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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Agent Tierney hopes championship glory opens more doors for Keane

Colin Keane celebrates at Naas after being crowned champion jockey
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The dust has barely settled on Sunday's climax to an exhilarating Irish jockeys' title battle but Colin Keane and his team are already looking forward to the defence of the crown.

Agent Ruaidhri Tierney is hoping that the rider's maiden championship can bring about further opportunities for the 23-year-old.

He said: "Defending your title is a nice problem to have for next year and we're looking forward to it – hopefully that success will open a few more doors for Colin. Colin is staying around here for the winter so Dundalk will keep us busy and we'll get stuck into next season when it arrives."

There were jubilant scenes in the parade ring at Naas on Sunday as Keane rode a double in front of his many followers, and Tierney will reflect on the pair's storming season with great fondness.

"I'm ecstatic," he admitted. "It was a long slog and Pat Smullen put up a brave fight, as you'd expect from him. We're just thrilled it worked out – it would have been heartbreaking to lose it so late on. Those chances don't come around every day."

Oisin Orr was crowned champion apprentice and expressed his relief at seeing off Killian Leonard by a single winner, 20 to 19.

The 20-year-old said: "It was a great feeling to cross the line and know I was champion. It was getting tight towards the end."

Keane won the apprentice championship three years ago before going on to senior glory, and Orr added: "You need a lot of luck but it just goes to show you that it can happen. It's lovely for Colin, and he's the nicest fella you could ever meet into the bargain."

Tierney, also agent to runner-up Leonard, said: "I felt sorry for Killian as he missed the first six weeks of the season.

"Taking that into consideration it was a bold bid on his part, but Oisin is a worthy winner and he's a very good rider – he certainly deserves the title."


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Defending your title is a nice problem to have for next year and we're looking forward to it - hopefully that success will open a few more doors
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