NEWLY crowned champio jockey Colin Keane brought up the century on Sunday when 7/4 favourite Warnaq won the Jumps Racing Returns To Naas November 11th Maiden over 12 furlongs, the penultimate race of the 2017 Irish turf season.
The Matthew Smith-trained three-year-old, who is due to stay in training next year, beat Great Trango, the mount of championship runner-up Pat Smullen, by three lengths.
Smith said: "She did it well. She probably got there too well and a bit too soon but is a lovely, straightforward filly who is improving with every run. She stays well and the step up in trip helped her."
Keane had earlier won the 10-furlong Kildare Post Handicap on 11/8 favourite Inscribe for trainer Ger Lyons, who said: "This horse was put away in case we needed him for Colin.
"We didn't need him and debated whether we would run or save him for the (Irish) Lincoln. His first race next year will probably be the Lincoln."
Smullen, on the other hand, took the final event of the campaign, the aptly named Listed Finale Stakes, and that 12-furlong contest went to the unbeaten 7/4 favourite Tocco D'Amore.
Moyglare Stud's €2,000,000 Goffs Orby Sale purchase was bred by Pat O'Kelly's famous Kilcarn Stud and this Raven's Pass relation to Irish Derby heroine Salsabil is trained by Dermot Weld, who said: "It's a very pleasing performance by her. She is a very valuable filly and I look forward to winning group races with her next year.
"She would always appreciate an ease in the ground and would not want it firm. She is a smart filly. She had a setback fairly soon after her previous run and was off all through the summer. We just waited and patience paid dividends."
The valuable Naas November Handicap was the feature event on the card and it went to the Joe Murphy-trained Swamp Fox who was all out, under jockey Gary Carroll, to hold off the challenge of the Gavin Cromwell-trained Highland Fling.
The margin of victory was a short-head, with third-placed Western Boy just a neck back in third at the end of the 14-furlong contest. The versatile winner is likely to return to hurdling.
Murphy said: "Gary said that when he hit the front he just stopped and there was plenty of horse under him – that's just the type of horse he is.
"He's a very nice horse to have and is in the Morgiana Hurdle (Punchestown) and the Fighting Fifth (Newcastle). There is a week between the two races and he will go for one of them."He always runs very genuine, and is a tough, consistent horse. I'd say there is a lot more in him."
There were no winners on the card for Oisin Orr, but his seasonal tally of 20 saw him crowned champion apprentice.
READ THE FULL NAAS REPORT IN NEXT WEEKEND'S EDITION OF THE IRISH FIELD