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Harness racing racegoers who make the journey to Racetime Raceway in Lisburn, Belfast are in for a treat this coming Saturday with an additional six new pacers and two new trotters making their debuts at the Northern Irish venue. In the opening event seven pacers go to post with four newcomers line up. Rio Bravo the most interesting of these as she is out of legendary free-for-all performer and Musselburgh Final winner Klondyke Girl. Its been quite a while since owner Peter Lyttle donned his famed blue, white and red colours and he is guaranteed have plenty of well-wishers and supporters on the day. Miss Ayr was another top racemare in the 1990s for the Galway family and Kiki Express will be race fit having performed with credit at Annaghmore in recent weeks. Oakwood Maverick for Barry Reevey and William McClelland's Back In Time are the other 2 debutantes but all four will have their work cut out to defeat Racetime regulars Newmoors Jackie Dan, Rhyds Premier and Fold Mischief. Ladyford Jim has been campaigned regularly at York Raceway in the UK this season demonstrating consistent good form. A shrewd purchase by the McCullough family in recent days sees this five year old by Kikicolt out of Three Men Dreamin make his first racecourse performance and hopes are high he gets his career this side of the Irish sea off to a winner.The veteran Pandercrombie will be all out to take advantage of his pole position on the gate but The Governer is a renowned front runner and will be challenging Pandercrombiefor early supremacy. Frisco Hold Up finished like a train last time out and if the front runners set too fast a pace Darren Smith could mop them all up coming home aboard the 9 year old. Six go to post in the highest graded handicap of the day where Micheal Goggin's John Barley is the most likely winner. Goggin has regularly made the 5 hour journey up to participate at Racetime since the season began and although John Barley has been placed numerous times, he has yet to get his head in front. All this looks likely to change on Saturday however and he will be a popular and deserved winner amongst racegoers should he claim the red rosette. Of the dangers On Top Blackshark, Derrybeg and Cieron DJ have all shown winning form this season whilst Monugs Boy has been threatening to land the spoils in recent starts so it would be no great surprise should Greg Deans stable star oblige in this. Baltimore's Finbarr Brickley is another that will make the long journey from his West Cork base and his Socrates Du Noyer is likely to start a warm favourite in the afternoon's square trot. The striking chestnut is unlikely to get it all his own way however as Thomas Bennett's recent import Bocage De Fornet will be pushing him all the way. Throw last time out winner Evan Jive and the consistent Avetot into the mix and a thrilling contest looks on the cards. A couple of Rising Stars pony races will also be held on the day aswell as a consolation pace for all non-winners in their respective events. Post time is 3pm on Saturday and whilst Covid-19 protocols will be in place the general public are welcomed and encouraged to come an enjoy a family day out at Racetime Raceway. Tom Bennett

Looking back on Mid Wales trotting during 2017 one inevitably thinks of the weather, which generally provided good conditions for racing, it was a little dry early on, but the showers in the latter part of the season helped the tracks provide some wonderfully competitive harness racing. As usual the season began on the all weather track at Amman Valley with two meetings a fortnight apart, the prestigious Llangadog meeting has provided the opening meeting of the season for generations and still retains the atmosphere of anticipation for the start of racing. The winner of the very first race of the season was Greenhill Lillian (Thomas, Rhymney) in the nursery when she clocked up an excellent time which that day was only beaten by the open horses. We should have taken notice then, that this was a mare to watch. After a few outings in May and June it was July before she got into her stride to win five races in three weeks including, Aberystwyth, Caersws, the STAGBI mares’ free for all and completing the series by winning Novice heat and final at Penybont along with two wins on her final appearance of the year she secured the Mathew Tromans cup for the most improved horse. Also she had third place in the junior President’s cup and ninth in the prizewinners’ list