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Colin Keane wraps up first Flat jockeys’ title with Dundalk win

‘It was a big team effort and, to be honest, I’m glad it’s over’

Colin Keane wrapped up his first Flat jockeys’ championship with a victory at Dundalk on Friday night. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Colin Keane wrapped up his first Flat jockeys’ championship with a victory at Dundalk on Friday night.

Keane got off to a flying start when It’s Two O Clock made a successful introduction in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The Ger Lyons-trained 4-9 favourite may not have beaten much but showed a decent change of gear to account for Khwarizmi by two and a half lengths.

Keane leads Pat Smullen by 98 winners to 87, with just Naas on Sunday to go before the season draws to a close.

He said: “From day one this season we hit the ground running. Ger’s horses were very consistent all season and he’s kept them going very well.

“When I wasn’t riding for Ger, my agent Ruaidhrí Tierney had me on the best rides available. It was a big team effort and, to be honest, I’m glad it’s over.

“Obviously it’s a great sense of achievement but it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Hopefully come Sunday evening when the presentation is made, it might sink in then.

“I rode my first winner in Dundalk and it’s been a very good track to me. I’ve been very lucky here thankfully.

“It was great to ride my first Group One winner in Italy last Sunday. It would have been nice to have it on home soil but it’s great to have a Group One winner anywhere. For it to be Tony’s [Martin] first Group One winner as well made it special as he supported me as an apprentice.

“Every day you ride a winner is a good day and anything after that is a bonus. There was plenty of times this year that it got close, and it was only in the last few days where it looked likely.”