Champions to be crowned this weekend
The 2015 Flat season comes to a close at Leopardstown on Sunday, October 25th, and the day will be marked by presentations to the champion owner, trainer, jockey and apprentice.
Mrs Sue Magnier has retained her title and will be crowned Champion Owner for the 13th time since 2000. Part-owner of Air Force Blue, the winner of the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh, Mrs Magnier has also seen Painted Cliffs, Curvy and Coolmore win domestic Group races in her colours this season.
Aidan O’Brien has also retained his Champion Flat Trainer title. He enjoyed classic success with Gleneagles in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas and Order Of St George who was a runaway winner of the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Longines Irish Champions Weekend. He also enjoyed notable Group 1 wins with top two-year-olds Air Force Blue and Minding who head into the winter months as clear favourites for next season’s 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas respectively.
Acknowledging the success of Covert Love in the Darley Irish Oaks as the highlight of his Irish season, Pat Smullen is once again the Champion Jockey. He captured his first title in 2000 and tops the list for the eighth time this year. Smullen is on the brink of riding his 100th winner in Ireland this season and he is currently 36 winners clear of Shane Foley and Colin Keane, last year’s Champion Apprentice. Fran Berry is on the 59 winner mark while Kevin Manning has ridden 56 winners in Ireland to date this season.
Connor King (19) was Champion Apprentice in 2013 and has regained that title this season. He sits on the 28 winner mark, ten clear of nearest rival Robbie Downey with Ross Coakley next best in the table with 15 winners. Connor’s most valuable success came on the Willie McCreery-trained Colour Blue in the Dubai Duty Free Jumeirah Creekside Summer Fillies Handicap at the Curragh on Irish Derby weekend. Another high-point in Connor’s season was riding out his claim at Gowran Park in early September when he won the Rodger Sweeney-trained Daliyan.
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