Holly Roeder, the daughter of former professional footballer and manager Glenn Roeder who died from a brain tumour last year, admitted to being left “overwhelmed” by the support received at a race meeting run in his honour at Newmarket today.
The event was organised by friends and family of the former Leyton Orient, Queen’s Park Rangers, Notts County, Newcastle United, Watford and Gillingham star, to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity, following his death from the condition last February.
Securing victory in the feature Glenn Roeder Race Day Handicap was the Karl Burke-trained Lethal Levi, who followed up his last time out course and distance success, when prevailing by two lengths in the six-furlong prize under Pierre-Louis Jamin.
After the race connections of the Karl Burke-trained three year old were presented with their trophies by Roeder’s widow Faith, before his daughter Holly and sons Will and Joe joined their mum in the winner’s enclosure for a family photo to mark the occasion.
Although admitting to being taken back by the support received from the occasion, which saw funds collected through a live and silent auction, plus a bucket collection, Holly admitted her dad probably wouldn’t have backed the winner of his own race.
She said: “There were points in the planning that I thought would he be cross with us if we are using his name but I think it is all for the right reasons and it is a positive thing.
“It is a chance to celebrate him and how great he was. He would have been quite a quiet shy gentleman and he wouldn’t ever shout about what he did but in my eyes what he did was extraordinary and this is our chance to do that for him.
“I don’t know the final figures as it has been chaotic but a good amount of money has been raised. I have been taken back by it and how kind people have been. I’m really overwhelmed. I’m sad that dad doesn’t get to see any of this goodwill and love for him.”
“He did like backing a favourite but I have a feeling he might have picked the second horse, Wowzers, of Clive Cox’s as it is a good name.
“He thought Clive was a great trainer and he has supported us today. I think he might have gone for that and he would have probably been cross and miserable at this point!”
Victory in the race which was run in memory of Roeder, who after retiring from playing managed Gillingham, Watford, West Ham United, Newcastle United and Norwich City, was one of the most notable of winning rider Louis-Jamin’s career.
The successful rider added: “He is always given his best and trying as hard as he can and Karl has placed him very well.
“We were confident enough today. He went up seven pounds the last day but he won going away.
“I was lucky enough to win a Listed race last year but in terms of prize money this is probably the most valuable race I’ve won.”
Jockey Rab Havlin described Francesco Clemente as being in “dreamland” for much of the time but insisted the penny is finally starting to drop after he enhanced his Classic credentials when maintaining his unbeaten record in the ForexVox Handicap.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained Dubawi colt, who holds Group One entries in the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster and the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Paris-Longchamp, made it three wins from as many outings in the mile and a quarter test.
Hitting the front around the two pole the 2-7 favourite, who is also engaged in the Group Two Sky Bet Great Voltigeur at York next month, quickly moved on from his three rivals to eventual score by a facile nine lengths.
Francesco Clemente was trimmed from 7-1 into 6-1 by Betfair for the Great Voltigeur while the same firm left him unchanged at 12-1 for the St Leger.
Havlin said: “He is a horse that has just taken forever for the penny to drop but he is a horse with lots of ability.
“I would hope he would have sharpened up after that but we hoped after his first and second run that he would have sharpened up a bit more than he did.
“The problem with him is that he is just in dreamland the whole time. We’ve always thought a lot of him and he has always had the gears as he has shown some lovely pieces of work.
“We were almost disappointed the last day that he didn’t win better than he did. When he hit the front today he really pricked his ears so the penny is dropping.
“He needed to learn and come here and win like that. We’ve always thought a lot of him in the morning it has just taken forever for the penny to drop.
“He was getting the nine pound weight for age which helped today. We have just been taking baby steps but the engine is there.”