winning over one thousand pounds in just 12 starts. This homebred five year old looks all set to reach racing heights. The President’s cup for junior horses was dominated by five year old mares, Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) was second while the hard working Turn the Paige (Miles, Merthyr) secured the trophy. The President’s cup for the open horses was won by the top money winner for the season Chinatown Kolt (Jones, Llanllwni) on his first season with Mid Wales racing, he claimed £2,230 from 30 starts, his first success came at Knighton races, the first grass meeting of the season, he kept up the Hitchcock stable tradition and took heat and final at Penybont this helped secure the title of people’s favourite for the year. Second in the President’s cup was the stunning Ayr Ontario (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) he won the Presteigne grade B final along with several others, and in third place was Lakeside Pan (Elder, New Quay) he was another horse winning at the first meeting in May, as well as the prestigious Talgarreg meeting, the Ammanford free for all in July as well as several heats, despite his handicap going back to fifty yards for this he was awarded the Terry Boxhall Memorial cup for outstanding performance. Pan was also third in the winners list with £2,030 to his credit. Ithon Inmate (Price, Brecon) didn’t collect any silverware at the annual awards, but he was again in the list of the top prizewinners with over two thousand pounds and 8 wins to celebrate. Rebus (Thomas, Rhymney) a little horse who proved to have a big heart was fourth in the prizemoney stakes winning over £1,500 he had to play second fiddle to Chinatown Kolt at Penybont but at the Llandrindod meeting a couple of weeks later he took heat and final. He finished the season with 6 wins one of which was his first saddle with daughter Lucy in the plate. Fold the Notes (Perks, Presteigne) is a well named horse, he took the Kington grade B heat & final as well as the Caersws B final with two saddle wins, one at Penybont and one at Almeley he and partner Rebecca Williams have shown great adaptability to clock up 6 wins and £1,225 and now transfers into the Grade A. George Gentle began the season in the Novice division and with four wins on the trot, he also won the Grade B final at Old Radnor races and finished the season with £1,045 in the pot. No Mercy (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) hung up his harness at the end of the season after another good year when he retained his title as saddle horse of the year partnered as always by Jayne Bevan from Llanddewi who retained the leading jockey title. Alongside his saddle success he claimed wins at Ammanford and the A final at Talsarn, his total prizemoney for the year was £1,030. Chinatown Samuel (Moorhouse, Llandinam) was another horse who joined us this year, on only his second outing he won the Talgarreg Novice final this graduating him into open company. Although he enjoyed a couple of heat wins it wasn’t until the Llandrindod meeting on August Bank Holiday Monday that he secured his second final win, this making his season’s total £1,025. The Bold Jack tenth in the list of winners of over one thousand pounds prize money changed hands in the closed season. His new owner young Jonny James from Dorstone rejuvenated the horse, winning the B finals at Ludlow and Aberystwyth as well as a heat at Penybont, unfortunately he picked up an injury and his season was cut short, otherwise what stats would he have lodged? Second to Jayne Bevan in the saddle jockey championship was Rebecca Williams from Ludlow where she claimed saddle wins on Fold the Notes (Perks, Presteigne) and her own Nia Patrol. In the main drivers championship it was Mel Langford from Onibury who beat all comers winning 22 races and being placed 38 times. The horses which provided most of her wins were Chinatown Samuel (Moorhouse, Llandinam) Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanbister) with a tally of 8 wins and Ayr Hero (Bevan, Llanddewi) who won the Aberystwyth A final. Second in the lady drivers’ championship with 14 wins, was Rebecca Williams showing she is just as happy in the saddle or on the sulky, most of her driven wins were with Fold the Notes and Ithon Hannah both belonging to the Perks family from Presteigne, and in third place was Janet Thomas from Tregroes with 11 wins most of them coming from Turn the Paige (Miles, Merthyr) and her own Hyar Temptation. The male drivers’ championship