O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL!
If you love trotting then there is only one place to be on Monday night, Tir Prince in Towyn North Wales. The finest horses in Britain come together once a year for the finest single nights harness racing in the UK. This year is no exception as Tir Prince stages 8 races including 5 free for alls.
This night is always a special occasion the first Crock of Gold final was won by Frisco Titan in 1.594 in 2004 (then a track record) in 2005 Scoot Around won in 1.588 (new record) and again in 2006 in dire conditions. In 2007 we had the controversial disqualification of Galliano (Alan Richardson drives Earned Income tonight) with the eventual winner being Connors Dragon in 1.586. Last year Kiki Kolt won in a tactical race. In the meantime the track record was lowered to 1.581 by the Big Guy then by Lyons Mach 1 in the Billy Williams FFA last year but earlier this year Crown Manhattan lowered it to 1.574 in a heat of the Crock of Gold. Other notable winners here this year were Ayr Glory just beating Laneside Lexus and Blue Russian in 1.584 and He’s For Real who smashed the 1 1/4 mile British record in 2.286 just beating River Inny by 1 length. The final also includes Earned Income double winner at Tregaron, Terripan Hanover and Bon Jasper.
We also have the Billy Williams FFA that includes Doonbeg the $1 million winner just added to the Portersdown stables. I am really looking forward to see if he can handle the conditions at Tir Prince. It is in a fantastic 10 horse field up against some really good horses Laneside Lexus, River Inny etc etc etc. The track record went in this race last year and if the conditions are right (as I write the forecast is for light rain) then 1.56 and a new UK mile record is a possibility.
The Welsh Cup final FFA is a very open race, local horse Catscam a multi winner here this year won in 2.015 last week in blustery conditions and Immpartial has won its last 3 racxes. In the William Hill FFA should have another fast race and all 9 will fancy their chances with Cutchall Hanover and Strike Gold have ran under 1.59 here this year. The trot mile record is also under threat in the Star Trade trophy FFA if Stas Hazelhaar has a good run.
The card is finished off with a very competitive grade 5 and 6 race for the Len Bach trophy with 4 Irish entries competing against Art Hall, Gonatray and Pallethill Storm to name but 3 that fancy their chances. In the grade 3 and 4 race John Richardson’s under 2 minute Tailgate Princess gets 10 yards from Geoff Dunne’s Portersdown Kirk a winner here in 1.593 in August. In the first race local horse Caenwood Rhapsody is going for a hatrick of wins here but will have tough opposition from double winner here Wellfield Muffo and Stoneriggs Mystery a winner of its first two races.
track director added “Whatever happens on Monday I can honestly say the racing here this year has already been exceptional with over 30 horses having ran the equivalent of under 2 minutes and 12 under 2 minute rugs having already been given out. We try every week to put as many free for alls on that is possible with the horses that are entered and this continues to raise the standards of racing at all levels. I believe that this is the future for harness racing not heats and finals that are so beloved elsewhere. The track has been in fabulous condition and we must thank our groundsman Mick the Stck for a great effort this year. We have also been blessed with a large contingent of stewards who have travelled large distances from Mid Wales and the Midlands every week, we believe this adds to our credibility and integrity at Tir Prince. I believe if the sport has a long term future in the bookies then we have to get races at half mile hard tracks, the racing public then sees our sport at its best and its added benefit is that recorded times for horses are a good comparable standard for those wanting to bet and only our sport can offer this!
We look forward to the future with opptimism and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us this year.”
Racing returns to Tir Prince on Tuesday 1st June 2010 all being well.