BY TIM KELLEHER
TEENAGE driver Eoin Murphy (18), from Inish Beg in Baltimore, drove his first ‘Classic’ winner when landing the George Deane Memorial with Brywins Starship at Dunmanway.
Eight pacers went to post in this year's renewal and on paper it looked like a wide open contest. Brywins Starship led at the start but Share A Smile, a noted front runner, took up the running after a lap. The field was well bunched heading down the back as Supreme Sunshine joined the leader and led heading out on the final circuit. Brywins Starship was directly behind the front pair, who were joined by Blue Showdown, Showtime Notorious, American Rebel and Immortal John.
At the road crossing Supreme Sunshine was still in front with a wall of horses looking for room to challenge. Turning for home Murphy produced Brywins Starship through a gap between Supreme Sunshine and Blue Showdown. The winner and Supreme Sunshine were as one in the final 100 yards with Brywins Starship getting the verdict by a neck from Supreme Sunshine in second and Showtime Notorious two lengths back in third.
The presentation area was flooded with family and friends of the winning owner Mike Healy, trainer Conor Hurley and driver Eoin Murphy.
‘My nephew Richard has driven Starship but is gone to Australia but Eoin is an able replacement. We gave him instructions and he drove exactly the way we planned. He's a young lad with a bright future. This is the third year in a row the horse has won this race and being from Dunmanway myself makes it so special as George Deane was another from the town,’ winning owner Mike Healy said. This was also Eoin's first winning drive on a pacer.
Eoin Murphy was born into a family steeped in racing. His father, Tadhg, is a former champion driver and leading trainer while his mother Christine (Burchill) was a top jockey and driver best known for exploits with Stoneriggs Rascal, Rob Hawk and Another Rascal. Perhaps Eoin's uncle, Donal, might see his job as retained driver for IB Stables under threat.
Duc D'Arry, owned by Denis O’Reilly from Drimoleague, cemented his reputation as one of Ireland's leading trotters when putting in a faultless display to take the Grade D/A Trot. The winner made light of his 40-yard handicap, going to the front on the second circuit and winning by seven lengths in a time of 2.34.0, which was only a second slower than the pacing final.
Clonakilty-based Timmy Moloney's winning run continued when landing the opening Grade G/G1 pace with The Red Rebel. Moloney wasn't hanging around this time and made every yard of the running, giving the pair their third win of the campaign for Schull-based owners, the O’Callaghan brothers. This win brought Moloney's tally of season wins to 11 and he was crowned champion driver for the Cork region for 2022.
The Kanes have been enjoying plenty of winners in Cork this year and cousins Mark (based in Trim) and Sean (based in Dublin) went home with one each. Sean on Eclair De Limon and Mark with Cyrano De L'iton. Also, IB Felicity was a popular winner for John Boyle, who is side-lined with injury. Another notable win saw Meadow Branch Dynasty give Limerick-based Anthony O’Donnell his first winner.
A minute's silence was observed for the late Jack De Bromhead who would have been known to many harness racing fans in West Cork.