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  • Sport

Tuam jockey returns home after a four-month spell

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 2:28pm
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Tuam jockey returns home after a four-month spell
Tuam jockey returns home after a four-month spell

By David Connors

EFFORTS to make contact with Tuam native and then Indian-
based jockey Leigh Roche for an interview had taken us both to a broken and often inaudible WhatsApp telephone conversation.
Roche was coming to the end of a successful four-month winter spell with India’s champion trainer Pesi Shroff and Herald Sport had endeavoured to reach the 27-year-old before his last race meeting in Hyderabad — The Indian Turf Invitation Cup — an event similar to the Champions’ Weekend in Ireland.
After multiple failed attempts to garner a working phone connection, we took a punt on making contact through Leigh’s father’s trusty Nokia 3210 and at last we were in luck.
His father, Francis, had made the trip for his son’s final race meet of the season and despite Leigh’s reservations that he was holding “the worst phone he had ever seen in his life” the line held true long enough to allow this writer get a feel on life in India in the saddle.
Originally from the Dublin Road in Tuam, Roche’s first experience on horseback began at the home of his father’s friend, Francis McWalter, in Abbeyknockmoy, where he would hone his skills in the stirrups aboard ponies every Sunday morning as a “young buck”.

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