Colin Keane has etched his name into Irish racing folklore by eclipsing Joseph O’Brien’s record for the most winners in a Flat season, writes Paul Martin.
The 27-year-old’s success on board Power Under Me at the Curragh took him out on his own in the history books having drawn level with O’Brien’s haul of 126 winners, set in 2013, by steering Torn home at Dundalk on Friday evening.
Keane came agonisingly close to breaking the record later on Friday, only to miss out in a three-way photo finish, but he was not to be denied two days later.
The 2/1 favourite, fittingly trained by Ger Lyons, for whom Keane is stable jockey, made all the running in the Hatstone Solicitors Waterford Testimonial Stakes.
Though Teresa Mendoza threatened to spoil the party up the home straight, Keane held firm to claim his landmark 127th victory.
And he wasted no time in stretching his lead, quickly racking up win number 128 with Pretty Boy Floyd in the Duralock Racecourse Fencing Handicap next up.
“We've been getting close to it slowly but surely, I've had plenty of seconds in the last two weeks," he said.
“It was great to level it for the boss [Lyons] and then to go and beat it for the boss is even better.
“It hasn't sunk in and probably won't until we start on zero next year and we're looking back on it.
“We try to beat every year's tally, we mightn't have a year like this again for a while so we'll appreciate it while it's here.”
Keane has had his sights set on the milestone since recording the fastest ever century of winners in an Irish Flat season, which he reached on board Barretta at Navan in August.
He is assured of a third Champion Jockey crown and has passed the €3 million mark in prize money during the course of an unforgettable campaign.
The Co Meath ace’s haul has included a Tattersalls Gold Cup triumph on board Helvic Dream while he also piloted the victorious Sacred Bridge in the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes.
Group 2 wins with Amhran Na Bhfiann and Mooneista at the Curragh have provided further highlights and since hitting three figures, Keane enjoyed a memorable first day of Champions Weekend with three winners at Leopardstown for Ger Lyons.