The 2017 Flat season draws to a close at Naas Racecourse on
Sunday, November 5, and the day will be marked by presentations to the champion
owner, trainer, jockey and apprentice.
Colin Keane, the champion apprentice in 2014, leads nine-time
champion jockey Pat Smullen by five winners (92-87) after racing at Navan on
Wednesday (yesterday) as he seeks a first senior title. It is still all to play
for with five meetings remaining:
- Dundalk tomorrow (Friday) October 27
- Leopardstown on Saturday October 28
- Dundalk on Wednesday November 1
- Dundalk on Friday November 3
- Naas on Sunday, November 5
Keane (23), who is stable jockey to Ger Lyons, has enjoyed a
number of notable wins this season including the Group 3 Irish Stallion Farms
EBF Brownstown Stakes on the Roger Varian-trained Realtra at Fairyhouse and the
Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Stakes on Lyons’ Psychedelic Funk at
Tipperary. Pat Smullen was first crowned champion jockey in 2000 and is chasing
a tenth title. The highlight of his season came at the Curragh on Longines
Irish Champions Weekend when he took the Group 2 Moyglare "Jewels"
Blandford Stakes on Shamreen, trained by Dermot Weld.
The race to be crowned champion apprentice is an even
tighter affair with County Donegal rider Oisin Orr leading Killian Leonard and
the side-lined Ana O’Brien by just two winners. Orr has 20 winners to his name,
matching his combined tally of the past two seasons. Leonard rode his 18th
winner of the season at Navan on Wednesday to join O’Brien on the same mark.
She has not ridden since a fall at Killarney in July. With 16 winners this
season, Gary Halpin lies fourth in the apprentice championship.
Magnier’s involvement with horses such as Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas
winner Winter and Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes winner Caravaggio
will see her retain the title of champion owner for the 15th time since 2000.
Aidan O'Brien is once again the Champion Flat Trainer,
topping off a fantastic season at home and broad for Ballydoyle. On the world
stage, O’Brien equalled Bobby Frankel’s world record of 25 Group/Grade 1 wins earlier
this month at Ascot and could better that at Doncaster this weekend. At home,
he has dominated once again, landing four of the five Classics at the Curragh,
the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas with Churchill, the Tattersalls Irish 1,000
Guineas with Winter, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with Capri and the Comer
Group International Irish St Leger with Order Of St George. O’Brien also won
Group 1 races in Ireland this season with the two-year-olds Sioux Nation and
Happily in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes
respectively and won the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes with Hydrangea.
The Flat Championship presentations will take place at Naas
Racecourse on Sunday November 5.