SOUTH African jockey Mpumelelo Mjoka made his first ride in Ireland a winning one as Fleetfootsoldier landed a gamble in the Book Online @ DundalkStadium.com Handicap over a mile.
Kevin Coleman’s charge was backed from 33/1 to 12/1 and was sent to the front by Mjoka in the final quarter of a mile.
Knockmore Prince, the 2/1 favourite, kept on well in the closing stages but was a neck adrift at the line.
Coleman said: “This lad is good, he’s had over 80 winners. I got two good jockeys from South Africa - Calvin Ngcobo has ridden plenty of winners as well. They work for me.
“I approached plenty of guys and these two guys were on the list. Calvin rode Red Vermillion here about a month ago. They are only here about a month. We will try and get them a few outside rides, but it is tough in Ireland.”
The winner prevailed in the colours of the trainer’s mother, Mrs Eileen Coleman.
Jockey Emma Murphy savoured the first success of her career aboard Akmaam (10/1) in the Dundalk Winter Series Handicap over a mile.
The five-year-old gelding made headway entering the straight and came with his run between horses at the furlong marker. He kept on best to lead close home and won by a neck.
Murphy said: “I’m absolutely delighted with him. It is my mum (Gail Murphy) that owns him, it is great for the whole family.
“It is an incredible feeling, it is something you just don’t know how it feels until you experience it.
“I’m from Kilcullen, Co Kildare and I’m 18. I’ve been riding horses all my life and come from a showjumping background. All my family was into racing and I knew this was what I wanted.
“I am apprenticed to Johnny (Levins, trainer of Akmaam) and he has been absolutely incredible to me from day one.”
Xpress hits into overdrive
SAM’s Xpress won over six furlongs in Dundalk last month and dropped back to five furlongs to bolt up under Oisin McSweeney for owner Gerrit O’Reilly in the Happy St Patrick’s Weekend Handicap.
The 10/3 favourite soon led and powered home in the final furlong despite drifting to his right. He had three and three-quarter lengths in hand at the winning post.
Trainer Kieran Cotter said: “He has loads of boot, piles of boot. He could turn out next Sunday in a three-year-old only handicap in Naas or we might look for a decent pot for him, we’ll see what the handicapper does.”
Cillian McConnell conjured up a strong finish from Make The Switch to nab stablemate No Trouble in the closing stages of the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Claiming Race over an extended 10 furlongs.
After the 4/1 shot came in by half a length for owner Derek Kierans, McConnell said: “It (stamina) did come into play, I think I just outstayed our other horse at that trip.
“They kind of quickened away from me and I got caught in a pocket coming around the bend, and I thought I might only finish second or third.
“Then he just stayed and stayed and stayed at it down the middle, and he just outstayed No Trouble there.”
James McAuley claimed runner-up No Trouble and third-placed Bringsty while Eric McNamara claimed ninth-placed Adatorio.
Neverfindanother U (7/2) improved upon a runner-up berth in Dundalk last month when taking the Easter Week Racing 11th & 14th Apr Handicap.
Robert Whearty kept her up to her work to come home by half a length for owner Leo Reilly.
“It was (a fair effort from stall 16), we were worried about the draw. Thrilled for Leo, a home-bred filly,” said trainer Tom Gibney.
“There was plenty of merit in her last run and she is improving with her racing. She handles a cut in the ground, so we are kind of looking forward to going to the grass.”
Bennett is best on Good Man
NEVE Bennett and S’all Good Man came home best to land the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap by a length and three-quarters at 13/2.
Bennett, in owner Gary Davis’ colours, said: “We were actually travelling fairly slow for him, he has a big stride and likes to bowl along. I just kept him together and he was ready to open up when I asked. It’s always nice to get a winner for Bill (Farrell, trainer), it keeps him busy!”
Almendares (3/1) showed his battling qualities to win the Bet InPlay On Racing With BetVictor Race by half-a-length after hitting the front for Andrew Slattery in the final 150 yards of this six-furlong contest.
Trainer Andy Slattery said: “He’s improving on every run, he’s going the right way and two (wins) on the bounce.
“He’ll probably be sold now I’d imagine, Hong Kong was interested in him during the week. He was rated 81, so we came here and he will probably go to 90 now. He’s getting better and I think there is more to come.” The winner scored for the trainer’s sister-in-law Sharon Slattery.
Tai Sing Yeh made all for Joey Sheridan from stall one to surge home in the Bet On The Gold Cup With BetVictor Handicap over six furlongs.
The 13/2 shot was five lengths clear halfway and was driven home by Sheridan to win by two and a quarter lengths at the line.
A delighted trainer James McAuley said: “Joey is brilliant for that (front-running), he really is. If ever a jockey was made for a horse, it was him especially with the hotpot (third-placed Dream Today), and the only way to do it was to try and be aggressive and see - catch me if you can.”
McAuley also saddled the runner-up, Inflection Point.