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  Family B-21: Polly Murphy

This family was included in the Family Table of Racehorses because one of its members, Kirkland, won the Grand National Steeplechase. The taproot mare, Polly Murphy, was said to be a thoroughbred mare, but her history has been lost, although she was in Ireland when covered by Superior, around 1810. Most of the stallions in this family line were thoroughbreds: Vestris (1828, by Whalebone) was bred in England, but taken to Ireland by Lord Verulam, and Dough was a thoroughbred by Tearaway, bred in Ireland in 1845. Sensation, the sire of Kirkland's grandam, was out of a Norfolk trotting mare. Kirkland's brother, Kirko, won the Irish Grand National in 1903.

Notable Descendants


Kirkland ch.g. 1896
(Kirkham - mare by Perizonius)
A more than useful chaser with a long career, he won the Grand National Steeplechase in 1905. Bred by the Rev. E. Cliford of Newcastle, Co. Limerick, he was purchased by Tom Hartigan, for whom he won the Kilmallock Steeplechase in 1900, and placed in four other chases held at small country meetings. Hartigan then sold him to Liverpool-born Frank Bibby. He won ten steeplechases up to 1902, including the Grand Sefton Steeplechase. He first ran in the National in 1903, placing fourth (Manifesto beat him by a short head for third); every single other unplaced horse in that field fell. He ran again in 1904, this time placing second, by eight lengths, to Moiffa. In 1905 he started second favorite to Moiffa, who fell, and won the race, ridden by "Tich" Mason. His subsequent career was unimpressive, although in 1908, carrying top weight, he managed to place seventh after a fall in Rubio's Grand National.

His sire, Kirkham, had been bred in Australia; he was by the champion Australian sire, Chester, and out of La Princess, by Cathedral (a Newminster son) who had been sent to Australia in 1882.

Kirko b.g. 1897
(Kirkham - mare by Perizonius)
A full brother to Kirkland, he won the Irish Grand National in 1903 for his owner, Tom Hartigan.

Descent Chart

Polly Murphy (f), no information recorded
  Mare (f) by Grace's Superior
    Mare (f) by Fitz-Andrew
     Mare (f, c.1830) by Vestris
      Mare (f) by Cregane
       Mare (f) by Dough
       Mare (f) by East Lancashire
        Mare (f) by Sensation (HB)
         Mare (f, 1893) by Perizonius
          Kirkland (ch.g. 1896) by Kirkham
          Kirko (b.g. 1897) by Kirkham

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