News Articles

Inchydoney Strand Harness Races Report - Sunday 14th May 2017.

Heading out towards the Atlantic Ocean at Inchydoney Beach.

It was a good day for father and son combination Mike and Luke Kelleher who both drove a winner on the opening day of the 2017 West Cork Harness racing season at Inchydoney Beach on Sunday.

Luke Kelleher who drove his initial winner in Portmarnock a few weeks ago steered his first winner in West Cork in the opening Grade G & G1 Pace om Panam Colt.

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Skibbereen Road Trotting Races Report - Sunday 29th January 2017.

Joe Carroll presents the Pat Hurley Memorial cup to Donal O' Callaghan owner of The Red Rebel winner of the novice race.

A double on the day for David Brickley, Saunders Paris and Maitha Buachaill maintain their unbeaten run and Hillside Mustang made it two wins on the bounce were the headlines from the annual Skibbereen Memorial Day on Sunday.

Brickley kicked off his brace of winners with a hard fought win on The Red Rebel in the opening Novice pace. This one had a length to spare over Van Helsing.

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Ballygurteen Road Trotting Races Report - Sunday 15th January 2017.

IB Tweedy and Jamie Hurley winning the Novice Pace.

Jamie Hurley took the riding honors riding a first and last race double IB Tweedy in the opener and Maithi Buachaill in the finale the Grade A trot at the annual Ballygurteen road trotting races on Sunday.

Maithi Buachaill was looking for his third win on the bounce in the Grade A. Here he locked horns with his old rival Rhyds Ponder who has finished second to him in their previous two outings.

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Durrus Road Trotting Races, New Years Day Report - Sunday 1st January 2017.

Winning Connections OF Fame Earned At Durrus collecting the Jan Goregrimes Memorial Cup.

Champion jockey Deirdre Goggin and "Cools Hands" Timmy O' Leary rode two winners each while Maithi Buachaill took the featured Grade A & B Pace following up on his win in Drimoleague.

Those were the headlines from the annual New Years Day road trotting fixture at Durrus before a near record holiday crowd. The sun shone but temperatures never rose above 6 C but close fishes kept the huge attendance on their toes all day.

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Drimoleague Road Trotting St Stephens Day Report - Monday 26th December 2016.

Presentation of the Tommy Mc Carthy Memorial Cup to the connections of MAITHI BUACHAILL.

Jamie Hurley took the riding honors, riding two winners at the opening of the 2017 Road Trotting season at Drimoleague on St Stephens Day. Reenascreena based Hurley took the featured Grade A Pace on Maithi Buachaill and the Novice Pace on IB Tweedy.

In The Grade A 2016 Horse of the Year RHYDS PONDER was installed as favorite and set his usual brisk pace and led for the opening ten furlongs of the two mile contest. Here he was joined by MAITHI BUACHAILL who led at the the final turn four furlongs to the finish. The two battled it out from here to the finish but MAITHI BUACHAILL stayed on to win by 6 lengths. RHYDS PONDER lost nothing in defeat and the winner is owned by Hurleys father James and Ger Hegarty.

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ITHRF Awards Night - Sunday 20th November 2016.

The Irish Trotting And Harness Racing Federation held its annual awards night at The Village Inn, Enniskeane and both the 2016 Winter and Summer Racing winners were honoured on the night.

Starting with the Winter season which ran from Drimoleague on St Stephens day 2015 right through to Ballydehob on Easter Sunday 2016 and it was RHYDS PONDER who went through the season unbeaten and included in his wins was The All Ireland road Trotting Championship in Old Chapel Bandon.

This incredible run of victories ensured his Winter Horse of the Year Award for his owners The Forbes Family from Drimoleague.

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Manch Harness Racing Report - Sunday 7th August 2016.

Lakeview Panam and Donal Murphy.

Lakeview Panam and Hillside Aurelious who both hold entries in the Oakwood Stud three year old grass pacing championship here in Manch in two weeks time put themselves firmly in the picture for the classic with two smart winning performances at Manch this afternoon.

Lakeview Panam (Cams Security/Meadowbranch Panam) who won on its debut here a few weeks back looks a smart prospect for owner James Hurley. Donal Murphy sent this filly to the front at the start and ran out an easy three length winner.

