Red John Memorial Raceday Manch, Sunday 16th August 2015

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.

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

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.

The opening heat went to Hillside Dartagnan who had to dig deep to fend off King wills Arrival to give favourite backers a flying start. Meadowbranch Kiki hit pole position off the three hole and never looked in any danger leading home Just Cam by two lengths in the second heat.

Ringo Star took a competitive looking third heat taking up the running at the half mile pole and winning by three lengths from Supreme Sunshine. The fourth heat went the way of Cruise Howard a winner of two big handicaps so far this season and he had a couple of lengths to spare over Rhyds Hearbeat.

Ringo Star on his way to winning the Red John Memorial Flying Mile at Manch.

In the final King Wills Arrival was the early leader followed by Meadowbranch Kiki and Just Cam. Nearing halfway Ciaran Brickley sent Ringo Star to the front and had gone three lengths clear with two furlongs to pace. All the while Cruise Howard who had trailed 40 yards at the start was eating down the ground but Ringo Star held on to win by a length from Cruise Howard with Supreme Sunshine running on for third.

The winner by Timon del Sol out of Southlands Swift is a full brother of Ringo Kid who won the Grand Prix at Ballabuidhe two weeks ago and was bred and is owned by Finbarr Brickley from Baltimore. This gave winning driver Ciaran Brickley a driving double on the day a feat also achieved by Donal Murphy and Mike Kelleher.

Connections of Red John Memorial Flying Mile winner Ringo Star in the presentation area.

Murphy won the Red John Open Preferred Pace on Kestrels Dot Sammy who had a titanic battle with Rhyds Destiny for most of the mile eventually holding on by a head.

In the previous race The Le Trot Grass Championship Murphy steered Portmarnock track record holder Silviano Bello to the front in the shadow of the post to defeat Volcan Erem by a short head. Mike Kelleher who was second to Murphy in those two races took the maiden pace on newcomer Fairdays Bret to add to his earlier win on Meadowbranch Kiki.

Co Limerick raider Gadgie Pan landed a gamble in the Grade F Pace. John Manning came in for the spare drive on the winner and won with ease. The Three Year old Grass Pacing Championship went to On The Other Side who waited patiently in third before getting a dream run to win from Rock On Jo Jo and Panam Colt. All three look decent types and look to have bright futures.

Action from Manch Raceway.

The saddle race was over subscribed and was ran in two divisions. Ringo Kid gave Shelley Brickley another win but was made to work hard by Comply Or Die with Oisin Quill in the plate. The second division produced a three way photo with Pan Cam Drift pouncing late under an inspired ride by Luke Kelleher to get the call by a head from long time leader Rokocoko.

Action from Div Two saddle race at Manch.

A donation was made on the day to West Cork Autism.

Members of the ITHRF presenting a cheque to Marion O' Brien (Partner of the late Red John O' Donovan) for West Cork Autism.

Next Sunday the action moves to Lisangle, Caheragh with a full programme.

By Tim Kelleher.

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