Sunday 20 January 2019

condon and keane suffer perils of job

Colin Keane is a youngster who could have become a household name over Irish Champions Weekend and must have been relishing the opportunity to compete on such a stage with so much ammunition in his role as Ger Lyons' stable jockey.

However, Keane succumbed to the most feared mistake of any jockey that is ever granted a licence - on Saturday at Wexford when he failed to weigh in after winning on Unrequited for his boss and therefore struck an automatic 10-day ban.


Keane was visually devastated and while the responsibility rests with the jockey himself, Lyons did suggest afterwards that riders should be escorted back to the scales by Turf Club staff just like a winning horse is back to the stableyard.

It may be a fair argument as there can be many distractions after riding a winner such as photographs, chatting to the press or racecourse staff ensuring you will come back for a presentation, or in Keane's instance, a trainer he was riding for later on in the card briefing him about that particular horse.

Keane has ticked a lot of boxes to earn the job he now has and has done little wrong since his appointment. Unfortunately, this is a costly mistake but one he will weather and come out the other side of. As disappointed as he must be, Keane's misfortune is on the other end of the scale to that of Davy Condon who down on the ground at the back of the second last hurdle in Cork motionless for 10 minutes following a fall from Flaxen Flare.

Condon has broken his T3, T4, T5 vertebrae but, thankfully, should make a full recovery within four to five months. It's a major blow to Condon who is a pivotal element in the operations of both Gordon Elliott and Noel Meade. Yet again, it highlights the risks that jockeys go through on a daily basis.

It does just goes to show that there literally is no law to jump racing. Condon was riding a Cheltenam Festival winner who had run in some of the most competitive hurdle races of the season, who most would have expected to be 'bomb proof' yet he went and took a crashing fall in a four-runner conditions race.

We wish Condon a speedy recovery.

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