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Grand Prix meet concludes at Ballabuidhe Festival - Tuesday 2nd August 2016.

Hail Spartacus winner of the Murphy/Coman Beverage Grand Prix in the Presentation area.

Hail Spartacus and Patrick Hill won a thrilling Murphy/Coman Beverages Grand Prix at the final day of the 2016 Festival in Ballabuidhe. The final was cancelled on Monday but for once the Sun shone to enable racing to go ahead.

Cruise Howard was a warm favourite despite a Fifty yard Handicap. Supreme Sunshine took up the running after three furlongs from Lakeview Walter. With two circuits to race Timmy O' Leary had moved Cruise Howard alongside the leader and hit the front with five furlongs to pace. Urged on by the partisan local crowd Cruise Howard had gone three lengths clear. Heading into the final quarter of a mile Hill arrived on the scene and led over the road crossing. Turning for home Hail Spartacus was now in full flow and ran out a four length winner from Supreme sunshine with Cruise Howard another three lengths back in third.

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Manch Harness Racing Report - Sunday 24th July 2016.

Brywins Starship and Mike Healy who was the fastest winner of the day at Manch.

Brywins Starship cemented his reputation as one of the up and coming stars on the west Cork Circuit with a top drawer performance at The Cornfield Oval in Manch on Sunday.

Taking advantage of a number two draw this son of Share The Delight was quick to the front and after an early tussle with Armoured Bear he quickly disposed of that challenge and was most impressive in a three length winning margin from Heather Breeze.

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Drimoleague Harness Racing Report - Sunday 26th June 2016.

Lyons stallone and Chris O' Reilly winner of the Grade D & E Pace.

The O' Reilly brothers Chris and Denis both tasted success at their local track in Drimoleague on Sunday. And for good measure their first cousin Sean also had a winner at one of the best meetings on the West Cork circuit.

Lyons Stallone set the ball rolling for the O' Reilly clan in the grade D & E pace. Punters latched on to this son of Silky Stallone and Chris was never in any danger of loosing as he made all the running to win by a comfortable three lengths.

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Close finishes were the order of the day at Lisangle - 5th June 2016.

Grade A B C & D French Trot Race.

The Lisangle track has a habit of producing some of the closest finishes on the West Cork circuit and today was no different with the photo finish camera earning overtime at the Bank holiday fixture.

Three crossed the line in the Grade D E & F Pace. From the very start this was run at break neck pace with Hell Boy and Ringo Lady battled for pole position. All the while Micheal O' Donovan on Mr Security and Chris O' Reilly on Lyons Stallone stood in the wings waiting for the pace setters to falter.

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Eight straight season's sweep for Rhyds Ponder - 27th March 2016.

Rhyds Ponder and Deirdre Goggin on their way to eight in a row wins.

On a day that Ireland celebrated 100 years since the 1916 Easter Rising, Rhyds Ponder cemented his position as the leading Road Pacer for the 2016 West Cork Winter Road Racing season.

This son of Hasty Hall who was crowned All Ireland Champion last week in Old Chapel rounded off the year with seven wins from seven starts with another top drawer performance in Ballydehob.

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Rhyds Ponder crowned 2016 All Ireland Road Trotting Champion - 20th March 2016.

Deirdre Goggin and Rhyds Ponder, All Ireland road Trotting Championship winners at Old Chapel.

Rhyds Ponder was crowned the 2016 All Ireland Road Trotting Champion before a near record attendance at Old Chapel Bandon on Sunday. With Conway Tiger a non runner this allowed Deirdre Goggin to partner the winner who she has done all season.

The pair set their usual blistering pace and led Dream Maker and Lakeside Dragon through the first two turns, the intense pace looked to have taken its toll on Ponder at the third turn with four furlongs to pace. Dream Maker closed on the run to the final turn and looked as if he would reel in the winner but Goggin had given the leader a breather and on the stiff uphill climb to the line pulled away from the 2015 champ to record a hugely popular success for the Forbes family from Drimoleague who are lifetime supporters of the sport in West Cork. Dream Maker was an eight length second but lost nothing in defeat and Lakeside Dragon was a further ten lengths back in third.

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Deirdre Goggin & Rhyds Ponder make it four straight at Dunmaway - 14th February 2016.

