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Dublin, Ireland – New Zealand’s top harness racing driver, Dexter Dunn, is having a championship season that perhaps books can be written about. Not only has Dunn emerged as one of the top young drivers in the sport, having soundly beaten the best drivers from around the globe in capturing the 2015 World Driving Championship this winter, now he is becoming an international globetrotter. Thanks to the success of fellow New Zealander Anthony Butt, Dexter Dunn is now on a whirlwind semi-working tour of the British Isles and Europe, thanks also to his success as a harness racing driver. Dunn, 25, born and raised in Christchurch, NZ, just arrived in Dublin, Ireland late Tuesday night. Prior he spent three days in both Spain and Belgium. He will be in Dublin for a week and driving at Portmarnock Raceway Saturday and Sunday in the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend. “If you told me I would be traveling throughout Europe a year ago I would not have believed you.” Dunn said. “This is all so great.” Dunn had spoken with fellow horseman Anthony Butt about Anthony’s trip to Ireland last year for the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial and Butt told him what a great adventure it was. Then Dunn wins the World Driving Championship, then Butt moves his operation from New Zealand to Australia and is in such demand as a driver he cannot miss the big races in Australia and cannot make a return trip to Ireland. “The next time I see Anthony,” Dunn said, “He tells me how he cannot make it back to Ireland this coming August and that he would ask race promoted Derek Delaney if I could come over. I said I would be keen to go and within a week or so I am in contact with Derek and here I am, traveling throughout Europe. What a thrill this is.” “When I first heard back from Anthony Butt that he could not make it make here to Dublin for my brother race I was disappointed.” Said Derek Delaney. “Then Anthony suggested that Dexter Dunn and trainer Cran Dalgety might be interested in coming and they agreed to attend, it all turned around to be great. Now I have the top driver and trainer from New Zealand coming for the race weekend. Plus having George Brennan and John McDermott coming from the USA is really going to make the Vincent Delaney Memorial race weekend something special.” Dunn is already listed to drive a few horses both Saturday and Sunday at Portmarnock and more may be on the way. “It will be great to compete here,” Dunn said, “Anthony told me what good men and women these Irish, Welsh, Scottish and British drivers are and I look forward to meeting them.” But it is not all work and no play for Dexter Dunn. “I never have been to Europe before,” Dunn explained, “so I told myself I better make it a grand trip and I have. After my week in Dublin I will head to London for a few days, then over to Paris and then I have booked myself on a small cruise vacation for just 40 people in Croatia. I saw it online, contacted the people and they said they had one opening left on one of the cruises, so I took it. “So far it has been a great holiday,” Dunn added, “I had friends and family to see and visit in Spain and Belgium, but when I go to London, Paris and then Croatia, I’m on my own.” Being able to mix business with pleasure is always a good thing as this reporter can most certainly attest to! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

Trained in Ireland by harness racing Mark and William Flanagan, Meadowbranch DJ is only two points off the top in the Anglo-Irish Inter Dominion series after three rounds. The final stage, back at the distance he set a track record at in round one, will be run on Sunday in Portmarnock, Ireland. The current leader he needs to beat is his duelling partner from across the sea, Brywinsmagicpotion. The now retired to stud Mystery Chase racked up twenty-nine wins at the track and amassed prize-money of $774,677. He was a sub 1:50 performer and won the Meadowlands Pace Consulation as a three year-old. However his best achievement has to be finishing second to Somebeachsomewhere, the day he broke the world record and put himself into the harness racing history books. He now stands at stud at Meridian Farms in High River, Alberta. His full brother, three years his junior, was purchased at the Harrisburg Standardbred Horse Sales in Hanover when Meadowbranch Stables bought his pregnant dam. They originally went to buy Mystery Chase, but found themselves the under bidders, thus settling for his full brother. Meadowbranch DJ since has not disappointed his connections; with over twenty thousand pounds sterling in prize money as a multiple free-for-all winner. He dominated the curtain raiser to the Anglo-Irish Inter Dominion series at York in June, breaking the track record in his ten-length romp. The chief challenger from Great Britain however, Brywinsmagicpotion, wasn’t allowing Mystery Chase’s brother to have it all his own way, fighting back to beat him in the second round. It was a gutsy performance and unsurprisingly another track record fell by the wayside as the pair pushed past breaking point to secure the sole ticket to Australia. At York last Saturday, both had to settle for second and third, as the Scottish Astounding led from pillar to post to take the third stage, in the third track record in as many races. He however can’t win overall, having missed the second stage. This confirms the race as a two-horse event, with Brywinsmagicpotion just ahead with it all to play for come Sunday. For Mark and William Flanagan winning the series would give them a second chance in Australia, having taken Sable Matters in 1997 to the Inter Dominion but for him to pick up an injury at the last moment. Mark Flanagan concluded “We’ve done it before, why not do it again? Dermot Weld won the Melbourne Cup, why couldn’t we win the Inter Dominion?” By Michael Andrews