was won by Mathew Tromans with 22 wins and 15 places most of these wins came from Habberley Playboy (Johns & Gittins, Shrewsbury) Lakeview Meg (Atherton-Rees, Narberth) Made in Wales (Evans, Red Roses) and Meadowland Olympic (Evans, Newcastle Emlyn). Runner up in the drivers’ championship for the men was Derek Pritchard from Rhosgoch with 21 wins many with the iconic Ithon Inmate (Price, Brecon) while Rhyds Panalulah and Cool Ice both from the Gething stable at Ewyas Harold added to his total. Mark Evans from Brecon was third with 16 wins, his most successful drives coming with Greenhill Lillian and Rebus from the Thomas stable at Rhymney as well as his own Ook whos coming. The junior driver/rider championship was keenly contested again this year with the title going to Ellie Tromans from Newcastle Emlyn several of her wins were on Habberley Playboy (Johns & Gittins, Shrewsbury) so father and daughter enjoyed a double celebration of their respective drivers’ championship. Second in the junior was Rachel Bevan-Thomas who enjoyed 4 wins while cousins, Josie Duggan (Howey) and Issy John (Llangunllo) shared third position with one win and one second each. Time marches on, the horses have been turned out for a well-earned rest, while owners, trainers and drivers begin to plan their 2018 campaign. Reflections on 2017 turn into expectations for 2018. Soon it will be spring, horses will be brought back into training ready to start next season at the beginning of May, the sporting cycle continues as it has done for generations in this traditional equine activity of Mid Wales. By Maureen Lloyd Reprinted with permission of The Brecon and Rodnor Express

Mid-Wales and Border Counties Harness Racing staged their final meeting of the season at Almeley. The nursery race was for young horses or new drivers to hone their skills before moving into competitive racing. Evenwood Predator, with owner David Duggan from Howey in the seat, took first place from another improver Talavary Zodiac (Thomas & Staples, Merthyr) while Shannon Edmunds on Jets Girl (Langford, Onibury) gained valuable driving experience in third. In the first novice race, the impressive Rhyds Panalulah claimed another win for the Gething family from Ewyas Harold under the guidance of trainer Derek Pritchard, while in second was the aptly named Second Affair (Thomas, Rhymney). In the second novice race, it was Turn the Paige driven by Janet Thomas from Tregroes that continued its fine form, beating Beacon Spellbound (Davies, Huntington). while the quirky Hurricane Howard (Duggan, Llangunllo) was third. In the baby novice race, the strong minded Garth Vader (Williams, Brecon), partnered by Lynne Boxhall, was first past the post with stable mate Brywins Awesome (Hardwick, Brecon) in second. In the grade B, husband and wife team Robert and Louisa Barton went head to head and it was Robert having his first drive for several months who inspired Makemeamillionayr to thrust his head out and beat Louisa on Ayr Ontario. Rebus (Thomas, Rhymney) is a little horse who has come into his own in the last half of the season, and with Mark Evans at the controls they claimed the Grade A prize beating the long time leader Scoobys Dream (Williams, Brecon). After the presentation of the season’s awards the afternoon proceeded with the light hearted races. The first was the human race where the horse was replaced with a person. There was plenty of rivalry with most of the ‘drivers’ being chosen for their small size, while most of the ‘horses’ were young and athletic. The non whip race followed when Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) with trainer Derek Pritchard in the seat needed little encouragement to claim a second win. Six entries in the saddle race provided a wonderful spectacle for the public with two of the entries bidding farewell to their racing careers. Ten year old Meadowland Hasty (Price, Brecon) has been a wonderful horse and has especially excelled under saddle usually accompanied by Emma Layton, while No Mercy (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) the saddle horse of 2017, is 12-year-old and he is bowing out at the end of a very successful career. In contrast Rebus , who was in a saddle race for the first time, flew to the front to win from Makemeamillionayr (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) while Brywins Jo Jo (Jones, Ammanford) took third. The Junior race saw Ellie Tromans from Newcastle Emlyn complete a championship season by beating from Hurricane Howard, which twas ridden by Josie Duggan. The non-drivers saw Stella Havard, having hung up her race colours nine years ago due to injury, sneak a victory with her new acquisition Talavary Activator (Roberts, Dinmore), while the final race of the day being a mike-and-a-quarter 'free for all'. Ithon Inmate (Price, Brecon) claimed the honours, with trainer Derek Pritchard in the seat claiming a fitting end to the season. Proceeds on the day went to the air ambulance. Reprinted with permission of The Hereford Times

