Shane Foley’s superb Longines Irish Champions Weekend helped
make him the standout jockey in the past fortnight but the gap to Colin Keane
remains sizable, writes Paul Martin.
Foley piloted four winners across the weekend at
Leopardstown and the Curragh, guiding home No Speak Alexander in the Coolmore
America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes and Discoveries in the Moyglare Stud Stakes to
bank a pair of Group 1s.
They were backed up by triumphs in the Group 2 Clipper Logistics
Boomerang Mile on board Real Appeal and the EBF ‘Petingo’ Handicap (Group 3) with
Ever Present as Foley proved the man to beat on the big occasion.
Two winners at Naas on Thursday took Foley’s tally to 12 for
the fortnight and 69 for the season, though Keane remains way out in front
after adding another six to his total.
Three of those came on Saturday at Leopardstown as the leading
jockey and Ger Lyons made a flying start to Champions Weekend, landing the opening
two races of the day with Panama Red and Atomic Jones.
Keane and Tarnawa were edged out by Ryan Moore on board St
Mark’s Basilica in an unforgettable Champion Stakes but the 26-year-old ensured
he finished the day on a high with Masen in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Sovereign
A statement victory on board Romantic Proposal in the Flying
Five Stakes at the Curragh was the highlight of a successful spell for Chris
Hayes, who now holds a decent cushion in third after six recent winners.
Dylan McMonagle and Billy Lee round off the top five, the latter
having enjoyed Champions Weekend success with La Petite Coco in the Moyglare ‘Jewels’
Leading Flat jockey standings 2021
1.Colin Keane – 112 (+6)
2.Shane Foley – 69 (+12)
3.Chris Hayes – 44 (+6)
4.Dylan McMonagle – 39 (+2)
5.Billy Lee – 38 (+2)
6.Seamie Heffernan – 37
7.Declan McDonogh – 36
8.Shane Crosse – 34
9.Gary Carroll – 33
10.Wayne Lordan - 29