The Game Changer, trained for Gigginstown House Stud by Gordon Elliott, registered his fourth success over fences when getting the better of favourite Sizing Platinum in the Grade 3 Kilbegnet Novice Chase, the highlight of Roscommon’s final meeting of 2015.
Patiently ridden by Bryan Cooper, the well-backed 11/10 shot edged past the front running 10/11 favourite before the final fence before scoring by two and a half lengths.
“The ground and the drop back to two miles suited him,” stated Elliott.
“We’ll keep him to two miles and try to find another race for him before he has a break. He won’t run on heavy winter ground and will come back for the festivals in the spring.”
The form of the two-year-old fillies maiden at Leopardstown on Champions Weekend received another boost when the John Oxx-trained Red Stars (Declan McDonogh) justified 11/8 favouritism in the opening median auction maiden, beating longshot Lady Valeur in convincing style.
“She was entitled to win on her Leopardstown form” admitted Oxx’s assistant Jim O’Neill. “She’s a nice big filly and needs to fill out but she’s promising and should make a nice mile and a quarter or mile and a half filly next year.”
The in-form combination of Willie McCreery and Billy Lee struck again when 9/4 favourite Expreso Brasiliero, runner-up in Listowel last time, bolted-up by four lengths in the Follow Roscommon On Facebook Handicap.
Lee said of the four-length winner: “He loves that ground. And I rode him a bit more patiently today. He’s still a bit lazy and stuffy and is taking his racing well. I’d say he’ll run again soon.”
Another partnership enjoying a successful season was on the mark in the www.roscommonraces.ie Maiden, in which Aidan O’Brien’s debutant Prospector, a half-brother to Mastercraftsman was an uneasy favourite before finishing only eighth.
The spoils went to the Ger Lyons-trained, Colin Keane-ridden 33/1 shot Cape Aqraam, a gelded son of Cape Cross, having his second run, who proved too strong for front-running Ebazziyr.
Colin Bowe, in good form in his more familiar National Hunt surroundings, won the Athlone Apprentice Handicap with the versatile Tawseef, ridden by Ian Queally to prevail over Mallory Heights and Smiler in a three-way battle.
Liz Doyle provided punters with a late boost when even-money favourite Last Goodbye provided her with an emotional success in the bumper, Finny Maguire’s mount outstaying debutante Earth Sister by three lengths.
Doyle said: “My dad died last October and this was the last horse I bought for him – that’s the reason for the name. So it’s a special and emotional win. He’s a horse with a lovely pedigree and will improve. And He’s for sale!”
Denis Linehan was found found guilty of careless riding in this incident and was suspended for seven days,
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