Annaghmore, County, Ireland - The Grafton Barbers Free For All was the feature event at Annghmore Wed 1st August. The hefty £ 1000 purse drew a top field of 6 runners. The Dunne stable had 3 entries on the card, but all 3 were non – runners. Maybe they are ‘rehearsing‘ for the Delaney spectacular in Dublin next weekend? Only time will tell. In the absence of Styx Thunder, man of the moment Simon Duggan took up the running at the half on board the ever genuine Rhyds Boots. However Duggan had to use Boots a lot and it was left to the closers Oakwood Outlaw (A Wallace Senr) and Maithi Buachaill (P Kane Junr) to fight out the finish. The teak tough grey prevailed by a neck from Maithi Buachiall. Maithi’s connections will be pleased by his return to form. The favourite Tarawood Messi did not enjoy the clearest of runs, even the accomplished Alan Richardson cannot get through a wall of horses. To see video of race click here.  The winner has looks to grace any ring at the Dublin Horse Show, being a beautiful grey by Armbro Operative – and always immaculately turned out. The cheers of owner Thomas Bennett could be heard in Southside Dublin, where the Bennetts hail from. The winner clocked 1.59 flat, 3’s to 6/4 was the business. Race 1 went to the border region when Lakeview Rapido (M Loughran) readily despatched the Coleraine runner Camden Vito (W Stewart) with Rockin’ Johnny Burns taking third with Cool Dragon. A middling clock of 2.02. 8 was posted. The French Trotters was a lively betting heat with the right faces whaling into Secret de Star despite his 80 yard handicap. Alan ‘Spadge‘ Wallace wasn’t born yesterday and he forced a strong pace aboard the sweet chestnut mare, Ruka Verdiere, part owned  by track owner Clive Richardson. Ruka had enough in the cupboard to fend off the speedy Typhee (Gavin Murdock) and the luckless Secret de Star who was hampered by beaten horses. Timekeeper Jim Graham caught them in 3.10. The Bassetts from the Market area In Belfast enjoyed an upturn in their fortunes when the regally bred Westend Dancer (Galliano/ Magical Bell) ran out a clear winner under Martin Loughran’s confident drive from Trottin’ Joe Sheridan’s Springhill KG and Porterstown Courage ( W Stewart ). Dancer won like a nice mare and further prizes should follow off her current mark. What a prospect for the breeding paddock she is. SP was 6/4, time being 2.02.5 Streamside Star is many people’s idea of the best chance of a home win in the Oakwood Stud Derby next weekend. Saturday’s race was his sternest test so far. Alan Wallace Junr sat in the slipstream of longtime leader McElderry and only produced his 3 year old son of Kikicolt on the line to win snugly. Streamside has the strangest tail carriage, he looks like a horse with his tail docked in a old coaching print. The second is a decent racehorse so Streamside has a chance in the 8th / 9th August classic. He will need to improve again if he is to trouble the Scottish superhorse Rewrite History, although 1.59.8 bodes well for his chances.  Next meeting Annaghmore Sat 15th August. Don’t miss the fantastic meeting at Portmarnock 8th and 9th August. By Dan Carlin, for Harnesslink.com

