The race to the champion point-to-point title has ensured that both Longhouse Music and Kruzhlinin continue to set new records, with the pair both recording their 11th successes of the season.
The latter entered the weekend trailing by one winner on account of two consecutive defeats at Fairyhouse and Necarne, with that latest defeat in Fermanagh initially resulting in his connections announcing that they would be bringing his season to an end.
However following a change of heart, the Gordon Elliott-trained 12-year-old featured among the ten runners for the Houston Coachworks open lightweight at Loughanmore on Saturday. The former Grade 3 winner took over from the veteran Mount Colah coming to the final fence and went on to record a four-length victory in the hands of Jamie Codd – bringing him to the ten-winner mark.
That ensured Longhouse Music and Kruzhlinin were tied at the top of the table entering Sunday’s action at Ballindenisk and Loughrea, and they remain tied after both enjoyed their respective 11th successes.
Kruzhlinin was reunited with Barry O’Neill for the Cork Plastics open at the Co. Cork venue as for the second time within a month, he appeared on consecutive days. His bid for a weekend double had failed at Fairyhouse last month, however there were no such issues at Ballindenisk as he got the better of Eugene O’Sullivan’s Ballyragget winner Electric Concorde by three lengths.
Thirty minutes earlier, his big title rival Longhouse Music, had briefly regained the advantage when with her 11th success in the Galway Race Committee open at Loughrea. Despite just two horses lining up in opposition, Sam Curling’s daughter of Gamut did not face an easy task as Pat Doyle’s Samanntom provided some stiff opposition, not going down lightly in his own quest to win a fourth race on the bounce and aid his rider Susie Doyle’s own title aspirations in the process.
The John Duggan-owned and bred mare came through that test, as she went on to win by a length-and-a-half.
With just two weekends of racing remaining, the pair who have set the standard all season long, are tied on 11 winners apiece, and the battle could well re-commence next weekend when the action takes place at Tralee on Saturday and Inchydoney on Sunday.