The most prestigious harness racing 'Free For All' in The United Kingdom The Crock Of Gold Final took place at Tir Prince Raceway on Saturday 9th September. There were concerns over the weather earlier on in the day as black sky's and seriously heavy rain threatened to turn this marquee event into a swamp but thankfully the preparation work done to the track all week meant that it took the downpour well and by 6pm the sun was shining. The race had been billed as a head to head between Evenwood Sonofagun and Miraculous but when they drew 5 and 8 respectively, Porterstown Chris also became fancied from draw number 1. The atmosphere was electric as the horses came behind the gate and Porterstown Chris blasted out of the gate quickly followed by favourite Evenwood Sonofagun with Party At The Spa tucked in third on the rail. Miraculous meanwhile had managed to tuck back and get on the rail very early in the race. The first quarter was registered in 27.3 and they hit the half in 56.3 with Porterstown Chris bravely fending off Evenwood Sonofagun. As they headed down the back straight there was an air of inevitability about the fact that Sonofagun was going to hit the front and he duly did so but Miraculous was hot on his heels! As they turned for home the roar of the crowd drowned out the commentary with Sonofagun still in front but Rocker Laidler had been forced to use a lot of horse and Miraculous looked to have him in the straight getting up on his rival as they approached the line amazingly Sonofagun got back up again only for Miraculous to stick his head out again on the line in a truly amazing finish. Photo Finish Photo Finish shouted a breathless Darren Owen. Both connections thought they had won as a crowd surrounded the winners enclosure and after what seemed an age the result was declared a dead heat with the judge simply unable to split them. Both horses had also equalled the track record of 1.56.2 making it even more amazing. Two top class animals fought it out in a super race right to the line and in the end they both refused to be beat so they are both The Crock Of Gold Champions of 2017 and harness racing is the biggest winner of all.  

Mid Wales & Border Counties harness racing held a fixture at Allensmore for the first time in 20 years on Saturday. A wonderful afternoon's racing was enjoyed by the enthusiastic public after the Lawrence family came to the rescue following the cancellation at Newbridge. Two nursery races started the afternoon, with Bets All Off securing a win in the first, while Krakatoa gave valuable experience to his new driver by winning the second nursery. The first races for the punters were the novice heats. The first one saw ex-steeplechase jockey Wayne Knox from Pandy with his impressive horse The Chancer ran on to win from the well respected Ook Who's Coming (Evans, Brecon) while the impressive Cool Ice (Gething, Ewyas Harold) was third. The stablemate Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) has run exceptionally well during the last few weeks and again took top honours in the second novice heat with his trainer Derek Pritchard at the controls. In second place was the consistent Lanehouse Patch (Thomas, Merthyr) while Danny Blue (Peters, Longwood) ran well in third. The Grade B was a straight race, with Made in Wales who has recently changed hands, now in the Hawkes of Llanddewi stable taking the race under the guidance of Mathew Tromans. In second place was another impressive run for Chinatown Samuel (Moorhouse, Llandinam) while Brywins Jo Jo (Jones, Ammanford) was third. In the first Grade A heat, the diminutive Rebus (Thomas, Rhymney), driven as usual by Mark Evans, was first passed the post ahead of the grey Ayr Hero (Bevan Llanddewi), while another grey Krakatoa (Knox, Pandy) was third. Habberley Playboy (Gittins/Johns, Shrewsbury) ran a great race in the second A heat to win, from the people’s favourite grey Scoobys Dream (Williams, Brecon) while the improving Meadowland Hasty (Price, Brecon) was third. Beg