Over his thirty-year career between 1968 and 1998 he won the Budweiser Irish Derby 3 times which he won in 1982, 1992 and 1997. His 1997 victory was on Desert King. In Britain he won The Derby on Secreto in 1984 and The Oaks on Jet Ski Lady in 1991.
By the time of his retirement as a jockey Roche had already begun a career as a trainer. Amongst the major winners he trained were Like-A-Butterfly in the 2002 Supreme Novices' Hurdle and Grimes in the 2001 Galway Plate. He retired as a trainer in January 2018 and handed over his training licence to his son, Padraig.
- "Christy Roche". Horse Racing Ireland. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- "Padraig Roche excited about taking over training licence from father Christy". Racing Post. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
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