Rhyds Ponder and Deirdre Goggin on their way to another win in the Grade B.
(All photos courtesy of David Shine Photos)

Rhyds Ponder once again cemented his ever growing reputation as one of the leading players of the 2016 road trotting season with another facile victory in his first outing in the Grade B following three unbeaten starts in Grade C before a large attendance who enjoyed a beautiful Spring afternoon on the Kilbarry road venue.

With usual pilot Deirdre Goggin in the plate this son of Hasty Hall put his rivals to the sword in a fashion that may just put him in line for a tilt at the coveted All Ireland Road Title which will be held in Old Chapel Bandon in March.

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Deirdre Goggin & Conway Tiger turn the tables at Skibbereen - 31st January 2016.

Tim Kelleher Jnr Presents The Tim "Cooper" Kelleher Memorial Crystal to Deirdre Goggin owner of Conway Tiger winner of the Grade A at Skibbereen. Also included Michael Goggin Jnr & Snr and Carol Goggin.
(All photos courtesy of David Shine Photos)

Conway Tiger with Deirdre Goggin in the plate turned the tables on her arch rival Dream Maker in another pulsating Grade A trot at the big Memorial Day at Skibbereen on Sunday.

Goggin sent the winner to the front from the start and led Rhds Trixter to the first turn. Lakeside Dragon took up the running and led off the second turn with the early leader and Dream Maker in close company. Approaching the final turn Conway Tiger hit the front and had a three length advantage with two furlongs to pace. Dream Maker tried hard to get on terms but Conway Tiger so often the bridesmaid held on to win by two lengths.

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Goggin & Brickley share trebles at Ballygurteen Road Trotting Races - 17th January 2016.

Deirdre Goggin turns the bale in front of Rhyds Ponder in the Grade C Race at Ballygurteen.
(All photos courtesy of Denis Boyle Photography)

Deirdre Goggin and David Brickley shared the riding honors each riding three winners at a very wet Ballygurteen Road Trotting races on Sunday. The ongoing battle for supremacy in the top Grade Pace continues with heavyweights Dream Maker and Conway Tiger serving up yet another titanic battle in the finale to send those who braved the elements home happy.

Conway Tiger with Goggin in the plate set her usual fast pace but was never more than a length away from their arch rival Dream Maker.The order remained the same at each of the three turns. Facing into the final two furlongs it looked as if Conway Tiger had done enough but like in the previous meeting in Drimoleague Dream Maker rallied late to get up in the shadow of the post to win by a length. Both will resume their war of attrition at the Big memorial Day in Skibbereen in two weeks time.

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Road Trotting Racing gets underway at Drimoleague - St Stephens Day 2016.

Action from the Grade C Race.

It was a day of doubles at the annual St Stephens Day Road trotting fixture in Drimoleague which signaled the start of the 2016 Winter Road racing season in West Cork. Despite the torrential rain on Christmas day and on St Stephens morning the gods smiled down on the Drimoleague Committee with the clouds disappearing and a mild day ensured a bumper holiday attendance at the age old fixture.

Three jockeys rode doubles on the day. Timmy O' Leary had the honor of riding the first winner of the new season aboard Big Jim in the opening Novice Grade. Lailas Boy set the early running in this mile contest but O' Leary sent the winner to the front at the first turning point and ran on to a two length winning margin from Lakeview Romeo who came a long way off the pace to grab second.

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ITHRF Annual Awards Night, Saturday 14th November 2015.

Jeremiah O' Mahony Winter Trainer and owner of Winter Horse of the Year Meadowlands Falcon.

The ITHRF held their annual awards night at The West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen on Saturday 14th November last with a good crowd of all ages in attendance at the Trotting and Harness Racing “Oscars Night”.

With the Winter Road Racing season and The Summer Turf Harness Racing just past both were successful albeit the final two Summer meeting falling foul to the weather.

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Dunmanway Harness Racing Report, Sunday 23rd August 2015

Saunders Paris With Micheal Goggin in action in the Grade F & G Pace.

Micheal Goggin Snr drove a double at Dunmanway on Sunday at a meeting that was transferred from Lisangle due to weather conditions.
Saunders Paris took the opener. Splash The Cash led early with Rock On Jo Jo. With three furlongs to pace Goggin had crept into the contest and hit the front and went on to win by six lengths from Ringo lady who came from off the pace to finish second. The winner a son of Play With A Full Deck heads to Tregaron in Wales next week.

