The flat season in Ireland ended on Sunday with young jockeys Donnacha O’Brien and Shane Crosse the new names at the top of the tree. With 111 winners, 20yo O’Brien is Champion Jockey for the first time and finishing clear of last year’s victor Colin Keane and Declan McDonogh, who came second and third respectively. Shane Crosse, 17, is with the Joseph O’Brien yard and entered the meeting on 27 winners, five clear of Ben Coen and Killian Leonard in the apprentice title race. Reflecting on the campaign, O'Brien said: “It’s been an incredible year and I’ve been very lucky to ride so many good horses. "Winning the 2000 Guineas on Saxon Warrior started the ball rolling early in the season, and I suppose winning on him and winning the Irish Derby for Joseph on Latrobe were the highlights.”
Aidan O’Brien is Champion Trainer for the 21st time with prize money of €6.8m from 150 winners, which is a record number of winners during a turf season. Joseph O’Brien finished second to his father, with Jessica Harrington third on the list. Aidan O’Brien, who trained three Classic winners in Britain, also landed the Irish St Leger with Flag Of Honour. He said: “We started the season well but we had a quiet spell during the middle of the season when most of the horses were under the weather health wise. “They came back though and we finished the season off well. All told, it was an unbelievable year. “It was memorable for lots of reasons and being on The Curragh with my mother, my wife Anne Marie, as well as our daughters Sarah and Ana to see Joseph and Donnacha combine to win the Irish Derby with Latrobe was a very special day.
“Donnacha and Joseph have known nothing else but horses since they were young children. They work very hard and deserve their success.” Other highlights the season produced included a first Classic win for trainer Ken Condon, who landed the Irish 2000 Guineas, while Patrick Prendergast and jockey Ronan Whelan combined to share a first Group One success when Skitter Scatter took the Moyglare Stud Stakes.