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Keane the hero as Ireland's Flat Champions are crowned at Naas

New stars: Colin Keane (right) with champion apprentice Oisin Orr
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Ger Lyons had described it as a day of celebration for Ireland's new champion jockey Colin Keane, and the 23-year-old from Trim, County Meath, rounded off the season with a double, bringing his score for the campaign to 100 winners.

His family and a large contingent of friends and acquaintances from Trim were in attendance, many of them wearing green and yellow Keane hats and scarves, to cheer their hero into the number one spot after his victories on Inscribe and Warnaq.

Cheers of "Ole Ole" and "Keano, Keano" rang out to greet Keane after his wins and again when he was presented with his award for winning the championship.

It wasn't a football match but it could have been and it brought a level of excitement and entertainment not usually associated with the final Flat meeting of the season.

Keane finished the campaign 12 winners clear of nine-time champion Pat Smullen after scoring on Inscribe for his boss Lyons and Warnaq for Matthew Smith, who trains less than a mile from Lyons' Glenburnie Stables in County Meath.

The new champion said: "I owe so much to Ger for his support and bringing up the 100 winners on Warnaq was nice as I started riding out for the Smith family as a teenager before I went to Ger's place."

Lyons said: "I'm delighted for Colin. It's a great achievement for him and myself, all our owners and all the staff are thrilled for him. All the support he had here today gave the place a buzz.

"The past month or so was exciting and unlike the often dull stroll to the line we have at the end of most seasons. I've got a huge kick out of him winning the title."

With neither Oisin Orr nor Killian Leonard riding winners on Sunday, Orr held on (20 to 19) to become champion apprentice.

Aidan O'Brien is champion trainer for the 20th time – he first won the title in 1997 and has won it every year since 1999 – finishing just under €5 million clear of Jim Bolger, who was second in the list while Sue Magnier retained the owners' championship.

It was nip and tuck between myself and Pat and it wasn't until my winners at Dundalk during the week that it became impossible for me to be caught
E.W. Terms
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