for Mercy is a lovely little mare who is quietly enhancing her reputation, winning her first Baby Novice as usual driven by owner Mathew Tromans from Newcastle Emlyn. In second was another well fancied horse Garth Vader (Williams, Brecon) while newly promoted Bets All Off (Sergent, Howey) was third. In the second Baby Novice it was C U Maggie (Bevan, Llanddewi), another mare enjoying her first win, with Mel Langford in the seat who came home in front of Hilltop Recon (Lloyd, New Radnor) while the improving Afanbellsprincess (Jones, Cribyn) came third. In the Novice final, it was the winner of the first heat, The Chancer (Knox, Pandy) who romped home ahead of the fast finishing Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) while Lanehouse Patch (Thomas, Merthyr) notched up another third. Five horses lined up for the Junior race which included the return from injury of Izzy John from Llangunllo who partnered Nia Patrol. The winner was the hard pulling Wellfield Wally with Rachel Bevan-Thomas on board just coming home in front of the young Jets Girl (Langford, Onibury) and Ceri Bevan, while in third was Jess Samuel from Newchurch driving the family’s Camden Lock. The grade A final completed the afternoon’s racing in which little Rebus (Thomas, Rhymney) driven by Mark Evans stormed up the home straight to claim the win from the ever popular twelve-year-old Scoobys Dream (Williams, Brecon) while Habberley Playboy (Gittins & Johns, Shrewsbury) had to settle for third. Next week’s racing is on Bank Holiday Monday when the Llandrindod committee stage their fixture at the Penybont track starting at 1.30pm. By Paul Rogers Reprinted with permission of The Hereford Times

DUBLIN, Ireland - The ante-post betting for both the Ladbrokes sponsored colts and Diamond Creek sponsored fillies events for the 5th annual Labrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial carnival of harness racing. took another twist last weekend following two more juvenile prep races held at Tir Prince in Wales on Saturday night. First up were the fillies and eight regally bred females lined up behind the starter with the Vicky Gill driven Rhyds Mystique going to post the Evens favourite on the bookies boards. Taking maximum advantage from a three draw near the rails Mistique (by Hasty Hall) hit the front and never seen another rival as she cruised to a 2:03.5 victory. The win seen her overtake She Be Rockin and Coalford Honey in the betting for the eliminations and grand final to be held at Portmarnock on August 13th and 14th. Runner up Rhyds Voodoo was shortened further in the betting to 5/1 with Greenhilldebatable drifting in the betting out to 8/1. Mystique, stable named Ruby, is now 3 from 3 and improving with every run. Her overjoyed owners Marc and Viccy Elvin have been stalwart supporters of harness racing in the UK for many years who were forced to retire stable star Ayr Mission through injury earlier on in the week so this win was especially bittersweet for the family. The Elvins now face the unenviable dilemma of giving Mistique one more race or heading to the Vincent Delaney Memorial a fresh horse. The fact that this race is the Breeders Crown fillies final at Tir Prince the owners local track will make this decision all the more difficult to call! Rhyds Decoy (by Hasty Hall) was the subject of a late gamble in the colts division and the early break in stride by odds on favourite Tyrion Hanover made his job a whole lot easier as he delivered in spades for trainer-driver Andrew Cairns in 2:05.8, a full 2.3 seconds slower than the fillies. But as the old saying goes "time only matters when your doing it" and Rhyds Decoy only had to do enough to land the spoils and still looks a top class prospect for owners Brett Lloyd, Kevin Myles and Brent Thompson. Share A Smile rallied late to claim second ahead of Ladyford Express and while oddsmaker Dan Carlin shortened up the winner to 9/4 second favourite, Tyrion Hanover, the Somebeachsomewhere colt, still heads the market at 4/5 favourite to hit paydirt in the final August 14th. Tyrion will need to get it right on the day however as he cannot afford to fluff his lines at Portmarnock and trainer Samboy Howard will be working overtime to eliminate the greenness that plagued his Tir Prince performance. For breeding afficianados it was interesting that the dam of Rhyds Decoy is out of CPR whilst the dam of Rhyds Mistique is out of CPs Village Jigsaw, a daughter of CPR. What a triumph it is for breeders Greta and John Wright of the Rhyds Stud in Wales to have that dynasty still producing after more than a decade and of course both horses are sired by their prolific stallion Hasty Hall, whom has also been at the top of his profession for over a decade. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

