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Dunn Upsets Field In Delaney Memorial

Published: August 14, 2016 10:21 pm ET

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Two track records, one major upset and a grand time for the thousands of people in attendance headlined the final day of the 5th annual Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend at Portmarnock Raceway in Ireland on Sunday (August 14).

By the end of the weekend if they had had a key to the racetrack at Portmarnock, they would have given it to the World Driving Champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn, as he stole the show over the two-day meet.

Dunn, who wowed the crowds last year in his debut at the Vincent Delaney Memorial, showed the fans his universal driving abilities, scoring four winners during the meeting, capping it off with a stunning upset in the very last race of the day Sunday.

It was the final of the inaugural Vincent Delaney Memorial for two-year-old filly pacers, sponsored by Diamond Creek Farm and the Adam Bowden Family of Kentucky. Dunn, who had qualified two horses for the final on Saturday, made the right choice in selecting IB Coyote to drive in the final.

The 13th race saw the overwhelming favourite, Rhyds Mystique and driver Vicky Gill, who has won two of the last three Vincent Delaney Memorial finals, find early clearance starting from the second tier in post eight, and work their way to the lead before the opening quarter in :29.3.

Rhyds Mystique, who had rattled off five straight wins, including a 2:02.1 triumph Saturday in her elimination race, had Jennifer Camden (Aaron Merriman) right on their backs and then were faced with Dexter Dunn coming first-over with IB Coyote.

They went to the half-mile marker in :59.6 and then Gill backed off the pace to the three-quarters in 1:31.5, preparing for a sprint home to the finish. But that was not in the cards for them today.

With Dunn’s IB Coyote looking to begin to fade on the final turn, driver Mick Lord sent Greenhill Debatable three-wide to nearly loop the race leaders and that move seemed to wake IB Coyote up as Dunn kept her alive despite being parked out for most of the one-mile race.

Then in a dramatic stretch drive, IB Coyote dug down deep and Dunn kept her going through the finish to win by a half-length in 2:02.8 over Greenhill Debatable with Jennifer Camden a close third. Rhyds Mystique faded to sixth-place.

“I wanted to give chase early,” Dunn explained, “and get her up close to the action, but it didn’t work out that way and we ended up getting parked. But boy was she handy today. By the final turn, I did not think she would make do, but she came back super strong to win it.”

Sent off at odds of 5-1, IB Coyote earned her second straight win, a lifetime mark and her third victory on the season. The daughter of Dark Bay is trained by Tadhg Murphy and co-owned by Bill Donocan and the IB Stables.

In the Vincent Delaney Memorial final for the colts, it was the American-bred son of Somebeachsomewhere, Tyrion Hanover, who went off as the wagering favourite and did not disappoint the fans, but gave them a bit of a scare in winning the 11th race.

Dragons Den (John Richardson) started off the show and then gave way to Rhyds Rival (Billy Roche) to the opening quarter-mile in :29.4. Benny Camden (Alan Richardson) was first-over and pressured the leader to a half-mile in a quick :57.6 with Tyrion Hanover and driver Richard Haythornthwaite coming up into second-over position.

With momentum at their advantage, Haythornthwaite allowed Tyrion Hanover to keep going and sent him three-wide by the three-quarters in 1:29.5 and, despite being parked out, Tyrion Hanover kept eating up ground and, once they started down the stretch, he not only collared the leaders, but passed them by to win with ease by one and one-half lengths in 2:01.5. Dragons Den was able to come back for second-place with Harrison Camden (Martin Loughran) closing for third-place.

“I didn’t want to rush him too much,” Haythornthwaite said, “but I had to make sure I kept him on the move. He was making up ground with that big move on the final turn and he still had a little left for the finish.”

“He’s pretty good to train and easy tempered to work with,” said trainer Samboy Howard of Tyrion Hanover. “I guess we’re partying tonight for sure.”

A $14,000 yearling purchase last year at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania by John James Howard, Sr. (Samboy’s father), Tyrion Hanover earned his second straight win and a lifetime mark.

The track records at Portmarnock began to fall starting in the eighth race as driver Alan Wallace and Coalford Tetrick were able to wire the field in the 1-1/2 miles Paul Murtagh Sr. Four-Year-Old Derby Pace in 2:58.5, winning with ease by three lengths.
The pocket-sitting JMS Hallstar (Gavin Murdoch) was second with Evenwood Sonofagun (William Laidler) third. Sired by Rouge Hall, Coalford Tetrick is owned and trained by Stephan Jones.

Then in the Oakwood Stud Three-Year-Old Derby Pace, the sensational son of Arts Conquest, Miraculous, winner of the 2015 Vincent Delaney Memorial, set the track record for colts at 1-1/2 miles, also wiring the field by two lengths for driver Patrick Kane, Jr. in 2:59.7. Rival Newtown Rock (Dexter Dunn) was second with Arts Pace Hill (Andrew Cairns) third. The win was the sixth straight for Miraculous, who is trained by Sally Teeboon for owner S. Arnie Flower.

The sixth race, the Rocknroll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American Cup Free-For-All Pace, sponsored by the Bellino Racing Stable -- with Joe Bellino and his family, eight in all, coming over for the big race weekend -- saw Porterstown Road and driver Aaron Merriman first on the lead. They could have stopped the race right then as Merriman and Porterstown Road never looked back, strolling to the wire to win by four open lengths in 1:57 over Bath Lane (John Richardson) with Deans Alibi (Dexter Dunn) third.

“What a super weekend this has been,” said Derek Delaney, head of the Vincent Delaney Memorial Committee that organizes the entire weekend. “Each year, this race weekend gets bigger and bigger with racing fans, owners, breeders, trainers and drivers from around the world coming here to Ireland. It is just fantastic.”

Derek and his brother, James Delaney, developed the race weekend in 2012 in memory of their young brother Vincent, who tragically died in 2011. It has become the biggest and richest race weekend in all of Ireland and the UK.

(With files from Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend)

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