Day At The Track

USA's Bill Donavan's IB Coyote ignites in Ireland

01:06 AM 12 Jul 2016 NZST
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IB Coyote and driver Donal Murphy winning the 2YO Filly Irish Sire Stakes Final
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Rhyds Rival and driver Billy Roche
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A huge crowd was on hand in the winner's circle for Rhyds Rival Irish Sire Stakes victory
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Meadowbranch Roman and driver Billy Roche flying to the finish
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DUBLIN, Ireland - Renowned Florida based owner Bill Donovan was the toast of Portmarnock Raceway yesterday when IB Coyote, a filly he co-owns with West Cork trainer Donal Murphy, won the final of the fillies division of the Irish 2 Year Old Sire Stakes at the County Dublin venue.
Donovan a longtime supporter of harness racing in the US is best associated with the legendary trotting mare Maven who he owned from a yearling right through to when she was sold for a record fee of $750,000 at Harrisburg in November 2014.

Serendipity played a big part in how Donovan and Murphy became partners in the resultant quest to win the coveted Vincent Delaney Memorial a race that's firmly captured the hearts of harness fans the world over. 

Overhearing a conversation between Irish trainers Donal Murphy and Finbarr Quill at the USA Harrisburg Sale last year, Donovan introduced himself and discovered that Murphy lived in the same town of Skibbereen West Cork as Donovan's famed ancestor Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa who was exiled to the US in 1870 for plotting an uprising against the British Government who controlled Ireland at the time.

A partnership was quickly struck up and Donovan and Murphy subsequently acquired 2 prospects a colt and a filly to race in Ireland with a view to winning both divisions of the Vincent Delaney Memorial.

IB Coyote, a filly by Share The Delight out of Jill N Jones (Hasty Hall), is the first of the pair acquired to hit the track and she was contesting Sunday's final of the Irish 2 Year Old Sire Stakes sponsored by the IHRA, Oakwood Stud and Brian Doyle Air Cargo.

Five went to post in this and despite showing signs of greenness at the starting gate, IB Coyote and driver Donal Murphy was settled in second spot behind favourite She's Royal before showing a scintillating turn of foot in the home straight to land the spoils with plenty in hand. The mile went in 2:10.

Donovan will now go down in the history books as the first US owner to ever have a winner in Ireland and he now intends to be there in person when the filly next appears at the Vincent Delaney eliminations at Portmarnock on August 13th.

The 2 year old colts division of the Irish Sire Stakes was also held yesterday and had only 2 runners but both put in stellar performances to clock 2:03 for the mile. At the business end of the race at was Rhyds Rival and driver Billy Roche that outgunned Talavary Motivator and wild celebrations ensued in the winners enclosure post-race by connections.

Again only 2 went to post in the 3 year olds Sire Stakes final, but the healthy attendance were treated to a nail-biting speed duel between Meadowbranch Roman and Meadowbranch Titus, both by stallion Kikicolt. Although Titus tried valiantly to peg back Roman throughout the mile, driver Billy Roche used the inside draw to best effect and was holding on to win quite snugly in 2:00.

In speaking with promoter of the event, James Delaney claimed that he was thrilled with the whole occasion highlighting the fact that almost €9,000 was on offer for the 3 races on the day.

He was quoted as saying "for a series that's only in its infancy, more and more stallion owners are now signing up to become a part of the Irish Sire Stakes which can only be a good thing for the sport of harness racing and safeguarding its future in Ireland."

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by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

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