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 [] Sent: Saturday, 5 September 2015 6:22 PM To: 'Bill Hutchison' Subject: FW: Stoneriggs Mystery Photo               From: William Hutchison [] Sent: Monday, 20 July 2015 9:30 AM To: ''; '' Subject: FW: Stoneriggs Mystery Photo               From: BHRC KLee [] 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:       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

A new pacing series to support grassroots harness racing in the Wales and West gets underway this Sunday afternoon at Broadheath Common in Presteigne. The series will see 25 local horses race against each other to chase the accolade of Wales and West Pacing Champion. There will be a total of 12 events over the next four months, all with a first prize of £400. Other venues range from Allensmore to Amman Valley, and from Cilmery to Ceredigion. Last year’s Wales and West champion trainer and driver David Bevan has one horse entered, Beacons Spellbound, and he will be one of the favourites with two early wins under his belt in 2015. Other notable entries include three from the sponsor of the series, Roy Sheedy and Wellfield Stud, and three from Colin Bevan from Llangammarch Wells. The tournament will conclude at Almeley on Sunday, September 27 where the top horse and driver will be crowned. By Paul Rogers Reprinted with permission of The Hereford Times

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

On Friday 23rd January 2015, UK harness racing fans learned of the passing of one of the modern day harness racing legends, Rhyds Five Star. Known as ‘Sam’ to those closest to him, Rhyds Five Star was one of the country’s most prominent Free For All class horses and his loss has been felt across the harness racing community. Born in 2007 at Rhyd Farm, north Wales, Rhyds Five Star was the third colt out of Tonda Star (Albert Albert) to be born in the UK, by John & Grethe Wright’s own stallion Hasty Hall. At public auction as a yearling he broke the then British sales record, selling for £24,000 to John Howard. The training and driving partnership chosen to nurture and develop Rhyds Five Star were Sheelagh and Michael ‘Mick’ Lord, who firstly broke him in and then guided him through his early qualifiers. These initial appearances did not indicate the level of success that would befall Five Star, however on his first start as a two year-old he finished second at Tir Prince. This would prove to be the springboard from which he launched arguably one of the most impressive juvenile campaigns seen in the UK. Rhyds Five Star went on to win the Will Cowan 2YO at Musselburgh, York 2YO, Breeders Crown 2YO Colts at York, BHRC National Pacing Futurity at York, Junior Welsh Dragon at Tregaron, and finally the Sire Stakes 2YO Colts Heat and Final at York in September. In 2010 he returned to the racetrack under the guidance of Sheelagh and Mick, and built upon the foundations laid in his two-year-old season, with the NESA 3YO Grass Championship at Staindrop being the first title added to an already impressive collection. The 3YO Derby Trial at Ffos Las followed, with Rhyds Five Star seeing off his closest rival by a staggering 10 lengths, and after that the victories kept coming. Fivestar went on to claim the York 3YO Championship Heat and Final, BHRC National Pacing Derby, Foster Care Associates 3YO, Corbiewood 3YO Derby Heat and Final, Musselburgh Scottish 3YO Derby, Hereford & Borders 3YO Colts and the Christopher Dunne 3YO Memorial Heat and Final in Ireland. At Tregaron in August in the Little Welsh Dragon he lost out slightly in the heat being placed fourth, but still qualified for the final and went on to win. He finished his 3yo year at York in September in the Sire Stakes where he was beaten into second in the heat, but a week later he was back to take the prize in the final. The only titles to elude Rhyds Five Star in his three-year-old campaign were the Breeders Crown and Appleby Grass Track Championship, however he never competed in either event. It was in this peak of form that he broke the two-minute barrier, clocking a time of 1.58.4 at York and setting his lifetime best of 1.57.7 in Annaghmore. Rhyds Five Star began the 2011 season at the top of the handicap