Day At The Track

Miracle miles by Miraculous at Portmarnock Raceway

02:58 AM 27 Jul 2016 NZST
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Miraculous, harness racing Harness racing
Miraculous setting the track record at Portmarnock Raceway for trainer/driver Patrick Kane, Jr.
Nadina Ironia Photo
Barney Joyce Memorial Championship Day Trophy Table
Nadina Ironia Photo

DUBLIN, Ireland - It was a weekend of record breaking at the second annual Barney Joyce Memorial festival of harness racing at Portmarnock Raceway last Saturday and Sunday where a bumper attendance were treated to twenty races and two track records.

Miraculous, a half-brother to the ill-fated Titanium, owned by Derbyshire's Arnie Flower, was billed as the star of the show and just like Wiggle It Jiggleit continues to enthrall harness lovers in the US, Miraculous does the same for enthusiasts in the UK and Ireland.

On Saturday evening he blitzed the 3 year old pacers record to win his heat comfortably by 2 lengths in 1:56.6 whilst the following afternoon he lowered it further down to 1:55.9 in the final by five lengths, scooping the  €10,000 first prize for trainer/driver Patrick Kane, Jr.

Honourable mention must go to Alan Wallace aboard the vanquished Newtown Rock, the gallant runner up, who still clocked under 1:57 himself, a performance that would have been considered good enough to win on any other year.

Two more juvenile prep races for the forthcoming Vincent Delaney Memorial and these were well supported by owners desperate to get more experience into their babies in advance of the big festival weekend at Portmarnock on 13th/14th August.

First up were the Ladbrokes sponsored colts and Rhyds Rival justified long odds-on favouritism for driver  iBilly Roche, who laid out his stall from the outset by establishing a commanding early lead.

The much-hyped Benny Camden, who was making his debut, ran very green at the early stages of this event before finishing with a flourish to be only 3/4l of a second ahead of Talavary Motivator, who stayed on to be third, a further 3 lengths in arrears.

The time was an electrifying 2:01.6 and whilst overjoyed connections collected their prize, some shrewd punters instead invaded bookmaker Dan Carlin's pitch in order to try and grab some value about Benny Camden, who will arguably come on leaps and bounds for the run and could be the dark horse of the entire championship.

His odds in the betting are now 6/4 second favourite from 8/1. But take nothing away from Rhyds Rival, he could do no more than win and the Roche camp will be happy with their colt, who was backed from 40/1 into 4/1 earlier on in the year. He is not likely to go down without a fight and must surely have one hand on the winners trophy with the finals just days away.

The females were next up and a calamity on the first turn resulted in Oakwood Eternity, Newtown Onyx and Jennifer Camden all being hampered.

That left What Mam out in front pursued by IB Coyote, Shes Royal and Earnies Casino. Jonathan Dunne who managed to avoid the carnage on the opening turn, then made a sweeping forward move with Triplicity at the ¾ pole and the momentum carried the debutante past IB Coyote and a tiring longtime leader What Mam.

By Kikicolt out of Tripleplay Hanover, Triplicity went on to triumph in 2:08.1 to the delight of trainer Geoff Dunne who admitted this was his first ever 2 year old winner, having never really concentrated his efforts on juveniles before.

Marc Elvin, owner of Rhyds Mystique, current even money ante-post favourite for the Diamond Creek Farms sponsored event, was on hand to size-up the competition his filly is likely to face and a comparison of winning times of all the prep races so far indicate that the Welshman's Hasty Hall bred star remains the one they all have to beat.

Coalford Honey is next best at 2/1 followed by She Be Rockin at 9/4. Rhyds Voodoo is 8/1 and Sundays winner Triplicity represents real value at 12/1.

Other winners over the weekend included a heat and final for Matt Roches Deans Alibi. On Saturday in a heat he trailed 10 yards at the off and won in 1:55.7 just a half second outside the all-comers national record whilst in the final on Sunday a 40 yard starting deficit was not able to prevent him winning again, this time in a scintillating 1:55.8. Junior and senior free for alls were also held during the festival and these were won by Stoneriggs Chris in 1:57.4 and Meadowbranch Demon in 1:58.8 respectively.

But the Barney Joyce Memorial weekend belonged to Patrick Kane and Miraculous, who has now brought his winnings to almost  €50,000 in less than 2 seasons and with the Breeders Crown in Tir Prince and the Oakwood Stud Derby at Portmarnock, more big prizes await the Arts Conquest colt out of Another Mattie.

by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

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