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PAT HEALY: This week Pat recalls the first time he met jockey Colin Keane and shares his thoughts on the Champions Day saga.


Colin Keane

To see Colin Keane break the record for most winners in a season was fantastic. It’s a huge achievement for a jockey operating in Ireland to notch up those numbers for a couple of reasons, one being that we don’t have as many Flat meeting’s as other jurisdictions and on a daily basis we’re limited to one meeting. The second reason is that Ireland is the best jockey colony in the world and day in day out he has been competing with the best of the best. Colin’s ridden winners for over 25 different yards which shows how huge a cog in his success has been his agent, Ruaidhri Tierney.

Colin’s a young man and this is his third Championship, so whatever number he ends up on this season there’s nothing to say he won’t be breaking his own record over the years. I first met him 12 years ago Pony Racing in Dingle, and he’s a typically successful man in racing in that he keeps his opinions to himself and just gets on with the job. He’s sought after on the world stage now and is not just a great ambassador for the sport, but for Ireland too. I’d also like to wish his father, Gerry, our best wishes as he was in hospital for a while after a nasty fall with a young horse.


Dylan Browne McMonagle

I’m not going to get too involved in the saga from Champions Day between Frankie Dettori and Dylan Browne McMonagle, but all I will say on the matter is I hope that young Dylan has sent Frankie a thank you card. Money couldn’t buy the exposure that Dylan has received after Frankie’s rant on Saturday. Dylan Browne McMonagle is a name that’s now known from Australia to America to Hong Kong, and the good thing about it is that Dylan didn’t do a thing wrong which I’m sure Frankie realises now in the cold light of day.
Dylan is a fantastic young rider here in Ireland and of course is Champion Apprentice this year with nearly 50 winners to his name. He’s definitely one to look forward to for the future and has all the attributes to make it as a top-class jockey.


Vertem Futurity

Luxembourg looks to be one of Ballydoyle’s top two-year-olds, and we’ll be hopeful of a good performance at Doncaster ahead of a Classics campaign next season. The truth is it’ll be a big test for Luxembourg on Saturday, and we’ll need to see something special from him if he is to be a real threat to Native Trail and the other Godolphin horses next year.