Galway jockey lands big win – without getting into the saddle

Leigh Roche...tipster.

Galway jockey Leigh Roche is the toast of Ballybrit – without riding a single winner at the annual festival.

In fact he did not even saddle a horse after putting out his shoulder at a meeting in Down Royal the previous week – but instead he provided punters in Flynn’s of Lackagh with a tip that resulted in them being on board a 7/1 winner on the Sunday of the meet.

Leigh is the son of Francis Roche from Abbeyknockmoy and the godchild of Cllr Pete Roche who were all special guests at a races night in Flynn’s last Saturday evening.

The evening was hosted by former councillor and senator Jarlath McDonagh who is a highly respected pundit, racegoer and tipster.

Throughout the festival there was an event in Flynn’s of Lackagh during which two tips for the following day’s races were given out to hopeful punters.

But on Saturday night last there was a function in the pub which was attended by the extended Roche family, who are big into racing, and it was not surprising that they were put to the pin of their collar to dish out a few winners.

As a result of Leigh having a fractured shoulder, he could not participate in the Galway Races much to his frustration. He would normally have half a dozen rides there.

However, he joined his family in Flynn’s and was having an enjoyable social night out when he was called to the stage by Jarlath McDonagh to determine his views of the Races and what might be upcoming the following day.

Leigh told the packed gathering that there was a horse coming from England on the Sunday of the meet called Safe Voyage in the 3.55 who had all of the capabilities to seize the moment.

His advice was well heeded and there were a lot of Abbeyknockmoy and Turloughmore hurling supporters emerging from Semple Stadium in Thurles last Sunday who were singing his praises.

The horse romped home at 7/1 much to the thrill of those who had backed him.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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