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Red John Memorial Raceday Manch, Sunday 16th August 2015

Rounding the opening corner at The "Cornfield Oval" Manch on Red John Memorial day.

The crowds flocks to “The Cornfield” Oval in Manch on Sunday for the “Red” John O' Donovan Memorial Raceday and those present were treated to one of the greatest days racing in the history of the sport at the famous half mile grass venue.
Despite early morning rain the sun broke through just after lunch. Four heats were ran with two qualifying from each heat for The Red John Flying Mile Handicap.

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RED JOHN O' DONOVAN MEMORIAL RACEDAY, Sunday 16th August 2015

Around 4.30pm on Sunday Janurary 25th 2015 the Grade A trot at the big annual Road Racing Memorial day in Skibbereen West Cork had just been won by Dream Maker. The presentation area was packed with owners and connections of the winner and the visiting harness racing fans from Dublin, Scotland, Wales and the UK who make an annual trip to “Skibb” for the weekend.
Laughter and smiles were suddenly replaced by sadness and a numbed silence when word filtered through that 27 year old John O' Donovan “Red John” had died tragically on his way home from a night out with the very people amassed on the roadside. Grown men shed tears. John was a harness man at heart living the life and dreaming of winning in his favourite sport.

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Ballabuidhe Harness Racing Report, Monday 3rd August 2015

Ringo Kid leads the field in the Murphys/Wetern Beverages Grand Prix.

For the second year running the Murphys/Western Beverages Grand Prix went to the Brickley family when Ringo Kid was a popular winner of the feature of the weekend at Dunmanway. Following yesterdays torrential rain the skies over the famous venue were blue and there was not even a hint of rain to deter the huge Bank Holiday crowd on the 400th anniversary of the festival.

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Ballabuidhe Harness Racing Report, Sunday 2nd August 2015

Action from heat one of the Paddy Connolly Memorial Handicap.

The opening day of the 2015 Three day Ballabuidhe Festival saw heats of the Paddy Connolly Memorial Handicap and Heats of the Murphys/Western Beverages Grand Prix and despite heavy rain throughout the day there was very competitive fare in testing conditions.
In the Connolly Memorial one horse qualified from each of the five heats with the fastest looser joining the winners in the Bank Holiday Monday showpiece.

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Gloun Harness Racing Report, Sunday 19th July 2015

Harness Racing is a family affair. Pete Hill owner of Hail Spartacus winner of the Thomas Harrington Cup with his grand daughters Aoibhe and Sarah Kate Cremin with the Driver of the day cup won by their uncle Patrick Hill at Gloun.

Hillside Farms who operate a breeding facility in Leap saw two of their homebreds win under glorious sunshine at Gloun races on Sunday. Hail Spartacus took the featured Grade A & B pace. Red Mischief was sent to the front in this and looked in command with five furlongs to pace Hail Spartacus began to close but still had five lengths to find. With two furlongs to pace Red Mischief seemed to hit a brick wall and Patrick Hill eased Hail Spartacus to the front and won by a length and a half.

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Ballineen Harness Racing Report, Sunday 12th July 2015

James Shanahan presenting the PJ & Kathleen Shanahan Memorial Cup to Caroline O' Brien, owner of Cruise Howard winner of the Handicap Final.

Cruise Howard collected his second big handicap of the season when winning the PJ & Kathleen Shanahan Memorial Memorial at the annual Ballineen Races which were held at Manch Raceway on Sunday. The meeting signalled the re opening of the half mile grass oval in Manch and racing had was delayed by fifteen minutes to accomodate the bumper attendance.

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Manch Raceway Grand Re Opening, Sunday 12th July 2015

Ballineen Race Committee one of the oldest clubs in the West Cork region who for the past few seasons have (through varied circumstances) had to seek venues outside of the Ballineen/Enniskeane parish to hold their annual race meeting but this small but dedicated group are “coming home” and next Sunday host the 2015 fixture at the splendid Manch Raceway.

It seems fitting that since the lease between the ITHRF and The Duggan Family (owners of the venue) for the half mile oval that the local committee should hold the first meeting and signal the re opening of this famous grass venue.

