THE Walshtown, Co Cork-located Murphy family bookended a memorable week when sending out L’Evangeliste (5/1 - 3/1) to claim the spoils in the opening division of the four-year-old maiden at last Sunday’s Co Clare Hunt meeting held at Quakerstown.

Successful on the impressive Supreme Malinas at Ballyknock the previous Wednesday, James Murphy was in the saddle aboard the son of Pastorius whom his mother Geraldine shares with former Cork All-Ireland winning hurling captain Mark Landers.

Having been a close fourth before falling two out at Castlelands on his debut three weeks previously, the €34,000 Derby Sale acquisition made no mistake this time around when hitting the front on the approach to the home straight, and in spite of greenness, snugly containing the challenge of Paddy’s Policy by two lengths.

“We fancied this lad first time out but he was unlucky to slip and fall,” outlined Landers of L’Evangeliste who is handled by the successful rider’s father Donie.

“We considered running him last Wednesday too but we said we’d wait for here. James gave him a peach of a ride and the horse will hopefully be sold now.”

The latter division of the same contest went the way of newcomer Jordans Cross (7/2 - 6/1) who initiated an across-the-card double on the day for his absent handler Mick Goff. Crediting his sire Berkshire with his initial winner between the flags, the Mikey Sweeney-partnered bay took charge when Ma Jacks Hill unshipped Alan O’Sullivan some strides after the third from home.

It was all plain sailing for the Catriona Goff-owned winner thereafter as he made light of the testing conditions to account for Claim The Throne by five lengths.

“This is a very nice horse that we thought would go very well today,” reflected Sweeney of Jordan Cross who was purchased by jockey Shane Fitzgerald at last year’s Tattersalls Ireland May Sale. “He’s a horse with plenty of speed that jumps very well who should be a lovely sort for the track now.”

Mark Scallan success

Goff’s fellow Co Wexford-handler Mark Scallan struck in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden as Star Of Diamonds (6/4 - 4/1) obliged on his fourth start.

In the process of running a fine race only to slip up on the run-in at Umma House in the autumn, the Diamond Boy-gelding dominated the nine-runner contest from an early juncture.

Owned by the J Codd partnership, Jimmy O’Rourke’s mount had little difficulty in asserting shortly after the penultimate obstacle and ultimately returned four and a half lengths clear of Taponthego.

“He’s an out and out galloper. He’s tough out and Jimmy said he just kept on finding for him. The break he got since the autumn did him the world of good and he’s for sale now,” observed Jess Codd who shares the winner with her father Joe and brother Joe.

My Kiwi Girl off to perfect start

THE Ciarán Fennessy-owned and -trained debutant My Kiwi Girl (3/1 - 2/1 joint-favourite) got her career off to the perfect start when running out a decisive winner of the five- and six-year-old mares’ maiden.

Never far from the lead under Alan O’Sullivan, the imposing daughter of Walk In The Park only had fellow newcomer Missy Mole for company running downhill towards two out. However, Paurick O’Connor’s charge fell at that juncture leaving the winning five-year-old to coast home 16 lengths ahead of Clashmore Banter.

“This is a gorgeous filly that I bought out of a field from Albert Sherwood,” remarked Fennessy of My Kiwi Girl who is closely related to crack-hurdlers Cash And Go and Catch Me. “We expected her to do something like that today as we think she’s a filly that will hopefully go on and do very well on the track now.”

Remarkable servant

Alan O’Sullivan’s cousin and multiple champion lady-rider Maxine O’Sullivan was successful in the ladies’ open as David Christie’s remarkable servant Winged Leader (2/5 favourite) registered his 17th points victory.

Having combined with Christie’s charge to take a Farmacaffley open in late February, O’Sullivan always had her mount in the front rank. Mastering the challenge of runner-up De Nordener well before the straight, the victorious Winged Love-gelding kept up an unrelenting tempo late-on to score by six and a half lengths. Notching up his third consecutive victory in March, it is now likely that Winged Leader will take in another open in the coming weeks.

Handler Garry Aherne is enjoying his best-ever season and he sent out his fifth winner of the term as Our Story (7/4 - 9/4 favourite) confirmed the promise of his fine debut second to Glady Max at Ballindenisk last December.

Our Story, who is jointly-owned by the winning-handler and his father-in-law, John O’Mahony, was moved into the lead by local-rider Derek O’Connor on the sweep towards the final fence before going clear in good style to dismiss long-time leader Mister Murphy by a widening four lengths.

“If you told me last August it would take him until now to win his maiden, I wouldn’t have believed you!”commented Aherne. “I shouldn’t have ran him at Carrigtwohill and he was running a nice race only to get badly hampered last time at Knockanohill. We’ll look for a winners’ race now.”

Mahon continues fine form

OUT of luck aboard Mister Murphy, local-pilot Eoin Mahon is in red-hot form at present and much to the frustration of the 11 bookmakers present, he collected the closing confined maiden aboard clear form choice Fountain House (evens – 5/4 favourite).

Handled by former jockey Ian McCarthy for his wife Nicki, last month’s Punchestown-third Fountain House sailed into the lead with a swift leap three out and lengthened notably well late-on to outpoint Racing Daisy by 15 lengths.

“On form, we were hoping he’d do something like that. In fairness, Ian had him spot on, he travelled everywhere and jumped like a buck,” said Mahon. “He’ll probably be better on nicer ground and will be a nice horse for winners’ races now.”

Horse to follow

Missy Mole (P. O’Connor): This debutante daughter of Getaway, who is closely related to Paul Nicholls’ Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase-winner Mr Mole, was in the process of producing a cracking debut-effort in the mares’ maiden only to come unstuck at the penultimate fence. She shouldn’t be long in getting off the mark.