andrew Cairns trained Coalford Chief and although only six years old, he has made 12 visits to the winners enclosure so far in and came of age in no uncertain terms last September when he landed the Joe Murdock Memorial Open Final at the Scottish venue Corbie Wood.  The only lady in the line up so far is the aptly named Shades Of Grey and her connections fancy her big time to whip the boys into submission. A US import by Camluck,  Shades Of Grey continues to improve with age and ran out a game winner of the George Bell Memorial grand final in Scotland making it 9 wins in total and almost £9000 in prize money. The Irish raider Oakwood Outlaw could prove to be the fly in the ointment to them all however. A 9 year old by Armbro Operative out of a Laag mare Snow Whitey, was actually bred by the sponsors and is now in the care of top reinsman Alan Wallace. Pacing sub 1:59 miles right through the 2014 season, she topped off a stellar year with a win in the Barney Richardson Memorial at Portmarnock in October. The race remains open for additional entries right up until seven days before the unique contest and hopes are high that some other grey pacers will emerge up through the ranks and line up in this most unusual field of pacers. Tarawood Messi, Coalford Showtime and Krakatoa spring to mind and a full field of 10 greys is a distinct possibility as the starting car pulls away at Tir Prince on July 18th. Speaking to Derek Delaney, a representative of sponsors Oakwood Stud, stated that “It is an honour to sponsor a unique free for all with just grey horses only and I’m sure it will be a very special race. It’s an ideal opportunity to showcase our new stallion, Foreclosure N, as we believe that he is also something out of the ordinary, being the first ever Rocknroll Hanover to stand in the British Isles.” Foreclosure N has a record of 1:48.4 and almost $1 million dollars racked up in prize money. With an infusion of New Zealand blood, he is bound to prove popular with breeders in the UK and Ireland who highly value the ability to stay longer distances and remain sound right throughout a long career on both hard and turf tracks where his offspring are likely to ply their trade. By Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink.com

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