THE title of Irish champion apprentice is very much up for grabs this weekend. Co Donegal rider Oisin Orr leads Killian Leonard and the side-lined Ana O’Brien by two winners. Orr has 20 winners to his name, matching his combined tally of the past two seasons. Gary Halpin lies in fourth place in the title race on 17 winners. O’Brien has not ridden since her fall at Killarney in July but the three title contenders are all in action at Dundalk and can expect to be busy at Naas on Sunday.

Colin Keane can seal his first jockeys’ championship at the penultimate meeting of the 2017 flat season at Dundalk on Friday night. Following winners for three different trainers at the venue on Wednesday, the 23-year-old Meathman moved onto the 97-winner mark and leads reigning champion Pat Smullen by 10. Both jockeys are involved in six races at Dundalk and could ride in all eight races at Naas on Sunday, the final day of the season.

Champion apprentice in 2014 with 54 winners, Keane finished runner-up to Pat Smullen in the title race the following season with 65 winners and he rode 77 winners when second to Smullen again in the championship last year. Stable jockey to leading trainer Ger Lyons, Keane has long had his sights set on riding 100 winners this season and that magnificent target is well within his grasp.

Pat Smullen is a nine-time champion jockey and has been the leading rider for the past three seasons. He has previously finished runner-up in the championship on seven occasions.

Friday’s book of rides at Dundalk:

COLIN KEANE (97 winners)

5.30 It’s Two O Clock

6.00 Pillar

6.30 Il Piccolo Grande

7.00 Samuel Phelps

8.30 Rivellino

9.00 Here For The Craic

PAT SMULLEN (87 winners)

5.30 Rachel Ruysch

6.00 Peace Mission

6.30 Yamato

7.00 Light Laughter

8.30 Little Clarinet

9.00 Muniza