Matching his 2017 title-winning tally of 100, Colin Keane is the Irish champion jockey for a second time.
The 2020 Flat season concludes at Naas Racecourse tomorrow where Gavin Ryan will be crowned champion apprentice. Aidan O’Brien and Mrs Sue Magnier are once again the champion trainer and champion owner respectively.
Keane, from Trim, County Meath, reached a three-figure score for the third time in a season that saw him record his first Classic winners on Siskin in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas and Even So in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks. The 26-year-old achieved further Group 1 glory on Champers Elysees in the Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes, while A’Ali, Lemista and Safe Voyage were Group 2 winners and Art Power, Bowerman and Helvic Dream provided him with Group 3 success.
Keane rode 103 winners when runner-up to Donnacha O’Brien in the championship last season and 100 winners this time sees him take the title by eight from Shane Foley who led the championship for much of the way. Shane improved on his previous best tally, set when finishing third in the title race last year, by 16 winners.
Gavin Ryan, from Killenaule, County Tipperary can count his first Group race success on the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Shale in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown among his winners. Gavin’s current tally of 48 matches the number of winners Donnacha rode to take the apprentice title in 2016 but, with rides at Dundalk and Naas to come, the opportunity to better that figure remains.
Gavin won a second Group 3 race when the Ado McGuinness-trained Current Option took the Concorde Stakes at Tipperary and he also won listed races and enjoyed significant handicap success on both Current Option and McGuinness’ Saltonstall. Another notable handicap victory came on the Mark Fahey-trained Edification. Gavin was the leading Flat jockey at this year’s Galway festival with five winners and he finishes ahead of his fellow countyman Shane Crosse and Donegal apprentices Dylan Browne McMonagle and Luke McAteer to win this title.
For the 23rd time, Aidan O’Brien is Ireland’s champion trainer. His domestic Classic haul was added to by Peaceful in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas and Santiago in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby while Magical won three Group 1 races, the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes, the Tattersalls Gold Cup and the Irish Champion Stakes.
Mrs Sue Magnier is our champion owner once again. Mrs Magnier just got the better of her fellow Coolmore partners Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith to retain the title.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “The 2020 Flat season was seriously impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and as we head into the final race meetings today and tomorrow, I wish to acknowledge the tremendous effort made by so many to keep the show on the road.
“I wish to thank the owners for their continued patience. Getting owners back on the racecourse remains our first priority and we will continue to work closely on this with the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners and their representative Caren Walsh.
“In congratulating our champions, I wish to give special mention to Colin Keane and Shane Foley who kept us enthralled in recent weeks as they battled it out for the jockeys’ championship. I wish both men and all those in action at the Breeders’ Cup this weekend all the very best.”