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Room To Roam gets deserved win over fences to his name

Room To Roam and Thomas Reilly pictured on their way to victoryRoom To Roam and Thomas Reilly pictured on their way to victory
© Photo Healy Racing

Successful on the level as a juvenile in 2016, Room To Roam recorded his first win over fences in the Leo McMorrow Memorial Handicap Chase.

Placed on five of his last eight starts, the John McConnell-trained nine-year-old was sent off an easy-to-back 13/2 chance (from 4s) under Thomas Reilly.

Racing mainly in second early on, the Fast Company bay improved to lead from the eighth and had all his rivals off the bridle from two out.

While bunny-hopping the last, the Rockview Racing Syndicate-owned bay found plenty for pressure on the run-in and came home 13-lengths to the good.

For the fourth-time in her career, Agirlcalledchloe (16/5) had to settle for second, with Fr Gilligansvoyge (10/1) another four-and-three-parts of a length back in third.

Sent off an easy-to-back 3/1 favourite (7/4 early), Pepperocco weakened from four out and was pulled up after the next.

"He's a lovable rogue! I rode him a few times and got some great spins out of him," Reilly commented.

"His last couple of runs have been consistent. He probably didn't like Downpatrick the last day but he went and done it well there.

"I was told to make it but I didn't want to be taking on Simon (Torrens, on Agirlcalledchloe) too early and just make a hames of the race and everyone just fall in a hole. So I got a lead on the first circuit and once I went past the stands, with a circuit to go, he took off with me down the hill.

"I was worried going to the second-last about something coming from behind me and flying home to catch me but he grounded it out well. He wasn't foot-perfect at the last but he was good. He's not really ground-dependent.

"I'm in John's every morning and he's been good to me, he's given me a few winners over the years and I'll take whatever I can!"


P.T. Enright, rider of Lighthouse Rose trained by Mark Michael McNiff, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount made a bad mistake and pulled up.

J.C. Gainford, rider of Pepperocco, trained by Ross O'Sullivan, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount hung badly and pulled up.

Additional reporting by Mark Nunan

About Donal Murphy
Donal graduated from Maynooth University in 2010 with a BBS in Equine Business and since attained a diploma in Sports Journalism from Dublin Business School. He holds a variety of roles in the horse racing industry, reporting for the Press Association and p2p.ie, while also working for SIS and the Tote. From Wexford, he is a keen runner and has completed over 100 parkruns at various locations around the country.