Insayshable can boost Colin Keane’s top jockey claims
Pat Smullen still favourite to overhaul his rival for the championship
Colin Keane guides Golden Spell to victory at the Curragh last weekend. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Colin Keane is hot in pursuit of a first jockeys’ championship and will hope Insayshable proves one to bank on in Saturday’s Gowran finale.
The 22-year-old rider currently tops the jockeys’ standings with 45 winners, seven clear of his nearest rival Kevin Manning, with the reigning champion Pat Smullen in third place on 36.
Despite the poor form so far this season of Dermot Weld’s team, Smullen is still a 5-6 favourite with Powers to ultimately emerge on top. However Keane is now just an 11-10 shot to go one better than 2015 when he was runner-up to his rival.
The foundation of his success is with Ger Lyons for whom he has been first-jockey since 2014 although the trainer is downplaying his protégé’s chances of lifting the title this year.
“I’ve don’t doubt it will happen but I’m dubious it will be this year. I don’t think he has enough of a lead on Pat,” he said.
“Dermot’s horses have to kick in at some stage and Pat could have nine more winners in a week. There’s awesome firepower there. I’m delighted with the way Colin is riding but we’re not getting carried away with the championship,” Lyons added.
Nevertheless the Lyons-Keane team have perhaps the weekend’s most fascinating runner in Insayshable.
Despite looking a colt who will prove be even better with time, he ran out an impressive maiden winner at Leopardstown in the Spring before finishing on the heels of no less than Capri when fourth in May’s Derrinstown Derby Trial.
He hasn’t been seen since but returns to action with a 107 rating in a €15,000 conditions event that looks to be no walkover with Aneen in the field too.
Awtaad’s half sister didn’t cut much ice behind Winter in the Irish 1,000 Guineas but has always been highly regarded. It could be a clash to relish but
Jessica Harrington has ten weekend runners spread out over the four Irish meetings and can take the opening contests at both Gowran and Limerick on Saturday.
Bella Figura could appreciate a little easier conditions in the juvenile maiden while The Birdie Crowe, a Galway bumper winner last autumn, can step up for her Listowel second behind Law Girl in the first of Limerick’s hurdle races.
Barry Geraghty has got the green light to return to action in time for the Galway festival but Jody McGarvey can keep making it pay in the JP McManus colours as Tuesday’s impressive Killarney winner, Ballyoisin, lines up in Limerick’s conditions chase.