system, a Grade 12 at four years of age. Only a handful of horses, if any, can claim to have attained such lofty heights at the end of their three-year-old season, but such was the success of Rhyds Five Star’s early career. Perhaps it was the sheer number of races in these early years which accounted for him only facing the starter five times in his four-year-old season, however yet again he returned to the winner’s enclosure, this time netting the Tregaron Senior Welsh Dragon early in the season and a heat of the York 4YO Championship. His other three appearances saw him finish outside the first four on only one occasion. In winning at Tregaron, Five Star became only the fourth horse in history to complete the hat-trick of ‘Dragons’ – the Junior, the Little and the Senior Welsh Dragons, and joined his half-brother Star’s Dragon (Dragon Again/Tonda Star), Rhyds Destiny (Hasty Hall/CPR) and Mattador Hall (Blissfull Hall/Matt’s Sunshine) in the history books. Stepping up to the Free For All ranks, Rhyds Five Star encountered his toughest opposition yet. Taking on the likes of Forafewdollarsmore (The Panderosa/Oh My Dear) and Stoneriggs Mystery (Village Jasper/Stoneriggs Quality) amongst other top class pacers, Five Star finished second in the Crock of Gold Final at Tir Prince and the FFA at Musselburgh. However, the horse knew better than most where the winning post was and returned to victory lane in the FFA at Pikehall and the BHRC European Pacing Classic. In 2013, Rhyds Five Star raced competitively, finishing second in the European Pacing Classic which he had added to his list of accolades the year before. Rhyds Five Star had amassed such great success whilst trained by Sheelagh Lord, however his owner made the decision to bring the horse home mid-season for his son, Samboy Howard, to train. With his usual pilot Mick on board, Five Star returned to Musselburgh as a 16/1 outsider in the Hazel Kemp Memorial FFA. They say a change is as good as a rest, and John Howard’s decision to let his young son train a horse that some would say had seen his best days paid off. His impressive victory at Musselburgh saw him surpass the £50,000 lifetime earnings mark, making him one of the highest earning Standardbreds in British history and only the second horse ever to do so. Furthermore, the victory saw him complete a treble that remains unmatched, winning the 2YO, 3YO and FFA at Musselburgh, one of the ‘big four’ meetings in the racing calendar. The victory at Musselburgh would be Rhyds Five Star’s last visit to the winner’s enclosure, missing the 2014 season. He had resumed training with the Howard stables for the 2015 season with a view to continue his successful career, however tragedy struck. Suffering from colic initially, Rhyds Five Star was taken to Liverpool University and had to undergo surgery. That all went well but he broke his leg in the recovery stall coming out of the anaesthetic and had to be put down. His full brother, Rhyds Mega Star, sold as a yearling at public auction in October of last year for a new British sales record of £51,000, being the first colt from the mare since Rhyds Five Star. His existence alone generated much hype both before and during the sale, and he will be closely watched throughout his career, no doubt with comparisons being drawn at every step of the way. Such was Rhyds Five Star’s dominance that he leaves a very hard act to follow. There have been, and no doubt will be, other horses with Five Star in their name; but for everybody in British and Irish harness racing, there will only ever be one Rhyds Five Star. By Sara Thomas, for

Record figures were achieved from 115 lots at the Gold Crown Yearling Sale at Bathurst last weekend. Sale organiser Graeme Board said it was the best sale he has been involved with. "I've been doing the sale at Bathurst for nearly 20 years and this is by far the best I have seen," said Board. "Everyone wanted to be a part of the action and the results are great for the future of harness racing." Yearling colt sales hit an average price of $9,000 while the fillies were close to the $7,000 mark. The sale turned over just shy of $1 million, a significant increase on 2013. The top price lot was a for Sportswriter-Sixteen Carat colt purchased by Emilio Rosati for $34,000, while Pat Bourke purchased a Courage Under Fire-Lombo Silhouette colt for $27,000. Bred by Laurie and Gwen Paton, the sale-topping colt is out of the 1:55.5 Menangle winner Sixteen Carat, a Blissfull Hall mare. Rosati also shelled $27,000 for the Rocknroll Hanover-Counterfeit Chic colt and $25,000 for the American Ideal-Superstar Lady filly, the top-priced filly at the sale. Other lots to fetch $20,000 or more were the Courage Under Fire-Pleasure Machine colt at $21,500 and the Rock N Roll Heaven-So Savvy colt and the Art Colony-Jillette colt both at $20,000. For a full list of results go to                       Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6677| F: 02 8580 5795 |M: 0411 627 113 |E:| W:                  

