While anybody who knows him will understand that Jim Byrne will never give up on anything, the chances of him adding another Brisbane Jockey’s Championship to his distinguished career diminished further yesterday at Eagle Farm where premiership leader Ryan Maloney added another winner to his tally to move seven winners clear of Byrne with only three metropolitan meetings left before the end of the season.
Results have not gone Byrne’s way in recent meetings after he had threatened to make a closer race of it over the final weeks, whereas Maloney has continued to punch home regular winners to cement both his place, and arguably already a winning break, at the top of the premiership leader-board.
For Maloney, the Brisbane Jockey’s Premiership would be his first premiership win and it would be thoroughly deserved as he clearly is one of the most polished and capable riders on the South East Queensland circuit … or anywhere for that matter.
He backs his talent with a high level of belief and confidence in his own ability and that is one of the reasons why he is very much the go-to man for top trainers like Tony Gollan and David Vandyke.
While it is likely to end up as a second place and no cigar for Byrne, he also deserves special mention for his efforts, not just for this season, but for maintaining an outstanding level of performance for a very long time.
Byrne has four Brisbane Jockey Premierships to his name … the first one coming as far back as the 1997/98 season. (That’s right … twenty three years ago).
It is quite incredible to note that for the last sixteen years, Byrne has finished in the top three riders on the Brisbane Jockey’s Premiership ladder no less than thirteen times, two of those as the Premiership winner and five of those in second place (twice behind Glen Colless and three times behind Jeff Lloyd).
He might be a touch disappointed if he has to add another second place to that list in ten days time, after picking up the smell of the chase a couple of weeks back, but he shouldn’t be.
Whatever that outcome, it will only add to what is already an amazing record!