The Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend is the highlight of the Irish harness racing season. Reason enough for me to get down to Portmanock where Ireland’s premier harness raceway is located. Haven’t been to harness racing for many years – the last time must have been a decade ago in Berlin at “Trabrennbahn Mariendorf” – I was intrigued to see how the experience would compare to the Irish thoroughbred racing scene.
So, last Sunday was some kind of new land for me, although I had in mind to go to Portmanock for quite a while. But if you’re not actively looking for it you wouldn’t know it’s on, never mind there is such thing as harness racing in Ireland. Finding the track itself can be a bit troublesome as well, if you’re not familiar with the area.
But once you’re there it’s just great fun. Obviously the crowd is different to what you would meet on a balmy Sunday afternoon at the Curragh. It’s a bit more raw, I’d say. Well, “honest”, is probably the right word. I certainly enjoyed. Some pints, some bets, you’re close to the action…. it’s a great day out!