nter Dominion winning trainer James Rattray will head to Goulburn's meeting on Friday with a three pronged attack and is hoping talented mare Delightful Christian will lead the trio with another victory.  Delightful Christian won her first race at Tabcorp Park Menangle last week and Rattray has confirmed he is considering a trip to Victoria for the daughter of Christian Cullen. "The main target with her was going to be the Ladyship Mile but we just fell behind with her after she got a little bit sick, the good news is that she is well and truly over that and she is starting to find her form again," Rattray said. "The Queen Of The Pacific looks a good option for her because there doesn't seem to be too many feature races for the mares in the next couple of months in New South Wales, the standing start in Victoria is a bit of a query but I would give her plenty of practice beforehand to make sure she was ready for it." Rattray will also take Major Post and Jack In Flight to Goulburn. "Major Post hasn't drawn the best, he is going a little bit better than his form suggests, he can still win another two country penalty events before I think about a metro race and I'm pretty sure he has got that in him." "Jack In Flight will have his 100th start this week, he has been going alright too and there are a few country cup races coming that might suit him or we can just keep running him in races around here, he isn't too far away from a win." Rattray's stable star Beautide returned to the stables on Tuesday after enjoying a week off as a result of his Inter Dominion win and will now be set for the Len Smith Mile in April at Menangle. "I'm really happy with him, he has come through the Inter Dominion extremely well and I'm actually a bit surprised how well he has recovered from it and because of that the Len Smith Mile looks a good target for him." "The week off has done him the world of good and he had plenty of residual fitness anyway." by Greg Hayes - SKY Racing (Harness Racing AU)

Canadian Trevor Henry has driven more than 5000 winners in his career that has spanned twenty years and is set to drive at Leeton's meeting on Friday afternoon. Henry struck up a good friendship with Goulburn trainer Neil Day when the two represented their respective countries in the World Driving Championships in France last year and when Day knew Henry would be holidaying in Australia he offered him the chance to drive at a couple of meetings. "Trevor, David Butcher and I spent a lot of time with one another in France last year and I knew he was coming out to Australia with his family for a holiday so I thought it would be good to let him have a drive at some of the Australian tracks," Day said. "When I found out the dates that he would be finished his tour that he was doing here in Australia, I looked at the calendar and saw that the meeting which was closest for us on Friday was Leeton and asked him if he was still keen to come on a four hour drive each way and he said sure." Day was full of praise for the Canadian star and is hoping he can assist him pick up some drives at Goulburn on Sunday afternoon. "He passed 5000 winning drives recently, has driven more winners than any other Canadian driver, has had nearly 27,000 drives, and won $13 million dollars in stakes which is a good effort considering he only took out his licence in 1994." "I was going to try and get him a drive at Menangle on Saturday night but seeing it is such a big night I thought we might just go and watch the two Inter Dominion heats at the track instead but he will be at Goulburn on Sunday too so I'm hoping he can pick up a few drives there as well." Day confirmed that Henry had enjoyed his Australian experience so far. "Yeah they're enjoying the trip for sure, there is even some talk of them coming back again in the future, hopefully one of my horses can do the right thing by him on Friday at Leeton."   Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |              

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