FEMME Magnifique made a winning start to life over hurdles when landing the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Maiden Hurdle over an extended two-and-a-quarter miles at Downpatrick.

Willie Mullins’ charge had a Thurles bumper in her locker and since then kept good company in bumpers.

She went off at an easy-to-back 11/4, but readily made all to post a three-and-three-quarter length success for Sullivan Bloodstock Limited and Shane and Neill Hughes.

Jockey Kieran Callaghan said: “I thought I went along evenly away in front. I didn’t even want to be in front, but I just landed there after the first - when you are riding for Willie, you can kind of do that. It was a grand performance and she stayed going well up the hill.”

Motoring home

Petrol Head made light of a 708-day absence to motor home in the Northern Ireland On Course Bookmakers Association Opportunity Handicap Hurdle for the Orchard Garden Syndicate.

He switched stables to Katy Brown and travelled well in his pursuit of Mater Matuta two out. The eight-year-old gelding took over at the last and ran away from his rivals to come in by eight-and-a-half lengths at 7/2.

Jockey Shane O’Callaghan said: “Brilliant feel! He was deadly whether I needed him to come up for me or to get in and dance, he was electric. He cruised into it very easily coming down to the last and he won it very easily.

“I went down and schooled him the other day and I was delighted with him. We came here today and we thought we had a live chance and he proved it.”

Deserving win

The always-prominent Cullenwaine (10/3 joint-favourite) was strongest in the final furlong of division one of the Randox (Q.R.) Handicap Hurdle. He regained the lead from Pettigo and stayed on to pass the post with five lengths in hand for jockey Phidelma Elvin.

Trainer Philip Rothwell said: “He deserved to win, he has been placed a couple of times last year. He loves good ground and it is proper good ground.

 “Jim (Guilfoyle, owner) is a super supporter and Baltinglass Hill won for him earlier in the week (at Roscommon).

Elvin received a 17-day suspension for frequency with the whip as this was her fourth offence.

Kalsman steps up his game

KALSMAN really relished a step up in trip when he made the breakthrough in division two of the Randox (Q.R.) Handicap Hurdle over an extended two miles five furlongs.

The Kalanisi gelding moved ominously well before the penultimate hurdle and was sent into the lead by Josh Williamson approaching the last. The 16/1 chance then strode in by six-and-a-half lengths.

Trainer Liam Lennon said: “I think he has been actually crying out for a trip, he travelled nicely. I’ve always had faith in him. It has just taken him a long time to mature. Hopefully he will go on a bit more too and win another one for the owner (William Anderson) who has been with me a long time.”

Tiernan Power Roche, rider of fourth-placed Cramers Valley, picked up a four-day suspension for frequency with the whip (second offence).

Big surprise

Robin De Roost sprang a 40/1 surprise in the Download The New Tote App Handicap Steeplechase. The 14-year-old gelding was ridden clear after the last by Aileen O’Sullivan and put four and a quarter lengths on runner-up Game And Glory. Tom Gibney said: “Peter Duffy (from High Horse Syndicate) is a massive part of that, he does practically all the work with the horse himself.

Between him and Diane (Duffy) they have done an amazing job with this horse keeping him sweet at this age. He won that race three years ago and he loves this place. Brilliant for Aileen, she gave him a fantastic ride and she gets on great with the horse. Peter got her in the beginning and he loved the way she gets on so well with the horse and he was keen to keep the partnership intact.”

Tully’s trophy

The owners landed an impressive trophy when Tullyveery Lad took the honours in the Remembering Caughoo Opportunity Beginners Chase.

Paddy Hanlon drove him past the favourite Stockdale inside the final furlong and the 4/1 shot went on by five lengths.

“Delighted he won and I’m delighted for Paddy Hanlon as I thought he gave him a great ride. He’s only starting out, but he’s a cool rider and horses run for him,”  trainer Ray Cody said.

“I’m delighted for the owners - my nephew (Raymond Micheal Cody) is involved with Pat (Tennyson) and Noel (Morrissey).”

Donovan jumps to a clear victory

THE old adage of ‘the fences are there to be jumped’ came to mind in the Tennents NI Handicap Chase which was won by Chainofconsequence (11/1) for owner/trainer Michael J McDonagh.

The seven-year-old gelding was headed by Ocodango Boy two out, however, the latter made a mistake there and unseated rider Gavin Brouder leaving Chainofconsequence and Philip Donovan clear.

After the duo stayed on by 11 lengths, McDonagh said: “We were lucky, maybe, but you never know what might have happened from the back of the last because he did gallop to the line.

“He deserved that, he has been running well without getting over the line.”

Made all

Jackson Lamb dominated the opposition with an all-the-way success in the Download New App (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race.

Sporting a first-time hood, the well supported 5/2 chance made all under Alex Harvey to sweep home by 16 lengths for John McConnell and The 119 Partnership. Harvey said: “Hood was on today, settled away in front, quickened smartly and I was shocked to see the distance between me and the second horse crossing the line.”