Dublin, Ireland - The Anglo-Ireland Inter Dominion series heated up at Portmarnock Raceway on Saturday when Brywinsmagicpotion stormed home to beat heat one winner Meadowbranch DJ by a neck in gritty fashion. The time of the race was 1:56, setting the all-age track record as the fastest mile ever at Portmarnock. British pacer Brywinsmagicpotion, who was luckless behind Meadowbranch DJ in the first UK/Ireland Inter Dominion heat at York, reversed that decision at Portmarnock, taking advantage of a speed duel between DJ and his Irish compatriot Sepia Sands. As the only trailer from the second line, Brywins was quickly angled behind leader Sepia Sands with DJ parked in the breeze, overcame a gallant Meadowbranch DJ in the closing stages Six runners started the second round of the series, but it was the first two home from the previous round that battled it out over the 1600m distance. The pair drew well clear with Meadowbranch Romeo taking third and Saunders Mach 3 fourth, the same positions they filled at York in leg one. Ideally drawn on the inside, Brywinsmagicpotion held his position throughout the race sitting second or third behind early leader Sepia Sands. Unlike the winner, Meadowbranch DJ had a tough trip being forced to come right around the field to gain to the lead which he didn't manage to achieve until there was only half a lap to go. It was a complete role reversal from stage one and this showed in their finishing positions, suggesting how close in ability these two pacers are. The sectionals tell the story – a scorching first stanza of 26.7 and half in 56 saw the rest of the field struggling to keep up and when DJ gave the leader the go by in the back straight, Alan Haythornthwaite (who represented the UK in Australia in 1999) had his charge poised to challenge as they turned for home. This was a wonderful result for connections of Brywinsmagicpotion, whose owner James Gammie only has one horse in training. After the race, driver Alan Haythornthwaite said "It's absolutely fantastic this series. It's been a great booster to our racing over here. The dream's still alive, which is exactly what it is; a dream to us." Two track records set in the first two heats, so now all eyes turn to York next Saturday over the mile and a quarter with the final heat over a mile and a half at Portmarnock at the big Vincent Delaney Carnival a week later. Leaderboard – Meadowbranch DJ, Brywinsmagicpotion - 14, Meadowbranch Romeo - 8, Saunders Mach3 - 4, Wellfield Official, Sepia Sands - 2, Astounding, Rhyds Destiny - 1. The series looks set for a terrific duel between Brywinsmagicpotion and Meadowbranch DJ with both on 16 points at the half way stage. The nearest pursuer, who has filled third spot in both races, is Meadowbranch Romeo on 8 points. The third stage of the series will be run over 2000m at York Harness Raceway on Saturday 1st August before the finale back at Portmarnock on Sunday 9th a week later. The winning horse and trainer in the series will get an all-expense paid trip to Australia to compete in the Inter-Dominion Series. Due to inclement weather, the final Vincent Delaney Memorial Prep for two-year-olds was postponed on Sunday and will be held next Sunday at Portmarnock. Contributed by Michael Andrews and Bill Hutchison              

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

Dublin, Ireland - Just 5 races will be held on Sunday afternoon at Portmarnock Raceway with the highlight being the second of the Irish Vincent Delaney prep races. The programme kicks off with a 7 runner Class C&D handicap and represents a golden opportunity for Joe Haides WOLFHILL MAJOR to get off the mark for the season. A runner up last week in a very fast time, he should go one better this week and earn his red rosette at the expense of Meadowbranch Dewey and Cams Alibi. Although seven go to post in the next event, the Class E free for all, this race looks to be a straightforward match race between STREAMSIDE STAR and Rhyds Rambler. Streamside has been running riot at Portmarnock in recent weeks and looks set to have a very bright future ahead of him. Rhyds Rambler has done all his winning in the UK at Musselburgh and Appleby so his Irish debut is eagerly awaited. This clash will be one to savour and the Wallace juvenile is narrowly selected based on his course form. Of the remainder, President will be doing his best work at the end and can pick up the pieces if the top two burn each other out. Nine pacers face the starter in the afternoons Class B, C & D handicap where last weeks impressive winner HEART OF STEEL bids to make it 2-from-2 at the venue. Alan Wallace takes over aboard Heart Of Steel from Ruairi McNulty in the sulky and this partnership look set fair to win if they can reproduce his debut performance. Maximus Lad is dropping in the handicap and a win is imminent so he is likely to be a big danger to the selection whilst Afan RM ran well last week creeping into contention at the end of his race and could run a big race at very rewarding odds. Maid Of The West and Talavary Jewel are classy sub 2-minute fillies but it’s a concern that the colts could bully them out of this. The penultimate contest on the card is the second and final Vincent Delaney prep race and although only 5 go to post, it’s a case of quality over quantity in this illustrious line-up. All eyes will be on NEWTOWN ROCK here, and the unbeaten colt faces his sternest test to date here. Alicolt qualified and Meadowbranch Roman qualified very impressive last week and with improvement they could give the selection a big fright. Springhill Catch is another potential improver and can also make a big impression with the finals weekend just around the corner. The day ends with 6 runner Class A to A5 handicap and although the US import Ideal Gift makes his Irish debut, he surely cannot give 50 yards of a handicap start to his rivals. Its arguably a safer option to make this a watching brief till the sub 1:50 star takes his chances in free for all off level terms. BATH LANE was very impressive a fortnight ago in 1:57 and a repeat of this will see him win this with consummate ease. Maithi Buachaill can follow the selection home whilst Rhyds Boots looks booked for third spot. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink.com 