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Drimoleague Harness Racing Report, Sunday 28th June 2015

Kieran Sheehy leading the field on The Hitman in the grade C D & E Pace.

Kieran Sheehy took the driving honours with a brace of winners at the annual Drimoleague Harness races on Sunday. In the top grade preffered handicap Sheehy sent Kestrels Dot Sammy to the front at the off and never looked in any danger of defeat easing down to a four length winning margin from Red Mischief.

Earlier in the day Sheehy employed the same tacics aboard The Hitman who took advantage of a front line draw to beat race favourite Oakwood Diamond.

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Dunmanway Harness Racing Report, Sunday 21st June 2015

The heats and final of the George Deane Memorial Handicap were the feature at Dunmanway on Sunday. In the opening heat (two to qualify from all heats) Cruise Howard took the opening heat in convincing fashion. Driver Timmy O' Leary sent this son of Village Marquis to the front after two furlongs and ran his rivals ragged eventually coming home an eight length winner from Hillside Dartanian.

Cruise Howard on his way to winning The George Deane Memorial Handicap Final at Dunmanway.

The second heat saw the talented but erratic Rokocoko hold off in a driving finish from Saunders Paris and Myross Son. Donal Murphy a multiple champion driver on the Cork circuit was seen at his best aboard Comply Or Die in heat three. Murphy took advantage of pole position and dictated the pace right from the start and won by four lengths on this son of Hasty hall for ITHRF secretary Angela Hurley and husband Martin.

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George Deane Memorial Raceday, Sunday 21st June 2015

The ITHRF turf racing season is now in full swing and next Sunday one of the most prestigious events on the calendar the George Deane Memorial takes place in Dumnanway. George was the first president of the ITHRF and since his passing this heats and final classic has been run in his memory.

Born in November 1931 into a family of six siblings this hard working farming family resided in Knockeenboy just outside Dunmanway. As with all youngsters at the time George grew up and worked on the family holding attending school into his teenage years. His love of the land could be seen from an early age. Ploughing with horses in those days was common place and George quickly developed this great skill and as times changed tractors slowly replaced the horses.

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Lissangle Caheragh Harness Racing Report, 14th June 2015

It was an emotional day for young Micheal O' Donovan who drove his first winner on Mr Security at Lisangle on Sunday. Micheal is a brother of the late “Red “John O' Donovan who tragically passed away last January and Micheal took over the running of “Red” Johns stable and gave Mr Security an assured drive coming from off the pace to grab victory by a head from Keystone Wingman with Hell Boy another head behind.

On the well presented track (Thanks to land owner Dan O' Donovan)there was some tremendous finishes. Saunders Picasso with Micheal Goggin Jnr in the bike followed up on his previous win to edge out Hillside Dartanian and Supreme Sunshine in a blanket finish.

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Dunmanway Harness Racing Report, 31st May 2015

Hail Spartacus took the top grade pace at Dunmanway on Sunday. Following torrential rain in the morning the fixture was in doubt but at lunch time the sun came out and racing commenced slightly later than the 2.30 start time.

Hail Spartacus with Patrick Hill in the bike led from the start and never looked in any danger eventually having four lengths to spare from Oakwood Diamond who ran well on his seasonal debut.

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Inchydoney Harness Racing Report, 17th May 2015

Dublin based driver Billy Roche stole the headlines recording a treble on the opening fixture of the ITHRF summer racing season at the splendid Inchydoney 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 connections have targeted the “Painted Mile” in June a coloured only race in Portmarnock for this five year old.

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2015 Cork Harness Racing Set To Begin At Inchydoney Beach

Inchydoney Beach one of Irelands top “Blue Flag“ Beaches will be transformed into the venue for the opening of the 2015 Cork Harness Racing season on Sunday next, 17th of May. 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 followers 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.

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All Ireland Road Trotting Championships held

Dream Maker, owned by John Shanahan and John Mycock, retained his All Ireland Road Trotting crown before a huge crowd at Baltimore on Sunday, 22nd of March 2015. The winner led from the start but surrendered the lead to Lakeside Dragon at the second turn. Heading to the final turn, David Brickley on Dream Maker made a race winning move and despite a poor final turn he stayed on well to defeat Stan the Man by two lengths with Conway Tiger running on to take third.

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