Colin Keane has been praised for the "old-fashioned way" he has gone about setting a new record for the number of winners ridden in a season in Ireland.
The 27-year-old, who will be officially crowned champion jockey for a third time later this month, broke Joseph O’Brien’s 2013 record of 126 winners in a campaign at the Curragh on Sunday.
Having equalled O’Brien at Dundalk on Friday, Keane reached a new benchmark of 127 when Power Under Me won the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes.
He wasted no time stretching it and hit 128 in the very next race aboard Pretty Boy Floyd in a handicap.
It was Ger Lyons who supplied the breakthrough winner and the trainer, who made Keane his stable jockey in 2014 despite still being an apprentice, praised his protege.
“Colin is a credit to himself, his family and the whole racing industry. He’s a fine example of what a champion jockey should be. He keeps himself to himself and let’s his riding do the talking,” Lyons said.
“The industry is full of people trying to make heroes out of X, Y an Z. But Colin has done it his way, the old-fashioned way – his riding doing all the talking,” he added.
Having been odds-on for weeks to set a new record, the man himself was relieved to have finally accomplished it.
“We’ve been getting close to it slowly but surely – I’ve had plenty of seconds in the last two weeks!
“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 yet 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 said.
Among this season’s Irish winners was Helvic Dream who edged out Broome for the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May.
Keane later partnered Broome to land another top-flight prize, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, for Aidan O’Brien in July.
Perhaps the one major reverse Keane has had in 2021 was when missing out on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe ride on Tarnawa.
Her owner, the Aga Khan, opted to reunite the mare with his No 1 jockey in France, Christophe Soumillon. The partnership finished runner-up to the shock 80-1 German winner Torquator Tasso.
Tarnawa could appear next at the Breeders’ Cup and defend the Turf crown she won under Keane in Keeneland last year.
In other news both Michael O'Callaghan and Paddy Twomey are also targeting Breeders' Cup success in Del Mar next month.
On his 10th start of the season Twilight Jet finally secured a black-type victory in Friday’s Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket. Curragh-based O’Callaghan is now aiming at the Juvenile Turf Sprint in California.
“After he won the other day I was saying ‘I’ll give his lad a break’ but he arrived home the next morning and he told me different.
“He absolutely loves racing. He has a great constitution. He’s just a bit of an animal, loves his job and he’s a dream to train.
“He’s won the Cornwallis now and he’s danced every dance this year so whatever he does at the Breeders’ Cup will be a bonus,” he said.
Twomey also confirmed on Sunday that Pearls Galore will contest the Mile in Del Mar after runner up efforts in both the Prix de la Foret and the Matron Stakes.