Monday’s Feature Race At Roscommon – The Listed Lenebane Stakes

There’s Listed action in Ireland this evening, with the Lenebane Stakes (8:25pm GMT) topping the bill at Roscommon. This is a mile and a half encounter, for horses aged 3 and up.

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Exemplar To Excel?

Aidan O’Brien’s Exemplar looks likely to start as favourite. The Galileo colt won easily at Galway, last term and was 3rd in the G2 Beresford Stakes. He was disappointing in the Dante Stakes though, despite Ryan Moore being booked for the ride, so this should give some encouragement to connections of Renneti, Act Of Valour and the Jim Bolger-trained Glamorous Approach.

Bolger won this race in 2013 (Bunairgead) and 2014 (Einsteins Folly). John Oxx has an outstanding record, in this contest (5 victories since 2008), so Flying Fairies is another that cannot be ruled out.

Racing At Roscommon

It was the British military that first instigated horse racing at Roscommon, back in the early 19th century. The first racing under rules took place in 1885. Since that year, the only cessation in racing was caused by the Second World War.

Imperial Call, the winner of the 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup, began his career at this track. It was hardly a debut that promised a great deal. The horse came third in a low-key Novices’ Chase. Enzeli, the 1999 Ascot Gold Cup winner did win a race here one year beforehand.

Roscommon is one of the smaller and less celebrated Irish Racecourses. Trainers like to use it to give young horses experience, before taking them to compete in bigger fixtures. For this reason, it can be an interesting venue to look out for potential stars of the future.

The track at Roscommon runs right-handed and is 1m 2f in length. There is a steep climb to the winning post and successful horses have to show plenty of heart to grab the spoils. The biggest jumps race of the year is the Kilbegnet Novice Chase, a G3 encounter that is held in September.

Visiting Roscommon

Despite being small and provincial, many visitors to the Emerald Isle make the trip to Roscommon Racecourse and find it an enjoyable experience. You will get a real flavour of Ireland here and there are lots of great pubs and small hotels near to the course which are full of local characters.

Roscommon is a little off the beaten track, being a full 45 miles to the nearest big city – Galway. Dublin is a full eighty miles away, to the west, but there are regular trains from Heuston Station into Roscommon. There you will find plenty of cheap taxis that will quickly ferry you to the racecourse.

Until recently, facilities at Roscommon were pretty basic. However, the venue has been updated considerably in the last few years and this has led to its reputation being enhanced.

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