Dublin, Ireland – As the curtains come down on Sunday evening at Portmarnock it has been an extraordinary season for harness racing with records made and records broken in all departments.
Total prize money (including Dundalk) has seen a 70% increase on the 2014 figure of €200,000 to in excess of €340,000 for 2015.
With a total of 217 races for the season the Pacers account for 112 races (52%) with approx €144,000 in purse distribution and the Trotters with 105 (48%) with an allocation of approx €196,000.
Pacer of the year goes to President who has stretched the field with a tally of 7 wins for owner, trainer driver Shane Howard and takes on the top guns again on Sunday afternoon in pursuit of another win.
The Trotter of the year was settled last Sunday with Vichy De Moem overhauling Silvano Bello in the stretch for home notching up his 9th win of the season with Cork raider on 7 wins. With both horses on 20 runs each for the season and both expected to top the €9k earnings each, this pair will do battle again this Sunday afternoon with Joe Caffrey’s Romalus Augenaies for another throw of the dice but it might well be the Solicitor from Coleraine who makes the final ruling.
With the Jury still out on the Driver of the year it’s a battle royal between John Richardson and Billy Roche and the photo finish camera it appears can’t separate this pair.
Billy Roche and William Flanagan are both on a tight rope for trainer of the year and both without a safety net as it all goes to the wire for the grand finale.
With the Trotteur Francais program having completed its second season the winning strike rate of 66% with 48 individual winners from the 72 horses that raced in 2015.
As leading Driver in 2015 Billy Roche will represent Ireland at the International meeting in Paris Vincennes on the 5th December and Ricky Hanson as leading owner will collect his award at Gala Awards Banquet in Paris on December 4th.
2016 now looks an interesting prospect…with Dundalk set to catapult Ireland on to the world stage…..
From the Irish Harness Racing Association