On the record: Colin Keane, Damien Oliver, Efforia and more …

• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures

Horse Racing Colin Keane jockey
Colin Keane: secured third jockeys’ title in Ireland with double at Naas. Photo: Horse Racing Ireland

141 Colin Keane

Ireland: Colin Keane, set to ride Tarnawa at the Breeders’ Cup, was crowned champion jockey for the third time at Naas’s Flat Finale meeting on Sunday [Oct 31] with a record 141 winners.

Keane, 27, recorded a double in the last two races on Ireland’s final turf card of 2021, partnering longshot winner Yaxeni in the featured November Handicap before repeating the dose on Team Of Firsts half an hour later. Both horses were trained by Ger Lyons, and the latter success could hardly have been more appropriate as it came in the Congratulations to the 2021 Flat Champions Handicap over 1m2f.

Dylan Browne McMonagle (48 wins) completed his apprentice title success with victory on Noel Meade-trained Joe Masseria in the 7f maiden, while Aidan O’Brien retains his trainers’ title with over €3.6 million in prize-money. The Ballydoyle legend has won 24 Irish titles in all – including the last 23 seasons – plus six more in the UK.

25 Damien Oliver

Australia: Damien Oliver achieved a notable feat on Saturday [Oct 30] when a G1 double on the Victoria Derby card meant he became the winningmost G1 jockey in the history of Melbourne Cup week.

Having partnered Godolphin’s Colette to win the TAB Empire Rose to equal Bobby Lewis’s Cup week mark of 24 top-level successes, Oliver secured the go-ahead victory a couple of hours later on Superstorm in the Kennedy Cantala.

The Perth-born veteran, who is 49, exited the weekend with a career total of 125 G1 victories, among them three Melbourne Cups: Doriemus (1995), Media Puzzle (2002) and Fiorente (2013). The Hall of Famer has ridden well over 3,000 winners and has ten Melbourne city premierships to his name.

Sydney-based James McDonald equalled the Victoria Derby day riding record with four winners on the card, including three for Winx’s trainer Chris Waller, headed by Home Affairs, who won the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes for the sponsors.

19 Efforia

Japan: In beating last year’s Triple Crown winner Contrail and top racemare Gran Alegria in a tight finish, Efforia became the first three-year-old for 19 years to overcome older horses in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo racecourse on Sunday [Oct 31].

Trained by Yuichi Shikato, the son of Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia beat Contrail a length in the ¥325m (about £2m/$2.8m) event to extend his career record to five wins in six starts. Having won the Satsuki Sho (2,000 Guineas), his sole defeat came when he was touched off by Shahryar as odds-on favourite for the Tokyo Yushun (Derby).

Jockey Takeshi Yokoyama was landing his second G1 event in a week after Titleholder’s Kikuka Sho (St Leger) success.

100 Ted Bassett

USA: James E ‘Ted’ Bassett III, whose name has been synonymous with Keeneland for more than half a century, celebrated his 100th birthday last week on October 26.

Lexington-born Bassett, a veteran of the Marine Corps in WW2, began working for the Keeneland Association in 1968 after acting as director of state police in Kentucky. He was Keeneland president from 1970-86 before becoming chairman of the board. In 2003, he was named a trustee and remains a trustee emeritus.

During his tenure, Keeneland evolved into arguably the world’s foremost auction house while the attached racetrack is now one of most prominent in the US, twice a Breeders’ Cup host site. They’ll make it three in 2022.

An iconic figure in US racing, Bassett has served in a multitude of capacities in the wider industry. He is, for example, a former president of both Breeders’ Cup Ltd and the Thoroughbred Racing Association. He won the Eclipse Award of Merit in 1996 and in 2019 entered the US Hall of Fame.

7.5m Golden Eagle

Australia: With prize-money of A$7.5 million – about $5.64 or £4.12m – Saturday’s Golden Eagle may carry no Group status but it is nevertheless knocking on the door of a place in the world’s Top Ten richest races.

The third running of the 1,500m (7½f) conditions race for four-year-olds at Rosehill in Sydney was won by I’m Thunderstruck, who scored by a head under Hugh Bowman for the training partnership of Mick Price & Michael Kent. 

It is the third-most valuable race in Australia behind the Everest (A$15m) and the Melbourne Cup (A$8m). “It’s as good as any Group 1, I can assure you of that,” said Bowman, who last month rode his 100th G1 winner with Montefilia in the Metropolitan at Randwick.

29 Tyler Gaffalione

USA: With 29 victories, Tyler Gaffalione landed his third riding title at the Keeneland’s 85th anniversary ‘Fall’ Meet, which ended on Saturday [Oct 30].

Gaffalione, 27, partnered Nakatomi to victory in the black-type Bowman Mill Stakes for his only winner from eight rides on the closing-day card. However, he rode three winners or more on five days during the prestigious stakes-laden meet to win the title by 11 from Florent Geroux, who rode 16 winners.

Reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox was top trainer with 14 wins – one more than seven-time Keeneland champ Wesley Ward. Keeneland offered a meet record $6m in stakes purses across 22 such races.

1,500 William Antongeorgi III

USA: William Antongeorgi III, nicknamed ‘Billy the Kid’ on the Bay Area circuit, recorded the 1,500th victory of his career aboard 8-1 shot Reiwa in the ninth at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday [Oct 30]. He rode his first winner in 2005.

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