Dublin, Ireland – Led by trainer/driver “Irish” Joe Hanney, American interests have come forth with more than $11,000 in sponsorship money for the Irish American FFA Cup at Portmarnock Raceway on Sunday, August 9. In addition, Heather Vitale introduced Derek Delaney to Adam Bowden and now Diamond Creek Farm in Kentucky will be a new sponsor of Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial starting in 2016. Now the total purses for the Delaney will be at $50,000. The Delaney Memorial, held August 8 & 9, is the richest race in all of Ireland and the UK. “During my recent trip to the USA in March, Irish Joe introduced me to so many people,” said Derek Delaney, who with his brother James, developed the race weekend in memory of their younger brother Vincent, who tragically passed away in 2011. “It’s been crazy ever since I returned from the USA,” Delaney explained, “So many people I met are now helping us with sponsorships. All the credit has to go to my buddy Irish Joe. He introduced me to the people and convinced them how we are working so hard to help build new fans in Ireland, improve our breeding program and enhance our stakes races. “And credit too to Heather Vitale,” Delaney said, “She came for the race last year and promoted us with her video features. This year total purses will be closer to $100,000!” Delaney said he has received sponsorships from Diamond Creek Farm, Nifty Norman Stable, Joe Holloway, American Dream Racing Stable, Bresnahan Racing Stable and American Viking Racing Stable. The Irish American FFA Cup will feature the best pacers in all of Ireland and the UK. “In addition, Joe Hanney introduced me to George Brennan,” Delaney added, “and now George is coming over for my brother’s race this year. How great is that! George is shipping over his special UFO race bike and he will use it over the weekend and then it will auctioned off for charity. Joe has also helped me get donations from so many others for our big auction to help raise money for the Saving Dylan Fund. “We now have race colors from George Brennan, John Campbell, Ron Pierce, Chris Christoforou, Brett Miller and other great items.” Delaney also said that with the growth and interest the past two years in his brother’s race, people are coming for the long weekend festival from all corners of the world. “It is amazing how this little race my brother James and I came up with is attracting people from all over,” Delaney said. “Not only do we have New Zealander Dexter Dunn, the 2015 World Driving Champion coming for the weekend, but also the top trainer in New Zealand, Cran Dalgety and Blood Stock agent and stud farm owner Peter Larkin from Australia. “I have heard from horsemen in Belgium and Sweden who are bringing over horses to race that weekend,” Delaney said. “This is all so fantastic and we are making every effort to make sure that everyone who is traveling from abroad and Europe that they will have a grand time here in Dublin.” The Delaney Memorial Weekend has now been developed into a “mini” Little Brown Jug, Gold Cup & Saucer and Elitloppet, all rolled into one. “This year will be a real festival weekend,” Delaney said. “On Friday, Aug. 7 we will have a bus tour to a breeding farm and training center, then Friday night is our gala dinner for 250 people.  Then Saturday, Aug. 8  is the elimination divisions for the Delaney Memorial and then Sunday the big show with the Delaney Memorial Final, consolation race, the Irish American FFA Cup, the Oakwood Stud for 3YO’s, the Paul Murtagh Memorial for 4YO’s and the inaugural of the “Red” John O’Donovan Memorial. What a grand day of racing this will be!” Derek Delaney also wanted to point out that after the race cards both Saturday and Sunday there will be a party at the Portmarnock Raceway bar and restaurant and he promises there will be no shortages of Guinness nor Irish Cider! Anyone wishing for more information can visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. By Steve Wolf, 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  

Ten of Britain and Ireland’s top pacers front up at York on Saturday for a history making mile and a half heat of the Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championships . After two heats at York and at Dublin’s Portmarnock track (both half mile circuits), the leading point scorer will be invited to Perth Australia and contest the Inter Dominion series to be raced over four nights from November 27 to December 13. The ten pacers to contest the UK/Ireland series are: ASTOUNDING  A Scottish winner of 24 races who is a speedy customer but would need to draw well to have an impact. BRYWINSMAGICPOTION The winner of 17 races and to be driven by Alan Haythornthwaite who represented UK in Australia’s World Driving Championships in 1999, this fellow finished last season in great fashion and will be improved by four luckless runs this term. The English representative, he is one of the top chances. MEADOWBRANCH JOSH Welsh owned and trained and a flyer from the gate, he’s the winner of 23 races and has been an early season standout. The current form horse, he’ll be hard to run down in the sprint heat but unless he settles, may be a query over the longer trips. SAUNDERS MACH 3 Another from Wales, he won eight of nine last season, will be improved by his first up Wolverhampton run a fortnight ago and looms as a major contender. WELLFIELD OFFICIAL A third Welsh representative, he’s a lightly raced and will be improved by three luckless runs this term. MEADOWBRANCH DEMON From Ireland as are the subsequent runners, he’s a nine year old who’s prepped for this with three runs from impossible back marks. Keep this fellow safe! MEADOWBRANCH DJ Owned by Meadowbranch Stud and to be handled  by top driver John Richardson, this fellow is a multiple FFA winner who’s been set for the series and will be improved by recent racing. MEADOWBRANCH ROMEO A stablemate of Meadowbranch DJ, he won last season’s Famous Musselburgh Pace from a back mark. Another who’s been racing from long handicaps, he will be cherry ripe for his return to the front. RHYDS DESTINY Now with British trainer Sally Teeboon, this winner of over 25 races including last season’s All-Ireland Classic  prepared for this with a disappointing recent effort at Wolverhampton.  Expect big improvement. SEPIA SANDS At five and the youngest horse in the series, he’s  a multiple classic winner who beat Meadowbranch DJ, Demon and Romeo in fast time at Portmarnock when resuming.  He has to meet them at level marks this time but is well capable of beating all of them. Subsequent heats of the series are at Portmarnock over a mile on Sunday July 26, York on Saturday August 1 (mile and a quarter), with the big finale over a mile and a half at the huge Vincent Delaney weekend on Sunday August 9. From Bill Hutchison.

