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

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.

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

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.

Rhyds Ponder started his winning run here in Old Chapel last year in the Grade C and has gone on to remain unbeaten since.

Deirdre Goggin and Rhyds Ponder on there way to winning the All Ireland road Trotting Championship at Old Chapel.

There was a huge welcome in the winners enclosure with everyone trying to get in to congratulate the winning connections.

Those scenes were also seen earlier in the day when Lakeview Walter owned locally by C & R Joyce won the Grade D race. IB Rapido looked to have done enough to win but was collared close home by Lakeview Walter who followed up on his recent Durrus success.

Connections of LAKEVIEW WALTER collecting The Noel Ryan Trophy for the Grade D Pace.

David Brickley second on Dream Maker in the feature rode two winners on the day. The classy veteran Ringo Kid made light work of his five rivals in the Grade E. This son of Timon Del Sol led from the start and never looked in any danger of defeat romping to a five length win from Wellfield Damian.

Tactician Du Lys an imported French Trotter has only tasted defeat once and was all the rage to win another but Brickley had Meadowbranch Kiki in front early and really served it up to his vaunted rival and despite a late rally this son of KikiColt had two lengths in hand at the finish.

MEADOWBRANCH KIKI and David Brickley winning the Grade C Pace.

The opening Novice Pace was full of drama. Lakeview Romeo had a heathly advantage early but See You Later led at the second turn. Facing the final turn See You Later went off stride and allowed Lakeview Romeo to lead and win.

Marie "Funsize" Moloney winning jockey of LAKEVIEW ROMEO.

The ITHRF next week launch a new monthly draw confined to 300 tickets with a prize of €1000 on offer each month and three consolation prizes of €100. Tickets costing €10 are available from any club member.

The final road meeting of the season takes place next Sunday in Ballydehob.

By Tim Kelleher.

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