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Prolific Colin Keane equals Irish record

Colin Keane equalled Joseph O’Brien’s record of 126 winners in a season in Ireland when steering Torn to victory at Dundalk.

The 27-year-old, already guaranteed a third Irish jockeys’ title this season, got the well-backed 13-8 favourite home in the opening Irish EBF Median Sires Series Fillies Maiden.

It was a fitting success because Keane is stable jockey to Torn’s trainer Ger Lyons – although the filly got into the race only as a reserve before making the most of her opportunity to get off the mark at the third attempt.

Torn was held up in second-last place in the early stages and kept hidden until the straight, where Keane produced her on the outside to challenge eventual runner-up Queens Command. Hitting the front in the final furlong, Torn won by a cosy three-quarters of a length.

Keane was champion for the first time in 2017 and regained the title last year, while O’Brien notched up his biggest tally when claiming it for the second year running back in 2013.

Keane has had this year’s title race sewn up for some time, and victory on Torn took him 50 clear of his closest pursuer Shane Foley – who was in action at Newmarket.

Among Keane’s notable successes of 2021 are Group Ones on Helvic Dream in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and, further afield, Broome in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

In 2020, he enjoyed his first Classic victories on Siskin in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Even So in the Irish Oaks – as well as the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Tarnawa.

After equalling the record, Keane said: “It’s brilliant to get it. I’m in a very lucky position, because I ride for a lot of great people.

“I have great people around me, have a very good agent – and I’m riding nice horses.

“All those things together make this happen. It’s been an unbelievable season – the way it has gone from strength to strength, and we’ve had some nice winners in between.

“To get to this number is just unbelievable to be honest.”

Assistant trainer Shane Lyons added: “It’s a massive thrill for us for him to get the record in Sean Jones’ colours, because he’s been our main stalwart.

“Sean will get a kick out of it, and we’ll get an even bigger kick.”