Dublin, Ireland – Tickets are nearly sold out for the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial gala dinner on Friday, August 7 at the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel. This is the kickoff dinner before the big harness racing weekend at Portmarnock Raceway Saturday and Sunday, August 8 & 9. There are only 20 tickets left before the dinner is sold out. Everyone that attends the dinner will get to hear from and meet the USA and New Zealand racing stars who have come over for the weekend. They are USA top reinsman George Brennan, renowned trainer John McDermott and Hall of Fame announcer Roger Huston. New Zealander Dexter Dunn, who this year won the World Driving Championship in Australia, New Zealand’s leading trainer Cran Dalgety and USA racing journalists Steve Wolf (Harnesslink) and Heather Vitale (Post Time TV). There is room for just 220 people at this special affair that begins at 7:30 pm. The cost of a ticket is just €40.00 each and it will be a cash bar. “I can’t believe how these tickets are flying out the door,” said race developer and founder, Derek Delaney. “After we announced that George Brennan was coming over from the USA to drive in Vincent’s race, we are nearly sold out. “I may have to talk with the hotel manager and see if we can get a couple of tables in the lobby!” Delaney joked. “If anyone wants to get a ticket they better hurry up.” In order to get tickets to the dinner go to www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com.  By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend

Dublin, Ireland – Harness racing great, driver George Brennan, has announced that he will be heading over to Ireland the first week of August to compete in the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend at Portmarnock Raceway. The 48-year-old reinsman will be missing Hambletonian Day but that is OK with him. “I really did not have a top three-year-old that I was committed to for the Hambo this year.” Brennan said. “And I have heard so many great things about this weekend of racing in Ireland and met with the organizer, Derek Delaney, and I want to experience this.” Brothers Derek and James Delaney, after the tragic passing of their younger brother Vincent in 2011, developed the race weekend series in their brother’s memory. The race has grown to be the richest series in all of Ireland and the United Kingdom. It’s for two-year-old pacers and features elimination races Saturday, August 8 and the final on Sunday, August 9. There are also additional stakes races on both days. “What a thrill this is to have someone of George’s prominence coming over for our race weekend,” Said Derek Delaney. “We now have two Americans, George Brennan and trainer John McDermott coming over along with Hall of Famer, announcer Roger Huston. We also have Dexter Dunn, the 2015 World Driving Champion from New Zealand and the country’s leading trainer, Cran Dalgety, coming over too. This is all too good to be true!” Brennan is nearing his 9,000th career victory in harness racing and has more than $147 million in purse earnings with the horses he has driven. He has captured nearly every major stakes race in the sports history. In 2011 he was named the Harness Racing Driver of the Year and that season he won both the Hambletonian and the Oaks, only the second driver ever to win both on the same day. And most befitting, George Brennan won this year’s St. Patrick’s Day race at Freehold Raceway, which was sponsored by Derek Delaney and the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend. “It was Irish Joe Haney,” explained Brennan, “who got the ball rolling about me coming over to Ireland. Joe asked me to go last year but I could not make it. Then this year I meet with Derek Delaney, I win the St. Patrick’s Day race and after spending some time talking with Irish Joe and Derek, now I am going to Ireland. “I do not know much about my Irish heritage,” Brennan admits, “except that I was always told that we are from County Kilkenny in the south east region of Ireland. Who knows, I might even meet a distant relative. It will also be cool to drive horses in Ireland. I am told it will be an experience to remember and that the people in Ireland have great passion for harness racing.” Brennan, McDermott, Huston, Dunn, Dalgety, along with USA harness racing journalists Steve Wolf and Heather Vitale, will have a busy schedule that weekend according to Derek Delaney. “We’ve scheduled them pretty tight,” Delaney said. “Friday is a trip to Oakwood Stud to see our top training and breeding facility. Then Friday night a sold-out gala dinner to kick off the weekend and so everyone can meet our special guests. “On Saturday it’s race day with the eliminations for the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial,” said Derek Delaney, “Then a big party in the track bar/restaurant that night followed Sunday by the race finals and another big bash afterwards. Then if they survive it all we will let them go on their own to tour the city of Dublin come Monday. “We want to invite everyone to come to the Vincent Delaney Weekend,” Derek Delaney said. “We will have great racing, Irish music and dancing, good food and drink, activities for the children, betting with the bookies, a real Irish festival and top racing. It is a wonderful experience in the best of Irish tradition.” For more information about the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Weekend visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Series

