Pat Smullen and Colin Keane - Photo Credit: Horse Racing Ireland and Goracing.ie
Pat Smullen's hopes of winning a fourth Irish Champion Jockeys title were dealt a fatal blow at Dundalk on Wednesday night as his rival Colin Keane cruised to three wins from seven rides.
Keane went into Wednesday evening's meeting leading the Rhode man by seven winners, and while the young pretender landed a treble, Smullen failed to land a single blow.
The signs were ominous from the second race when Keane guided Overcoming to victory with Smullen, riding the race favourite Vivianite, was resigned to 5th.
The Offaly jockey and nine-time champion jockey came close when he finished second in the 6.40, missing out by a short head on board Tonkinese for Mick Halford.
His night got worse an hour later as he slumped to 6th place with 3/1 shot Frima, while Keane romped to victory on Bid Adieu at 12/1. The gap in the jockeys championship now stood at nine in the Cork man's favour.
However, Keane's strongest ride of the night was still to come, and sure enough, he obliged and took victory on board 2/1 shot, Ben Rumson in the last race of the night at 8.40.
Smullen is now ten winners behind Keane in what looks an insurmountable deficit as the season draws to the close this Sunday, November 5.
If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our Facebook.