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Report | Ballindenisk 19th May 2019

Co Kerry-based handler Michael Mangan sent out Strengthofmind, the only horse that he has in harness at present, to win the opening Goffs UK Spring Sale four-year-old maiden on an afternoon that witnessed pristine ground conditions thanks to the track being spiked and watered in the days leading up to the meeting.

Strengthofmind, who finished ninth on his only previous outing behind Skatman at Dromahane in April, was always well positioned under Declan Queally and he moved through to challenge Lively Citizen before the second last.

The winning son of Jeremy assumed command on the run to the final fence and he quickened on the flat to beat the staying on Dreal Deal by a length.

"He improved a lot from his run at Dromahane and the bit of nice ground helped him too," said Mangan's former amateur rider son Gerry of Strengthofmind, a €15,000 Goffs Land Rover sale graduate that's owned by the Happy Valley Syndicate.

Barry O'Neill dominated the meeting by recording a hat-trick and the reigning champion opened his account aboard Colin Bowe's seasonal debutant Hello Pilgrim in the 17-runner Coolmore & McCarthy Commercials five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

The successful mare was always well in touch and she went to the front before two-out.
However she then gave her supporters major cause for alarm by erring at the final fence when well and truly in command.

O'Neill retained his balance and Hello Pilgrim ultimately beat Esthers Marvel by four lengths in the colours of The Caeser Club from Thomastown in Co Kilkenny.

"She came back in late and she likes the nice ground. She will now go over hurdles," said Bowe. 

Bowe also supplied O'Neill with his next winner courtesy of Collingwood Court, who was still lying in second spot when unseating at the final fence in a Fairyhouse unplaced maiden three weeks earlier. The Don Foster- owned gelding got into a lovely rhythm close to the pace and he made the decisive move by forging to the front well after three-out in the Tattersalls Ireland five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The winning son of Court Cave was never in the slightest danger thereafter and he drew clear on the run to the final fence to see off Galavantin by six lengths.

"He's a horse that has improved and he was running a nice race at Fairyhouse the last day," said Bowe who enjoyed an across the card treble on the day.

The Gordon Elliot-trained Kruzhlinin brought up Barry O'Neill's hat-trick by adding to his Loughanmore success 24 hours earlier to record his 11th success of the campaign in the Cork Plastics open.

The German-bred veteran now stands at the top of the leader board with Longhouse Music in the race to be crowned this season's champion pointer.

Kruzhlinin was waited with in this seven-runner contest and there was only going to one outcome from the time that he eased to the front on the run to the last and he duly returned with three lengths to spare over Electric Concorde.

Kruzhlinin's owner Camilla Sharples, paying an initial visit to Ballindenisk, said: "He's a fabulous horse that owes me nothing.

We will see how he comes out of the race and there are a few options for him next weekend."

The Pat Healy-trained mare Lulu's Oakwood sprung a major surprise by recording a last-gasp success under Eoin O'Brien in what was the closest finish of the afternoon in the Careys Tool Hire, Cork Builders Providers, Aidan O’Shaughnessy confined maiden.

She'll Be Back appeared the most likely winner once sweeping into the lead two-out, but John Beamish's charge didn't aid her cause by erring at the final fence.

The eventual winner then stayed on stoutly with Eoin O'Brien as the line approached to edge out the hard-ridden She'll Be Back by a nose.

"She's a lovely mare and she didn't run since Inch over Easter. She's a mare that stays well and we will go to Kinsale in two weeks’ time with her now," commented Midleton-based owner/trainer Healy of Lulu's Oakwood, homebred by his wife Grainne.

The concluding Geaneys Properties winner-of-two saw Minimum Mix supplemented his maiden victory at Portush's autumn meeting by showing a clean pair of heels to his rivals in this closing contest under his Co Wicklow-based handler John Walsh's son James. 

The grey always impressed by the manner with which he travelled and he effortlessly picked up the running after two-out.

Although then erring at the final fence, the victorious seven-year-old gamely maintained the tempo to account for Solo Cargo by six lengths.

The elder Walsh said: "He did it well and he's enjoying the sun on his back. We might run him again at either Kinsale or Ballingarry in two weeks’ time."

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