Dublin, Ireland - Portmarnocks eighth meeting of the season features eight races, four pacing events augmented by four French bred le trots on Sunday headlined by the annual "Painted Mile" for coulored horses. Seven go to post in the opener the F-D Class le trot where Billy Roches VIVAMENT DIMANCHE has a 40 yards starting deficit to overcome but this consistent trotter can gradually make up the ground to strike within the shadows of the post. Others to consider in this are Valse De Fourches and Tamalou Perrine. Coalford Hardy impressed on debut last week and can lead them all a merry dance in the grade F&G handicap pace but PRESIDENT is the one to beat here. Shane Howards gelding is in the form of his life at present and should win this with the minimum of fuss with Wolfhill Major also expected to make his presence felt. Romeo De Centaure disappointed last week and needs to bounce back to form if hes to figure in the class D-C le trot. Vichy De Moem is the likely favourite whilst big runs are also expected from Rohan De Thirons and Sire D’Opac who has been crying out for a gate draw. The one that could spring a surprise however is Simosa and Joe Caffreys trotter made a pleasing debut last Sunday and can improve again to triumph at fancy odds. The Grade C&D handicap pace is a mouth-watering contest where a case can be made for virtually all of the seven runners. Of these Porterstown Chris will be all out to atone for a bad break in stride last week whilst Lyons Monty will need luck in running if hes to land the spoils for connections that line a gamble. Carmel Camden was a stellar 2 year old but may need the run on whats her seasonal debut. That leaves TALAVARY JEWEL who flew under the radar last week when starting poorly but finished with some purpose to be placed in a very competitive heat. She can win this for Welsh owner Ruth Phillips. A class B free-for-all le trot pits seven evenly matched French imports against each other and the draw will be all important here. TIFFANY MONESTO broke a record on its penultimate start whilst Tonic Scott and Soir Printemps are very consistent and will be there to pick up the pieces should the selection underperform on the day. Six.of Ireland’s best pacers go to post in the Grade C-A1 handicap which sees last seasons IHRC horse of the year title holder Deans Alibi start his 2015 campaign. He may just need the run however and PORTERSTOWN ROAD is chosen to upstage Matthew Roches stable star. Oakwood Outlaw will pounce late if this becomes tactical and the grey could just spring a big surprise. Five of Irelands best trotters then go to post in the Class A free-for-all le trot. Sois Beau Gitan is in the form of his life at present but Solene De Bannes will be out to exact revenge having been beaten by him last Sunday. ROMALUS ANGENAIS is selected to glide past both of them at the business end of the race and give the shrewd Joe Caffrey his first win of the new season. The afternoon ends with one of the most eagerly awaited races of the season so far, the annual “Painted Mile” featuring uniquely coloured Standardbreds, all present with the rare tobiano gene. Last years winner CINDERELLA MAN will be all the rage to retain his title but connections of skewbald Keltic Panda have meticulously planned to upstage the striking grey and white colt aiming to cause the biggest of upsets. This looks on paper to be a straightforward match race between the pair with the race on for third spot between Kauto Star and Blue River Jessie. by Thomas Bennett

Dublin, Ireland - One of the most eagerly awaited and talked about meetings of the season takes place at Portmarnock this Sunday when the “coloured” Standardbreds take center stage in the 2nd Annual Painted Mile Race Day. All competitors in these races are present with the unusual “tobiano” gene and hail from the foundation broodmare, Silk Stockings, which dates back to the 1930s. Also known as pinto pacers, pockets of breeders have always existed in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, keeping the strain of the breed alive. Over the past decade the Irish and UK harness racing enthusiasts have taken these strikingly beautiful horses to their hearts, infusing them with the best US/Canadian bloodlines available in an effort to lay claim to becoming the owner of first ever sub-2 minute miler on a half-mile circuit. It’s not often that a world record in harness racing comes the way of one of the smaller nations in the sport but many feel it’s only around the corner with the caliber of coloured pacing talent coming up through the ranks. Last season’s inaugural contest saw the aptly named Cinderella Man land a fairytale success when posting a European record for the mile in 2:00.7. Owned by Dubliner Derek Boylan and trained by Alan Wallace of the all-conquering Newtown Stud, the grey and white colt has been lightly campaigned this season in preparation for defending his crown. By Who Who Gives A Toss, he is a four-year-old out of US imported mare Wellfield Jet (Jet Laag) and Boylan is confident Cinderella Man will see off all-comers to triumph for a record second time. Clive Cullen’s Keltic Panda will ensure that Cinderella Man won’t have it all his own way however, and the Billy Roches charge is heading into the contest full of confidence on the back of an impressive all the way maiden win on Inchydoney Beach in West Cork. Keltic Panda is by the Artsplace horse Dreamwork out of a New Zealand mare, Splashed, and Splashed of course also foaled Cullermein, who won in 2:00.9 in Australia, so the breed is proven to produce the necessary speed needed. Famed coloured sire Rorshach has two runners staked to compete in Henrys Ace and Blue River Jessie. The former having recently moved from the UK to Ireland to complete the last stages of his preparation, whilst the latter has performed with credit in recent weeks at Northern Irish venue Annaghmore Raceway. Kauto Star is another live contender and being by Who Who Gives A Toss out of a good race mare, Hollywood Star, and he’s shown improvement with every start so far this campaign and has racked up placed efforts at both Portmarnock and Annaghmore. The five-year-old Two Sweet completes the 6 runner line up and being by Who Who Gives A Toss out of Tiny Tots (Enorm), this unraced filly looks to be up against it on all know form. An appetizer for the main event is a contest for 3-year-old coloured pacers and although the race lacks quantity in numbers it more than makes up for in the quality of entries. Lady Boss is expected to go to post the warm order favourite and is by the coloured sire Who Who Gives A Toss NZ (Wilkies Wonder NZ) out of an Irish bred bay mare Beech Lodge Lady (Gold Glover US). By Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink.com

