Thursday 22 February 2018

Roca Tumu's dream victory for Morgan

Billy Lee celebrates after partnering Roca Tumu to victory at Royal Ascot
Billy Lee celebrates after partnering Roca Tumu to victory at Royal Ascot

Thomas Kelly

JOANNA MORGAN was one of the first female professional jockeys before becoming a trainer and she made history in 1978 by becoming the first female professional to ride at Royal Ascot on Gallowshill Boy in the Queen's Vase.

Now she has secured another entry into the Royal Ascot history books as she secured her first winner at the festival when Roca Tumu, partnered by the vastly under-rated Limerick jockey Billy Lee, held off the Godolphin challenger Tarikhi by a neck in the Britannia Handicap over the straight mile.

The five-strong Roca Tumu syndicate, led by Tommy Murphy, loudly celebrated their 20/1 triumph.

Morgan said: "It is fantastic – unbelievable to win a race at Royal Ascot.

"Billy said that Roca Tumu was not doing a tap in front – he said he was trying to hold on to the colt to deliver him late and then he was in front too soon.

"The colt got a bit fractious in the paddock beforehand which is unusual for him. Billy is such a cool dude, which is lucky, because I am a bit hot and the owners are a bit hot as well.

"Roca Tumu has always been a talented horse and I had no doubt he had the ability – I just was worried before the race.

"It is a dream to win here – what you work for every day. My first runner here as a trainer came third in the Queen's Vase about 25 years ago.

"I have had several runners since, but never got any closer until today."

Irish Independent

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