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Derek O`Connor secures Western title

Galway native Derek O’Connor has secured his 11th consecutive Western title with nine winners in the region, four clear of his closest pursuer Rob James, following the conclusion of racing in the region. 

The Western area hosted 12 meetings this season, starting at Loughrea in the Autumn, while it was also incidentally at the same track this Spring that the western season came to a close in May. 

There were 74 races held in the region, with 598 runners. In winning the Western title O’Connor rode almost 15% of the winners in the area this term.

This continued the former Champion Riders deadlock of the title, as O’Connor has now won the Western Title every year since the 2008/2009 season.

Derek rode winners at eight of the 12 meetings, while commitments at other fixtures on the same day as Western meetings resulted in the rider missing three days of racing in the area. In fact O’Connor only drew a black in his local region on one occasion at Ballycahane this year.

A double a Ballysteen, aboard the four-year-old Calthor for Ellmaire Holden and the Pat Doyle – Trained January Jets in the five-year-old maiden would be amongst the highlights of the season, while victory aboard Southern Girl at Quakerstown for the Hassett’s will surely also be a standout for O’Connor after the mare made €155,000 a couple of weeks later.

The Galwegian also made history at Loughrea’s Spring fixture when steering home Longhouse Music to a historical 11th success of the season for Sam Curling.

With Derek riding his 1200th success between-the-flags in December around Dromahane for his long standing supporter Robert Tyner, the winning most point-to-point rider has now ridden 1220 winners in this sphere, 36 of which have been this season.

It is certainly a long way from when Derek rode his first point-to-point winner on Rossy Orchestra at Killaloe back in 2000!

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