It was announced today by Derek and James Delaney of Oakwood Stud that New Zealands top harness racing driver Dexter Dunn and one of New Zealands leading trainers in Cran Dalgety are both committed to coming to Ireland August 7-9 for the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend. Dexter Dunn is the 2015 World Driving Champion, which says it all for his ability on the racetrack and he drives for trainer Cran Dalgety’s Kentuckiana Lodge which is one of the leading stables in New Zealand. “What great news to get,” said Derek Delaney, “Last year we had Anthony Butt come over and drive and because he is in Australia now, he could not make it over again this year, so he contacted Dexter Dunn and Cran Dalgety and they jumped at the opportunity to come to Ireland.” The Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial is the richest stakes race in all of Ireland and the UK. It takes place at Portmarnock Raceway just on the outskirts of Dublin. The Delaney’s have developed the race into a three-day weekend event honoring the memory of their younger brother, Vincent, who tragically passed away in 2011. The weekend gets underway Friday, August 7 with a nearly sold out seminar and gala dinner dance, then Saturday’s card features the elimination races for Delaney Memorial for two-year-old pacers and Sunday’s card has major stakes races headed by the final of the Delaney Memorial and its consolation race. “In my family on my father’s side the Dunn’s are Scottish,” Dexter Dunn said, “but my Nana is a Fitzgerald and they are of Irish decent. “I've never been to Ireland, the UK or Europe before,” Dunn said. “I am looking forward to getting over there and experiencing what Ireland has to offer. The first time I really got a good understanding of racing in Ireland was when Michael O'Mahony came over from Ireland and worked for my father Robert. I heard about the Delaney Memorial weekend when Anthony Butt when over there to drive in it last year and told me what a brilliant time it was.”   “My family hails from Scotland,” Cran Dalgety said. “My brother-in-law is Anthony Butt, who came to Dublin last year and thought it was amazing. He recommended I come over and share the experience this year. I have never been to Ireland before. “I know it will be a great experience,” Cran said, “I am sure I won’t be there to train or drive and thus will be able to fully enjoy the experience. I will have my eyes and ears wide open and always looking for bigger and better ideas because we simply never stop learning.” For more information about the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend, go to their website at www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. By Steve Wolf https://youtu.be/_qumqeXTlkM - Vincent Delaney Memorial Promo

