Mangan stars as long trip from Tyrone pays off for Abou Ben
ANDREW Oliver might have been out of luck in the French Derby, but his Co Tyrone yard made the long trip to Listowel a winning one by taking the finale at the Kerry venue.
Benefiting from a fine ride by Jane Mangan, Oliver's 11-year-old Abou Ben showed his younger rivals the way home in the Bryan McMahon (QR) Race.
After a slow early pace, Mangan decided to send her mount into the lead down the back straight and it proved a decisive move. Rocket Man and favourite Sweet My Lord both threw down challenges, but Abou Ben (4/1) battled gamely for a three-quarters of a length success.
Ger O'Leary-trained Busalla (6/1) made the running under Shane Foley to edge out Killourney Empress by a short head in the St John's Literary Handicap. Earlier, Dermot Weld's Glory Boy (2/1) showed improvement for his debut run in April by landing the juvenile maiden over seven furlongs.
Pat Smullen brought him down the outside to tackle favourite Ruler Of France in the final furlong and take the spoils. Weld looked to have found a fine opportunity for favourite Cocktail Hour in the three-year-old auction maiden over a mile, but it was John Joe Walsh's Lady Giselle who seized her opportunity. Gary Carroll had the 6/4 second favourite bowling along and Smullen's mount was readily seen off by five lengths.
Aidan O'Brien was expected to capture the Croome House Stud Handicap with odds-on market leader Marchese Marconi, but Joseph O'Brien's mount could not shake off John Bleahen's Fleur De Nuit (4/1) which won comfortably enough under Declan McDonogh.