Coliin Keane: mistake cost him 50th winner of the year
PICTURE: RP GRAPHICS
COLIN KEANE, the rising star among the Irish jockey ranks, will miss Irish Champions Weekend after picking up a ten-day ban for failing to weigh in on a 13-2 winner at Wexford on Saturday.
Unrequited had come home well in the 1m3 1/2f handicap for Ger Lyons, with Coolfighter winning the battle for second over Ring Chief. However Keane forgot to weigh in on the colt who would have been his 50th winner of the year.
A stewards’ inquiry was called into the weighing-in procedure and, inevitably, Unrequited – who has yet to win a race – was disqualified. Coolfighter was awarded the race and Keane was given the mandatory suspension. There is no question of any possible appeal.
The rider, who declined to comment afterwards but was visibly upset, faces a punishing ban as it sets in on Saturday, September 13 – the first day of the inaugural Champions Weekend, featuring the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes.
The stewards, “having considered the rider’s record in this regard,” according to their report, gave him the minimum punishment for the offence.
Having ridden 49 winners this year and been given the job as Ger Lyons’ stable jockey, Keane’s rise has been one of the stories of the season in Ireland. He has been running away with the Irish apprentices’ jockeys’ race and Shane Lyons, representing brother Ger, was keen to defend the young jockey afterwards.
“If that’s the worst thing that ever happens him he won’t be too bad,” Lyons said. “Obviously we feel sorry for the owner. Colin is very upset about it, but we are behind him 100 per cent.”
It is only two and a half months since punters were burned because of another weighing in anomaly at Wexford. In mid-June, Shield was thrown out after finishing first past the post in a hurdle race because Robbie Power weighed in light.
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