Dublin based driver Billy Roche stole the headlines recording a treble on the opening fixture of the ITHRF summer harness racing season at the splendid Inchadoney Beach races on Sunday. Roche, one of the leading drivers on the Irish circuit kicked off his three winners aboard Celtic Panda, a fantastically coloured Skewbald, who is owned and trained by Craig Cullen also from North County Dublin. This son of Dreamwork led from the start and never looked in danger of defeat and his connections have targeted the “Painted Mile” in June, a coloured only race, in Portmarnock for this five-year-old. The “Le Trot Prix De Wild Atlantic Way“ for French trotters saw seven French imports face the starter over one and a half miles on the sand. Volcan Erem, a winner in Portmarnock last week, led for the opening six furlongs. Here Une Star Piya joined and led and with two furlongs to go looked a winner, but Roche was only waiting in the wings and pounced late on Rital Brio to win by three lengths. The winner is owned by Joe “Slim”Gannon who commented after that this consistent son of Capprico was holding up the form of his two previous placed efforts in Portmarnock. Lyons Monty owned by Brian “Redser” Redmond took the final top grade pace, giving Roche the third of his wins and sent the large Dublin contingent home happy. The winner was sent to the front from a gate draw and held off the late challenge of race favourite Maximus Lad with Ringo Star running on to take third. Saunders Picasso with Mike Goggin Jr. in the seat, played his cards late, allowing Hillside Dartanian and Scorpion to scrap it out at the front before overtaking the leaders close to home. Further wins are on the way for this five-year-old son of Play With A Full Deck . Pan Cam Drift looks another with a bright future. Lightly campaigned by owners in her three-year-old season (not fully developed according to connections), picked off her rivals with consummate ease and is one to watch for one of the big handicaps later in the Summer. IB Rapido with Seamus Quill in the bike was another to win in smart fashion, taking over from early leader Tim’s Surprise and winning from the unlucky Lyons Stallone who didn’t get out of the traffic until late. The ITHRF season depends on all grass venues which are all working farms in the area and a delay in the harvest at the Lisangle venue has meant a change in dates and venues so the next meetings will be as follows:         Sunday May 31st DUNMANWAY         Sunday June 7th CLONAKILTY SHOW          Sunday June 14th LISANGLE                       By Tim Kelleher R     RESULTS     GRADE E F & G Kelleher Bros PAN CAM DRIFT M Kelleher M Duggan ROKOCOKO Owner J O Leary MY LIGHTING BLUE M O Brien DIST 3l 2l TIME 2.17.9  SP 4/7 5/2 5/1 6 Ran GRADE E F & G C Cullen KELTIC PANDA B Roche Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH KIKI M Kelleher IB Stables IB MAXIMUS D Murphy DIST 4l 6l TIME 2.12.8 SP 7/2 4/1 EV 8 Ran GRADE D & E Quill Bros IB RAPIDO S Quill O Reilly / O Driscoll LYONS STALLONE C O Reilly M Goggin SAUNDERS PARIS Owner DIST 1/2l 6l TIME 212.7 SP 4/1 3/1 3/1 8 Ran Prix De Wild Atlantic Way Le Trot J Gannon RITAL BRIO B Roche   Inishford Syn SILVIANO BELLO D Murphy P Hill UNE STAR PIYA Owner DIST 3l 3l TIME 3.12.0 SP 5/4 EV 4/1 7 Ran GRADE F “GRAB A GRAND SWEEPSTAKE “ M Goggin Jnr SAUNDERS PICASSO Owner Pete Hill HILLSIDE DARTANIAN Patrick Hill J O Mahony SCOPPION T O Leary DIST 1l 1l TIME 2.10.0 SP EV 4/5 3/1 5 Ran GRADE D C B & A B Redmond LYONS MONTY B Roche D Sherlock MAXIMUS LAD P Kane Jnr F brickley RINGO STAR C Brickley DIST 3l 2l TIME 2.08.1 SP 3/1 EV 5/1 8 Ran 

Cork, Ireland - Inchadoney Beach is one of Irelands top “Blue Flag“ beaches and it will be transformed into a horse racing venue for the opening of the 2015 Cork Harness Racing season on Sunday,  May 17. This picturesque setting on the famed Wild Atlantic Way will turn into a 1000 metre circuit when the tide is low. With panoramic views from the backdrop of the rocky hills surrounding this famed venue, it will provide harness racing enthusiasts with a perfect start to the local season. Following the lease agreement recently secured by the Irish Trotting and Harness Racing Federation (ITHRF) with the Duggan Family, the owners of the Manch Racing facility, it promises to be a year of top class racing in the region. Promoters at Portmarnock Raceway have changed their programme to Friday evening (6.30pm) this week to avoid a clash with the beach racing in Cork and this will allow stables to have runners at both venues. Due to tidal conditions racing will have a 12:00pm start which means members will be on site from early morning to prepare the sands for the racing. With the success of the “Le Trot” French trotters program, it is hoped to stage two or possibly three trotters only races and the local population of imported horses has increased from two last year to ten this term and more owners are becoming interested in getting involved in the program. There will of course be plenty of racing for the pacers which would have a far bigger population in Cork. With entries coming in thick and fast there could be as many as seven pacing contests from Maiden Grade right up to the top handicap grades. The car park area adjacent to the beach will be reserved for horse trucks and trailers only. The access road will be a no parking area but there is ample free car parking in the Lodge and Spa Hotel (one of our sponsors) which is only a two minute walk from the track. So despite the early start it promises to be a fantastic days fare at our own amphitheatre, that is Inchadoney Beach and patrons are reminded to respect the beach which is a public facility. But for one day the front beach at Inchadoney will become our “Field of Dreams” and from the movie of the same name came the famous lines “build it and they will come, they will come from near and far not knowing why but for the love of...” Racing once again has a 12 pm start time because “Time nor Tide waits for no man”. By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink.com

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