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Armagh Trainer 'Felt Like A Criminal' After Win At English Racecourse

Armagh Trainer 'Felt Like A Criminal' After Win At English Racecourse
By PJ Browne

Armagh-based trainer Ronan McNally said he 'felt like a criminal' after standing in front of the stewards on three occasions at Southwell on Monday.

McNally's horse, The Jam Man, won the 2:45, a three-mile novices' handicap chase. The horse had been 20/1 the day before but returned the winner as the 9/4 favourite. That raised concerns with the stewards.

"To be honest, I feel like a criminal today - coming over here, I'm in with the stewards three times," McNally told Sky Sports Racing.

"I'm over to try and enjoy myself. I have a kitchen business, I only do this as a hobby. I came over to try and get a winner.

"My eight-year-old son is here with me - it's a family thing, I don't need to be called in numerous times, asking questions about this and that.

"All this 'big gamble', it's a bit of a laugh. (People) putting on Twitter this morning about tipping up The Jam Man - the whole thing snowballed. I think it's all blown out of proportion."

McNally and Aidan Coleman, the horse's jockey, were called before the stewards prior to the race and quizzed regarding their expectations for the race and what riding instructions had been given.

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"They had a word with me in the parade ring after - then I was called in again to see why the horse suddenly had won, 'was it the change of tactics?'" added McNally.

"I said 'No, there was no change of tactics - he won because my horses are finally healthy, he's the best horse in the race'.

"My horses, for seven months, have been out of form. I brought a horse in and it got the yard sick. I haven't had a placed horse in seven months, not to mind a winner.

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"Two weeks ago there, The Jam Man ran and had a third and fourth. Finally, I knew then that the horses were starting to come back. I said then, 'Right, we're going to Southwell, he's won there before. He's won in England but not Ireland'."

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